You can’t deny the fact that there’s a laundry list of upshots that come with rocking gels, acrylics, or dips – longer wear with no chips, perpetually glossy or matte-y finish, and the best part, zero dry time.
However, all these types of manis also have the potential to take a major toll on your nails (especially when you have a terrible habit of biting or peeling off the gels).
So, if your nails have been looking a little sorry lately or you’re just struggling with weak, brittle ones and are in need of some TLC, here are some expert-approved tips to help you rehab them back into shape. After all, the best offense is a smart and well-executed defense.
Don’t Peel The Gel!
Even thinking about this gives us shivers. Hell to the freaking no!
While peeling off any lifting gel polish is tempting, doing so removes the top layer of your nail plate, causing trauma to your nail bed. With time, your sensitive nail nerve endings are damaged, resulting in sore, paper-thin, and ghoulish nails.
So, if you’re not feeling your gel polish anymore, get yourself to your manicurist for a proper removal – or purchase a sturdy removal kit for a quick but safe DIY gel removal.
Gently Buff Your Nails
Now that you’re gel-free, you might want to start by cleaning the nail plate, which according to experts, helps restore them to their superior, healthier, natural state.
For the best results: Use the less coarse side of your buffer to smooth any roughness left on the surface of your nails. If your tips are broken or jagged, using a nail file can help smooth and round the edges for a dramatic result.
Trim Your Nails
Whether you want to admit it or not, longer nails are more prone to breakage thanks to daily activities such as scrubbing off the grease from your Tupperware and hitting the keyboard regularly. However, most of us tend to ignore how much of an impact this can have on your nail health.
Keeping your nails short offers them a chance to grow out stronger, healthier, and heck, maybe even longer – plus, it prevents them from snagging onto things and chipping. Another upshot: nails that aren’t in their best shape look sexier when they’re shorter.
Bonus Tip: You might also want to skip the pointy and coffin-shaped tips for rounded ones to keep them strong.
Use A Keratin Treatment
Yap! Keratin treatments aren’t just for your hair – they’re fantastic for your nails, too, especially after getting rid of acrylics or gels. The naturally-sourced protein works wonders in strengthening them and preventing them from breaking, peeling, or splitting.
The essie Nail Care Strong Start Base Coat ($11), which is infused with biotin and protein-rich elements, helps reinforce weak and brittle nails, turning them into a beautiful manicure that’s peel-, chip- and breakage-resistant.
Dip Your Nails In Olive Oil
This is one of the most cost-effective methods for repairing damaged nails. The olive oil soothes your nail bed and keeps your fingers moisturized like crazy.
To get optimal results: Simply soak them in olive oil for about 10 to 15 minutes daily. If you struggle with dry, parched skin, soaking your feet or hands (during the cold yet dry fall months) can be a luxurious treatment for your nails and skin.
Prolonged use of gel and acrylics dehydrates nails, making them dry, brittle, and fragile. So, you need to reach out for the universal nail BFF, cuticle oil, to impart some deep and much-needed hydration.
One best-seller to try is the Mischo Beauty Nail Elixir Cuticle Oil ($23). The oil contains a lux infusion of coconut, grapeseed, and jojoba oils that help strengthen the nail beds and boosts healthy nail growth.
To use it: Slather the cuticle oil not only on the nail itself but also onto your cuticles. This helps nourish, smooth, and hydrate, allowing for smooth gel polish application. Be sure to do so three times a day for at least five days for the best results.
Increase Your Biotin Intake
One of the most dermatologist-approved ways of repairing damaged nails is consuming biotin supplements. Just incorporating 30 micrograms into your daily wellness regimen can help turn brittle, gel-wrecked nails into stronger, Pinterest-worthy ones. (Please consult with your doctor first before adding any supplement to your diet)
Top Tip: Healthy nails take three months to grow out from root to tip, so you need to be persistent, and you’ll see fundamentally sexier nails in three months.