I noticed lately that shortly after I get my gel manicure removed, my nails crack a little. That’s funny, because if you have gel polish on, the nails feel strong and don’t crack easily.
But because of chemicals in the polish, your nails weaken, which results in breakage. You become prone to hang nails. Ouch!
I’ve made it a mission to make my nails healthy, with or without polish, since I don’t quite see myself giving up gel manicures completely. I love getting one before a trip because that means I don’t have to worry about my nails for at least two weeks.
The easiest way to help nails is by using a good hand and nail cream. Cracked nails occur for the same reason you have flaky skin: dryness. Because of the many things we do with our hands, we subject them to oil-stripping elements. So bring a hand cream everywhere you go, and apply it as often you can.
A good, reliable one is the L’Occitane Roses Et Reines Hand & Nail Cream. It’s made with shea butter and vitamin E. They make hands soft and nails strong. Plus, it has a pleasant rose scent from roses sourced from Grasse, Bulgaria, Morocco and Turkey, and rose extract from Haute-Provence.
You should also be mindful of your hand wash. Too many formulations can have a lot of chemicals that, though they leave your hands clean, can make your nails weak.
At home, I recommend The Body Shop’s Almond Hand and Nail Conditioning Wash. It is soap-free and has almond oil, which is manicure-friendly.
Nail care also starts with your diet. If your nails are brittle even if you don’t often get manicures, it could be a sign that you need to boost your diet.
Don’t forget a good vitamin and mineral supplement. Keep in mind the need for protein and calcium. Or try biotin, which also helps make your hair healthier.
Nail strength relies on your pre-and post-manicure care. In between manicures, apply a growth or strengthening serum on your nails.
There is ArtDeco Hyaluronic Bi-Phase Nail Serum. With or without polish, you can apply this to nourish nails. It has hyaluronic acid and avocado oil. Just shake well and apply a drop or two per nail.
When removing nail polish, avoid acetone. It weakens nails and dries out their natural oils. Instead, get nail-friendly polish removers.
Get the Butter London Scrubbers 2-in-1 Prep and Remover Wipes. This is great in between manicures. Instead of acetone, it uses acetate, which is much friendlier to nails. It also has aloe.
If you want to take your nail care the extra mile, go for a nail mask. Yes, there’s such a thing. This is best when you really want some extra moisture, or when you have extra time during your home pampering session.