There’s a lot of good stuff to say about gel manicures (they don’t chip! And they last up to two weeks!), but if you get too many of them in a row, they can leave your nails dry, brittle, and generally a mess. If that’s where you’re finding yourself right now, these tips from Dr. Gary Goldenberg, an assistant professor of dermatology and pathology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, will help get your nails in better shape in a snap. And I mean snap like “in a jiffy,” not the sound of your tips all breaking off.
First, he warns you to remember that nurturing your nails will take some time—it’s not an overnight thing. Unfortunately.
Second, he says to get thee some Aquaphor. Hydrating your nails is key to making them less brittle. “I recommend patients to apply it to the cuticle and skin around the nail, as well as the nail itself,” he says.
Third, it’s time to talk strengthening tactics for your regrowth. Dr. Goldenberg says taking a biotin supplement might make things go a little smoother—biotin is a key element in building healthy nails, so it’ll help as they grow out. As as for topical treatments, if the situation is a code red (a.k.a., got to do something right now), your dermatologist can prescribe Gunadur Nail Lacquer, a brush-on treatment that showed a 90 percent improvement in nail fragility after 14 days in a study.
Oh, and painting your nails is OK—just stay away from the gels until they’re in a better place.
Good luck, manicure lovers!
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