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Tough as Nails: How to Get Strong Fingernails

We’ve all suffered from weak, brittle nails. The problem is that we often try to “solve” the issue by simply hiding them with another coat of nail polish and pretending the problem doesn’t exist. Danielle Candido, Gelish’s Northeast Regional Manager of Education, gave us her tips and tricks for how to get stronger nails. For starters, stop ignoring them.

You may love your nails painted in Daiquiri red or Toes in the Sand orange, but make sure to keep your nails bare for a few days between polishes. “You’re going to get those brittle nails from overexposure to chemicals like acetone, formaldehyde, and others found in nail polish,” says Danielle. Other fungal infections and health conditions can also affect the strength of your nails.

“The number one way to get stronger nails is to use cuticle oil on your cuticles and nails every day.” Danielle suggests cuticle oils that contain essential oils, such as grape seed oil, sesame seed, or sunflower oil. “Sesame seed and sunflower seed oil penetrate the skin easily, while sunflower seed also conditions,” says Danielle. "With the addition of aloe vera to this combination, the nails will be hydrated and the surrounding cuticle and skin softened, nourished, and smoothed."  To apply the cuticle oil, rub in a small amount twice a day, getting all around the nail, along the tops of the nail, and right underneath the tips of nails. This hydration will keep nails healthy throughout the day-to-day stresses they endure.

Aside, from cuticle oil you can also make nails stronger by paying attention to the kinds, and amounts, of vitamins you're taking in. Vitamins B, E, and A all contribute to nail strength, as does iron. “A lot of people think you need calcium for stronger nails, but really a protein-rich diet is the most important, either simply through diet or through iron supplements.”

There are plenty of opposing arguments surrounding gel nails done with a UV or LED light, but when it comes to strengthening nails, Danielle says the gel manicure is actually a good solution. “With gel products the layer of gel is able to protect from environmental elements and other factors.”

Shop Danielle’s Strong Nail Picks:


Hayley Mason

Haley served as the associate beauty editor for DivineCaroline (now after graduating college with a degree in journalism. Sephora has nothing on the number of color tubes that are jammed into her bathroom cabinet! She's a product junkie who loves trying out new and outrageous trends. She's lived on three continents and dreams of reporting on global beauty news.

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