Love a fresh manicure but hate how quickly it grows out or the polish chips? Same here. And that’s not even considering the challenge of keeping your nails healthy to begin with—especially as the colder weather sets in. To help, we turned to Suzanne Shade, the founder of Bare Hands and the inventor of the Dry Gloss Manicure, who shares her advice on how to help manicures last longer between appointments and keep nails strong and healthy.
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.
“Our top recommendation would be to keep the nail and cuticle moisturized directly after your product has cured and for the duration of your manicure,” advises Shade. “A good cuticle oil adds a boost to the lipid layer in the nail keratin and makes the nail more flexible and less rigid. Rigid, brittle nails are one of the reasons nail polish can chip.”
Try an olive oil soak.
Also smart for winter? Since nails need even more moisture in the colder months, Shade recommends soaking nails in olive oil once a week and then applying cuticle oil multiple times daily to up nail resiliency.
Cuticle prep is key.
Along with moisturizing, be sure that cuticles are prepped properly—meaning that they’re completely and neatly pushed back, says Shade. “This will allow your polish to get maximum space on the nail plate and will give you a few more days before that gap shows between the cuticle and the nail polish,” she explains.
Also good to know: “Most of the protocols nail techs learn in school are techniques used to give the manicure the most aesthetic result. Unfortunately, some of those methods like cutting cuticles produce a beautiful mani, but ignore the overall health of skin and nails,” explains Shade. “Aggressive cuticle pushing with metal instruments can cause repetitive trauma that can cause white spots or horizontal pitting.” Wooden pushers, like the ones in Bare Hands’ Dry Gloss Manicure kit, can be helpful.
Wipe nails pre-polish.
“One place that cuticle oil does not belong is as a prep to nail polish or gels. The oils will keep the paint from adhering properly,” offers Shade. “Always swab nails with a solvent to remove any oily residue from the nails before applying your products.”
Buff for healthy nails.
One to do before your next appointment: Buff your nails. “Buffing nails in between manicures is a great way to give your body a chance to lower your toxin load from both at-home and salon manicures. The less you expose your body to potentially harmful compounds, the less detoxing you need to do!,” says Shade.
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