NAIL HEALTH – Surviving Acrylic and Gel Nails

Have you recently suffered a nail setback? Brittle Nails? Soft Nails? Damaged Nails? Recently my mom suffered a nail setback and was devastated. She had indents in her nails caused by her gel polish mani. Now, before I go any further, when I mention gel, I do not mean Shellac or gel like nail polish. I am referring to gel overlay which most likely requires the polish to be cured with UV light. (Now that this is out of the way, back to what I was saying.) So my mom was devastated and slightly annoyed. I informed her that acrylic and gel increases the chance of indents on the nail bed and having soft brittle nails.

How you may ask? I’ve got you covered:

  • When receiving acrylics, your top layers of nail are buffed away
  • With gel nail polish, as your nails grow out, they don’t chip as the polish is grasped to your top nail layers. As a result, the gel polish literally “grows” alongside your nail. The gel polish holds onto your nail for dear life. The indentation that is formed is where the bottom of your nail used to be. Everything under this line is new growth.

Both acrylics and Gel mani’s, when applied regularly, can cause nails to be come brittle. It also limits exposure to natural air. Regular nail polish does as well, to a certain extent, but the shorter wear longevity allows your nails to be introduced to natural air more often. 

What can be done:

  • Every 4 weeks, give your nails a break
  • If wearing gel or acrylic, do not, I repeat, DO NOT, pick off the polish. Doing so can actually cause you to pick of a layer of nail and can encourage your nails to peel.
  • Use alternative methods than the electronic nail buff when removing gel nail polish. Yes, this may require you to soak them in nail polish remover longer. (Which is a totally different story for another day).
  • Use a nail straightener and get into the habit of having a nail care routine. Read more about Retreat, a hydrating nail strengthener.
  • While wearing gel or acrylic nails, be sure to moisturize your cuticles daily. This helps to maintain the overall health of nails.