At some point, a lot of us beauty trend-obsessed individuals went crazy with the nail art. Crazy designs using layers of polish, decals, objet d’arts–if it was novel and tiny enough to fit on a nail, chances are some of us have glued it onto our fingers. Anyone who has marathoned gel manicure after gel manicure knows that once removed, your nails look like flimsy, withered versions of their former selves.
Don’t panic, your nails will be fine. You just have to lay off the polish and pretty much any digit-decoration for a while. In the meanwhile, here is how to pamper your nails to get them back to their talon-worthy state.
Keep them clipped: Nothing may be more satisfying than seeing your broken nails grow back from the dead. You know how tragic it is to see your perfectly grown and shaped nails break or split, making the rest of your nails look uneven. This is more likely to happen the longer you keep your weakened nails. Also nails–like hair–absorbs things, so the longer the nail, the more surface area around to absorb whatever potentially-damaging chemicals your hands come in contact with. Avoid contact with any alcohol-based hand sanitizers or soaking them too long in hot water–both of which dry out and weaken nails further. Wear gloves when using cleaning agents, for instance.
Give yourself a cuticle massage: Seeing as your skin and nails absorb things, you may as well let it absorb all sorts of good nutrient-filled substances like vitamin E, conditioning oils, and strengthening treatments. Vitamin E gel capsules, olive oil, cuticle oil–your cuticles and nail beds drink this stuff up, especially if they are dry and damaged. If you want to go above and beyond, you can try nail treatment that works to restructure nails via their unique Hexanal formulation and uses oxygen technology to form a water-resistant film on top of nails which allows oxygen to permeate (something your gel polishes do not do), so your nails can have their space to heal and get stronger.
Work from the inside out: If you take the right supplements to strengthen hair and nails, you will probably see results as soon as a week or two, considering nails are so small in general that any incremental growth is visible. Biotin is a big one for hair and nail growth. Vitamins B, C, D and zinc are other health boosters that contribute to healthy skin, hair, and nails.
Don’t use your nails as tools: Consider banning habits that may damage your nails while they are weak such as opening soda cans or scratching substances. Worst case scenario is that you use your nails to pry something open and it is your nail that comes off.
Lay off the polish: This should be a no brainer, but even clear polish that claims to be a strengthener plus polish can be damaging, depending on how far gone your nails are. If you need to add some semblance of shine and health to your nails, gently buff and file them to your desired smoothness and shape, and then again with the cuticle oil–coat and massage. Not only will your nails look shiny and moistened, but your fingers and hands will get a nice hydrating treatment too.