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5 Ways You Re Ruining Your Nails Says Esthetician

There is one step you should never skip in your at-home manicure routine.

To take proper care of your nails

Some days they require much more than just clipping and filing. Conversely, the health of nails depends on many factors, from your nutrition to your manicure choices, to the way you go about your daily chores. Because of this, there are many ways you can damage your nails without even realizing it. Here, estheticians tell us the most common ways that people accidentally ruin their nails. Avoid these behaviors and your nails will be strong, healthy and beautiful in no time.

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It doesn’t take time for salons or employees to disinfect pedicure chairs between customers.

You will also want to make sure that the file you are using to shape your nails does not have any marks on it. “If there are marks, the file has been used and may contain bacteria,” Bramlett says. Finally, metal tools sitting in the disinfectant at the service station are a red flag. “Tools should be scrubbed with soap and water to remove debris, or the tools may contaminate the disinfectant,” Bramlett says. Ask your manicurist to clarify if you are unsure of the salon’s hygiene procedures.

Founder of nail polish and nail care brand Sunday

When doing an at-home manicure, you may be tempted to skip your base coat to save time. Unfortunately, it can damage your nails. “Think of a base coat like a moisturizer before your foundation,” says Amy Ling Lin, founder and CEO of nail polish and nail care brand Sunday. “If you forget to remove your polish after two to three weeks it can hydrate your nails and also prevent nail polish from staining your nails.” The only way to fix stained nails is to file the nail plate, which can cause additional damage.

Peeling off manicure will weaken your natural nails

Just because your gel or dip nail job is peeling doesn’t mean you should brush it off with the rest. “When you peel off a manicure, it’s not just the color you’re removing, you’re also removing a layer of the natural nail,” says Julie Russell, DIY nail specialist for Sally Beauty. “Your nails are made up of lots of layers of keratin, and over time, peeling off manicures will weaken your natural nails and make them brittle.

Leave your gel or dip powder manicure on for 10 to 15 minutes

Instead, remove your manicure properly. “Soak your gel or dip powder manicure with acetone for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the product to soften completely,” she says. “Then it can be easily pushed with a nail.

Everyday household chores are your nails’ worst enemy

If Russell has one tip she wants to give, it’s to stop using your nails as tools. “I know, it’s so tempting, especially when your stiletto manicure is basically a travel screwdriver,” she says. Unfortunately, “everyday household chores are your nails’ worst enemy.” When doing tasks that expose your nails to harsh environments or water for long periods of time – such as cleaning tubs or utensils – use gloves. “Having an even layer of polish (even a strengthener) on your nails gives your natural nails strength and flexibility,” says Russell.

nail health

Nail health starts from the inside out. “Something as simple as not drinking enough water will lead to more brittle, weak nails,” Bramlett says. “Staying hydrated will keep your nails moisturized for longer which will also help your manicure last longer.” Other easy ways to add moisture are to massage your nails while you use hand lotion and eat a healthy and varied diet.

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