For the past six years I’ve made it an annual tradition to get my nails done for Christmas. I always go with a gel manicure because the polish is much more durable, and lasts longer than a regular polish would. Plus, the colors that my favorite nail salon has are just beautiful, and I usually find myself going back and forth between two or, sometimes, three different colors. I also love getting a little nail art done on my both of my ring fingers; nothing says adorable like an accent nail! But I know the gel polish won’t last forever. I remember taking if off the first time, and being extremely horrified with the state my nails were in. There were white spots all over each one, and they looked beyond parched. I had no idea that gel could do this because no one ever warned me about it. Naturally, after doing some research, and talking with my nail salon, my nails were back to being completely healthy after a month or so. If you find yourself with gel damaged nails, then these five fingernail tips can get your poor nails back on track to being healthy once more.
1. Gel Rehab
This was actually a more recent discovery that I made over this past summer as I had a bit of gel damage that I needed to nip in the bud stat. I was at my local grocery store, and was just browsing the small nail polish section when I spotted Gel Rehab by Sally Hansen, and being a Sally Hansen fan, I knew I could trust this polish for my dry nails. When I got home, I read the directions on how to use it, and that night I applied two coats to each of my fingernails, and went to bed. What I love about this Gel Rehab polish is that it dries fast, and works its magic as you sleep during the night. When you get up in the morning, all you have to do is wash it off with some soap and water; it’s really that easy! I used this polish every night for about two weeks or so, and I couldn’t have asked for better results. The spots on my nails had disappeared for the most part, and my nails felt so much more hydrated, not to mention, stronger. It’s such a simple polish to use, and will help in speeding up the healing process of your nails. I honestly wish I would have found Gel Rehab much earlier. It’s a true lifesaver! This is one fingernail tip that I highly recommend trying for your gel damaged nails!
2. Organic Skin & Nail Balm
One fingernail tip that I recommend to use for gel damaged nails is Lemongrass Spa’s Organic Skin & Nail Balm. This is the same nail balm that my go-to salon uses after they’re done with my gel manicure, and my nails and cuticles just drink it up like water. I finally bought some a couple of years ago from the salon because anything else I tried just didn’t work nearly as well. Plus, this balm works great on dry cracked skin, and can tame those pesky fly away hairs that seem to pop up everywhere during the winter months. I love nothing more than a multi-use organic balm! I honestly use this balm whenever my cuticles are looking a little rough, and, of course, use it religiously after I remove gel polish. It does exactly as it says on the label, and gets down deep into the nail bed to moisturize and soothe your dry brittle nails with good nutrients like olive oil and Vitamin E. I can honestly say that this Organic Skin & Nail Balm is basically my holy grail of nail products, and my fingernails have never looked better! Trust me, your gel damaged nails will be thanking you in no time.
3. Biotin Vitamin
I literally cannot stress enough just how important Biotin is for women! This essential vitamin is what helps your skin, hair and nails to stay strong and healthy. Whenever I was in the midst of dealing with nail damage, I would also take Biotin vitamins as a dietary supplement to help strengthen my brittle nails. Just make sure that you check with your doctor before adding any dietary supplements to your daily regimen, especially if you’re taking a vitamin that already has Biotin in it. After taking Biotin for about three to four months, I noticed that my nails did not bend at the tips as easily as they did before, and that they looked much smoother. Exercising patience is the most important part with taking a dietary supplement, as they can take a good couple of months to fully kick in. I love Biotin so much because, not only did it help with strengthening my nails, it also helped with improving the look of my skin and hair as well! This is one fingernail tip that you certainly do not want to pass up on when it comes to dealing with gel damage.
4. Let Them Be
This is probably the most essential fingernail tip for gel damaged nails. Once you remove the polish, just leave them alone. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t use any of the above tips! What I mean by this is, don’t use any other nail polishes on them to cover them up, and that includes clear polishes as well. Yes, having gel damage on your nails can be super embarrassing, and you’ll have the urge to hide your nails. Don’t! This will only make them worse, and prolong the healing process. Think of it like a scab, you don’t pick at scabs because you know that you’ll only make matters worse, and it’ll take much longer to heal. Trust me, you’ll be much better off with leaving polish off of them for at least a month or more. It’s good to give your fingernails some much-needed breaks every now and then. I’ve actually given my own nails a year-long break from gel manicures, and they’ve never been happier. They actually grow a lot faster now since I’ve given them time to heal from all the multiple gel manicures that I had done all throughout 2019; it was a busy year full of weddings and other special events. So, when that gel comes off, do not reach for a bottle of normal polish, and just give them ample time to recuperate.
5. To Help Prevent Damage In the Future
These are some great fingernail tips that will help in preventing damage from future gel manicures! If there’s anything that I’ve learned over the years of getting gel manicures, it’s to never, and I mean never, pick the gel polish off of your nails. I know it may seem like the easier way to get the polish off, but doing so causes even more damage to the nail since you are removing the top layers of your nail bed. By removing these layers, your nails will become broken and brittle. No one wants to deal with that! I recommend using a non-acetone polish remover, since acetone can further dry out your nails, and soak some cotton balls to place on top of each of your fingers to remove the gel. I also took a page from my salon’s book by using strips of foil wrapped around each finger to keep the cotton ball in place. That way the gel can soak, I recommend about ten minutes, and be much easier to remove. But always remember to gently file the tops of your nails before you soak them! Filing will help in removing some of the polish by sanding it down. Don’t sand too far down though, you just want to remove the shiny top coat. Also, you never want to leave the gel on for more than two to three weeks at a time. Doing so will only guarantee in causing nail damage. But if you’re not comfortable in removing the gel polish yourself, you can always return to your salon to have a manicurist remove it for you.