Perhaps you’re determined to stop biting your nails or peeling off your gel polish. Or maybe just want to maintain your nail health or learn how to fake a just-from-the-salon type of mani. Here are 5 things you need to stop doing to your nails now to keep them in tip-top shape.
* Stop… biting your nails
Biting your nails can be compared to filing them improperly. Not only does gnawing on them make their edges frayed, soaking them in a liquid aka your saliva makes them super-weak. Plus, the whole experience isn’t sanitary, especially because debris, dirt, and bacteria is lodged up under your nail and is possibly going into your mouth. Have a habit you can’t quit? Get one coat of clear gel on your nails because it’s too thick to bite through. Or, you can paint on a gross-tasting formula to deter you from putting your fingers in your mouth.
* Stop… cutting your cuticles
If you have a hangnail on the side of your nail bed it can sometimes be painful if you don’t get rid of it. However, if hangnails aren’t trimmed away properly, you can actually cause more to crop up. Our advice: It’s better to never cut your cuticles and instead, apply a cuticle-removing formula over the perimeter of your nail bed, and then push your cuticle back using the flat tip of an orange stick or cuticle pusher. Then, gently remove the free-up dead skin with a tissue or the softest side of a buffing block to reveal a hangnail-free, clean-looking nail bed.
* Stop… using your other nails as chisels to chip off your nail polish
Anytime you purposely chip the paint off of your nails, you chip away microscopic layers from your nail bed. This is bad for two reasons: 1) it gives your nail a rough texture even if you can’t see it with your naked eye, and 2) you can cause trauma to, and even chip or break the tip, of the nail that you’re using as the ‘chisel’. So, to keep from hacking away at your nail polish, keep individually wrapped nail polish remover pads in your purse or pick up a nail polish removing formula that takes lacquer off in seconds.
* Stop… getting water-based manicures
Think of your nail bed as a sponge: dip it in water and it’ll absorb the liquid and expand. Then, as it dries, it shrinks back down to its original size. Now apply that same thinking to getting a water-based manicure. When you soak your fingertips in water to soften your cuticles, your nail expands. This normally wouldn’t be a problem, however, if you’re applying polish before it shrinks back down, your lacquer will likely chip faster. Rather than soaking your tips in water, apply oil or a cuticle removing formula on the skin around your nail bed, pushing back your cuticles with an orange stick, and then sweeping them away with a tissue.
* Stop… putting nail polish remover in your lacquer to thin it out
Adding remover to any polish actually makes the paint chip faster and the pigment become foggy because nail polish remover isn’t one of the ingredients in nail polish. So it just ends up making the paint look less vibrant versus turning your gummy polish smooth. If extending the life of your polish is your ultimate goal, get nail polish thinner and add a few drops to your favourite shade to make a thick polish swipe on evenly again.