Bare

This week there will be no awkward pic of my nails. Not because I have mastered the self hand portrait but because there is no need for one. This is a break week for my nails and these are very important.

Every few weeks I give my nails a break from lacquers to allow them to breath and strengthen. All polishes no matter how good will damage your nails. They yellow, can become brittle, or split. All the chemicals applied not just from the polish but from removers, glues, cuticle creams, soaps, and all the tools used to keep them looking good files, buffers, brushes and so on attribute to this as well. Because of this I stop torturing them and let them recuperate.

A good way to reduce the frequency of these breaks is to follow a few simple steps. It will help to keep your nails strong and from becoming tarnished.

1. Wash your hands before you apply polish. Make sure to apply lacquers on a clean surface to avoid trapping dirt and other chemicals close to your nail.

2. Use quality polishes. The quality of the polish does make a big difference in how they affect your nails. Chemicals and pigments used can be harsh, seep into the nails, and cause tinting. Also they may be difficult to remove and cause the use of more remover. Remover will dry out the nail and the skin around it.

3. This may be controversial but use a remover with acetone. There has been a great shift in using non-acetone removers for a little while now because they are less harsh on the nails. The problem with them is that you tend to use a lot more to remove the polish that causes a lot of dry nail and skin. With acetone removers they may be harsher but they remove the polish more efficiently and that helps to reduce drying out of the nail and skin around it.

4. Use a base coat. This is important especially when using lower quality polishes. It keeps the polish off the nail and reduces the tinting.

5. Nail Strengthener not nail Hardener. When using a treated clear polish/base coat look for a nail strengthener not a nail hardener. In my experience that makes a big difference. The nail hardeners tend to make to the nail less flexible causing frequent breakage and splitting of nails. Whereas the nail strengthener keeps the nail flexible with  fewer breaks and no splitting.

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