How to repair damaged nails acquired from gel, SNS, and acrylic manicures: Products, tips, and tricks to try
We've been told time and time again by everyone from healthcare professionals to Oscar Wilde: everything in moderation. That applies to your alcohol intake, your workout routine, and — as much as we loathe to admit it — your manicures, too. Gel, SNS, and acrylic types, in particular, are known to leave a lasting impact, with many a nail buff attesting to thin, brittle talons after ceaseless rounds of application.
Tempting as it might be to cover it all up with yet another coat of polish, we say it's best to get to the root of the issue and get 'em digits back in fighting shape. Below, everything to know about nursing those nails back to health.
Commit to going bare
That means no polish for three months, at the very least. No exceptions, even when it comes to clear or baby-safe options. If you have any remnants of nail polish on, remove them using acetone-soaked cotton balls. For gel and SNS manis, soak them in your go-to remover solution before wiping it off with a cotton pad. Whatever you do, never pick or peel polish off. Not only does this hurt your nail surface, it can also cause further damage to cuticles and nail beds.
Apply a cuticle oil regularly
Rome wasn't built in a day — and without hard work — so don't expect your talons to be back in tip-top condition without consistent maintenance. According to nail professionals, a speedy way to repair and restore is to invest in a moisturising cuticle oil. This is because an overload of gel, acrylic, and SNS manis can cause moisture-loss, so a hydrating formulation is precisely what you need to boost and promote nail strength. Seal it off with a hand cream after to lock in all vitamins and nourishments.
Use a nail hardener
Anything that contains Keratin is a good bet. A proven nail strengthener, it doesn't just shield nails from further damage, but actually heals them in the long-run. Another piece of good news: some brands have even developed coloured variants, so you can jazz up your claws, guilt-free.
Up your biotin intake
As with your hair and skin, biotin is great for nails too. The B-complex vitamin encourages healthy cell growth, aids in the metabolism of protein-building amino acids, and, essentially, hastens nail growth while strengthening. In fact, according to the U.S. National Institute of Health, a biotin-deficiency is often the cause of weak, brittle talons.
Stop cutting your cuticles
While there's nothing wrong with cuticle-maintenance, you should limit it to clipping off dead skin around the area or pushing it back with an orange stick. Not only does trimming pose a risk of infection as you could accidentally nip your skin, but it also impedes the growth of strong, healthy, and new nails.