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July 29, 2022
Here at Dr. Dana, we believe that taking care of your nail health is just as important as that of your skin, hair, and the rest of your body. Strong, healthy nails are an indicator of a strong, healthy body. Plus, they look great. There are so many contributing factors when you talk about how to keep nails healthy—from which nail polish remover you choose to how you protect your nails while doing simple household chores like washing dishes.
Dr. Dana Stern has devoted her dermatological career to focusing on nail health—and that includes ways to protect nails and keep them from weakening or becoming brittle.
Let’s break down some of the most common questions when it comes to nail health so that you have a better understanding of how to get strong, healthy nails.
Is it true that if you want healthy nails you need to leave them polish free for the same amount of time as you wore the polish?
This is a random and arbitrary rule of thumb because everyone reacts differently to nail polish. There are many different polish brands and even the way polish is applied and removed can influence how the nails recover.
If your nails are tolerating prolonged use of nail polish, then go ahead and enjoy. But do note that a basic polish should typically be worn for about one week on the fingernails and two to four weeks on the toenails.
Weekly manicures do not necessarily cause damage to everyone’s nails. However, certain nail enhancements such as gel polish and acrylic removal can significantly thin the nail plate. This can cause brittle nails that are damaged and weaker than usual. That may indicate it’s time for you to take a polish holiday and work on your nail health. Using products that contain formaldehyde can also weaken nails because they cause the nail to harden and stiffen, preventing flexibility and often leading to separation and breakage.
What are the specific signs to look for to know if I need a nail polish holiday?
How can I keep my nails healthy between polish applications?
In between polish applications, it is important to care, maintain and prevent nail damage just like we do with our skin. Essential exfoliation is an important part of this process because it removes superficial damage and dead nail cells at the surface. This means you can more effectively treat and moisturize the nail, bringing “the canvas” back to a healthier state. Think of it as a facial for the nail.
This is how the Dr. Dana Nail Renewal System works. Steps 1 and 2 are the exfoliation process, while Step 3 is the deep hydrating treatment.
What are the best ways to keep your nail beds healthy and prevent infections?
There are numerous polishes out there that are labeled 10-free, 5-free, etc. What are the top ingredients to avoid to protect nails when choosing a polish formula?
Here are Dr. Dana’s ingredients to avoid for healthy nails:
Does wearing a base coat help prevent nail damage?
Absolutely. Wearing a base coat is an important step for any manicure because it provides a base protective layer. It is also crucial for polish adhesion and therefore for the life of your manicure.
What other maintenance tips do you recommend to keep your nails healthy?