Too much polish, the wrong kind of polish, genetics, bored at the bus stop, no basecoat, stressful week…there are so many conditions that seem out to make yours nails look and feel less than ideal. This does not have to be a deterrent in your quest for beautiful, healthy nails, however – knowing what causes the most common nail maladies is a powerful tool in diagnosing them.
Unfortunately, there are lots of reasons that your nails could be peeling, so it’s hard to offer up an easy cure-all.
- • Been a fan of acrylics for a while? When you finally take them off, odds are your nails are weak, peeling and paper-thin – at least this was my experience after having them only a month! If non-chipping nail polish is what you crave, try Julep’s Fab for 14 (similar to Shellac manicures), which is a gel that paints just like a polish but cures under UV light. It lasts for about two weeks without a single chip, and is a lot less damaging.
- • Frequent exposure to water can swell and separate the layers of the nail plate, so be sure to wear rubber gloves when washing dishes or using household cleaners. This is also why we are such big proponents on sealing the free edge when painting your nails – it provides a barrier that keeps water out, and helps prevent your nail polish from chipping at the same time.
- • Not all nail treatments are created equal – check the ingredients lists and throw out anything that has formaldehyde, toluene or dibutyl phthalate. These morbid sounding chemicals are very drying to the nail bed and the cuticle. Like all of our polishes, Julep’s Nail Therapy and Serum is 4-Free, meaning it doesn’t include any of these chemicals.
- • You could have simply drawn the short straw in the nail health contest. Some people naturally have strong, beautiful nails, and some do not. There is no miracle food or mega-strengthening basecoat which will miraculously transform your nails into unbreakable sheaths – but practicing good nail habits should help your nails be the absolute best they can be!
Unseemly white spots seem to appear out of nowhere to destroy the chances of a beautiful French manicure. No, they aren’t the signs of a calcium deficiency or an impending disease, no matter what Web MD may tell you. These spots are caused by mild to medium trauma to your nail. You might not be able to pinpoint exactly what caused it, because fingernails grow so slowly that the bump may have happened weeks before. The spots should simply grow out as your nails do.
- • Discoloration often plagues the nail polish lovers out there, the ones who spend very little time without any polish on because there is always something new and colorful to try. Working at Julep, I can’t go without polish for more than a day or two – my nails look too naked! But prolonged use of nail polish, especially with dark colors, is the leading causes of nail discoloration.
- • Don’t belittle basecoat because it’s always hidden under layers of the pretty stuff. A quality basecoat acts like a barrier, protecting your nail from the pigments in the color. It also helps to prolong the life of your manicure; just think of how important eyeshadow primer is!
- • Soaking your fingers in fresh lemon juice or a lemon essential oil will also help lighten stained nails. This remedy uses the same logic as using lemon juice to lighten hair in the summertime.
It’s a habit that is so hard to break – picking at your nails and cuticles may seem like a harmless way to pass a few idle minutes, but doing so can easily lead to painful hangnails and possibly infection.
- • Hangnails are small pieces of skin that stay attached to the base or side of your nails, and the main cause is dried-out cuticles. So load up on Julep’s Essential Cuticle Oil and keep a bottle in your purse, at your desk and by your bed! Applying petroleum jelly at night is also a great way to prevent air from drying out your skin as you sleep.
- • Check the ingredients in your lotion – a lot of fragrance additives are actually drying, making you feel the need to apply the lotion more often. For a daily hand lotion, make sure it is all-natural, even though it may not smell quite as fruity and delicious.
- • Keeping your nails and cuticles groomed and beautiful is a great way to deter picking at them. No one wants to spend money on a manicure just to pick it off the next day!