June 11, 2008

Confessions of a Nail Polish Addict: I Don’t Wear Strengthener

Posted in Nail Treatments tagged at 7:53 pm by pretear

I’ve gotten a few emails asking about what products I use on my nails. While I’ll be the first to admit that I own way too many lotions, creams, ointments, balms, etc., I own almost no strengtheners. When I first started doing my nails, I wore a coat of strengthener with every mani. Eventually, I started to notice that my nails broke more easily than before I started to wear a lot of nail polish. Also, the surface of my nails began to change. My nail beds looked damage all the time. I just assumed that such was the nature of wearing nail polish. Then one day I read this article on the Beauty Brains.

I decided to take them up on their 4 easy tips. I already used a crap ton of hand creams and the like, so no change needed there. After years of being duped by Knox’s Gelatin Nail Strengthener, I already knew that gelatin was ineffective on nails. I wanted to try using less remover but that was, and still is, an impossibility. So the only tip left was to get rid of my strengthener. I started to use a sticky base coat instead.

The results were not immediate. In fact, I’d say it took about a year for my nails to be noticeably stronger. Whereas last year I had to have short nails because my nails were constantly breaking and *horribly* peeling, I now have really long healthy nails – so strong, that I haven’t had a serious break in months (now that I’ve said that, watch one break tomorrow.) I do get occasional peels, but nothing that can’t be easily taken care of with a buffer.

Of course, I’m not saying that my progress was due solely to my abandonment of strengthener. Especially because some people swear by their strengtheners, I’m not discrediting them completely. I suppose what I’m suggesting is… if you haven’t had luck with strengtheners, try giving them up indefinitely and see what kind of results you get. I’m a firm believer that when it comes to nails, different things work for different people – so skipping the strengtheners, which can be hella-expensive anyway, might be worth a shot.