Manicure with gel polish is at the peak of popularity today. The fair sex loves it for its deep rich tones and bright colors, durability and strength.
But prolonged wear of such a coating can cause damage to the nails. What to do if this happened? Tells MedAboutMe.
The reverse side of the gel polish
«In general, any coating left on the nails for a long period of time is not a good idea because you can’t see what’s going on underneath,» says chris adigun, MD, dermatologist. “When it comes to gel polish, moderation is the key to wearing it safely. If you do a manicure with it regularly, you should be aware of the possible consequences and immediately contact a specialist if you have problems with your nails.
The reverse side of gel polish socks is brittleness, fragility and thinning of nails, their delamination and cracking, the appearance of grooves on the plates, inflammation of the skin around the nail, peeling. In addition, an infection can develop under the coating.
Ekaterina Filatova, manicure master, teacher, technologist
What is gel polish? In fact, any coating for nails, whether it is ordinary varnish, gel or acrylic, is a polymer. That is, a chemical substance having a polymer lattice structure. The main component of all gel polishes is methacrylic acid or its derivatives. The quality of the gel polish depends on the quality and quantity of it in the composition. How, without being a master, to determine the quality of varnish?
Everything is very simple: methacrylic acid has a characteristic pungent odor and it is simply impossible not to feel it during the creation of the coating. The greater the content of acid and harmful impurities, the more pungent the smell. The more acid in the composition, the more aggressive the effect on the nails. Therefore, it is better to choose proven manicure masters who work with good materials.
If the master observes the correct technology for working with gel polishes and the client wears the coating for no more than 3 weeks, damage to the nails is unlikely. But if the condition of the nails still worsened, something clearly went wrong. Consider possible reasons.
1. Poor quality gel polish. Too much methacrylate in the composition dries the nail plate, making it very brittle and brittle. At the same time, the coating usually keeps well, but over time, the nails begin to simply crumble.
2. Failure to comply with the application technology by the master. For example, an inexperienced master can «saw through» the nails, and they will become thin and brittle.
3. Mistakes when performing a manicure. When processing the cuticle, damage and thinning of the nails are also possible, especially for hardware manicure. Damage to the matrix is very dangerous, because it can lead to irreversible damage to the nail.
4. Removing the gel polish with a liquid. All gel polish removers contain acetone. And even if it is written on the bottle that the product does not contain it, this means that it is not acetone, but some of its derivatives. After all, it is obvious to everyone that micellar or violet water will not dissolve the polymer. And acetone dries both nails and skin, so it is better to remove the coating with a manicure machine. But it is important that a competent master does it.
5. «Overwearing» of the coating. Clients often brag about the professionalism of their manicure masters, demonstrating to each other the overgrown coating: “Look how long it lasts, look how it has already grown.” The recommended period for wearing gel polish is 2-3 weeks. Manufacturers usually recommend 2 weeks, because. after the aging of the material occurs, and the coating begins to peel off. The so-called detachments are dangerous because they are a favorable environment for the reproduction of fungus and bacteria, which can lead to serious nail diseases. Frequent prolonged contact with water also contributes to the appearance of detachments, so it is recommended to do homework with gloves. Regular visits to the sauna, swimming pool, trip to the sea, etc. — all these are reasons to change the coating more often than once a week in order to avoid peeling.
How to save damaged nails?
1.Cut to length
If a nails damaged, it is best to cut the length, leaving the free edge of the nail no more than 1 millimeter. This will avoid the occurrence of cracks and chips, as well as speed up the process of restoring the nail plates.
Trim your nails in a straight line. The corners of the nails should form a right angle, which can be slightly rounded with a glass nail file. This will avoid ingrown nails.
2. Do oil baths
For healthy growth and beautiful appearance, nails and hand skin need to be moisturized and nourished. Castor oil is perfect for this. Although sweet almond, olive or argan oil can also be used as an alternative. The more attention to the nail plates, the stronger and more resistant they are to external damage.
“If the nails need to be quickly reanimated, I advise applying castor oil to them 1-3 times a day. After application, you need to gently massage the skin around the nail, then give your hands a rest, ”says Ophelia, beauty blogger, nail art specialist.
3. Try Recovery Tools
On sale they are presented in different formats (cream, strengthening base for nails, lacquer) and with different frequency of application. Some of them are applied daily, others — every three days. You should choose the form that will be used «without absenteeism.»
For nails with grooves and a ribbed structure, strengthening bases are suitable for smoothing the relief, which have changed their color (without signs of infection) — whitening compounds, dry and thin — saturated nutritional compounds.
4. Use nail hardeners
If the nails are very thin and brittle, exfoliate, they require more intensive care. Namely, the use of hardeners. They can be found in professional stores or purchased at a nail salon.
Such products feed the nails well and restore them, even if they are badly damaged. The best options can replace several products at once: a base, a clear varnish and a restorative agent. Using them is simple: apply on nails, wait for drying, after which you can use regular nail polish in 1-2 layers.
5. Take care of your cuticles
Nail health largely depends on hand care. At the same time, an important point is caring for the cuticle. Today, experts do not recommend resorting to trimmed manicure, as it increases the likelihood of infection.
The skin at the base of the nail is best pushed back with an orange stick after relaxing hand baths or taking a bath or shower. After that, you need to pamper your skin with a cream.
6. Protect your nails from water
“You should never leave your nails without a base – that is, a base protective coating,” says Ophelia, beauty blogger — And remember that water is the enemy for nails, especially if they are long. All «wet» work around the house with the use of detergents and chemicals should be done only in seals.
7. Do a paraffin treatment
Warm, relaxing paraffin-based hand masks are especially useful in the cold season, when the skin of the hands is dehydrated and flaky. They slow down the aging process, have a positive effect on the condition of the skin of the hands, and help strengthen the nail plates.
Cosmetic paraffin can be purchased at a pharmacy. It is heated in a water bath to a comfortable temperature, after which it is applied to the skin of the hands in several layers, gloves are put on top to prolong the thermal effect. One procedure lasts an average of 15-30 minutes. The optimal course is 10 procedures with a frequency of 2-3 times a week.
8. Use the right tools
Tools for polishing nails — a soft file or a block (buff) act carefully in relation to the plates. They can be used even when the nails are very thin and exfoliate. With proper use, they can smooth out this process.
If during the restoration of nails you need to make a colored coating, you can proceed as follows: apply 1-3 layers of base on the nails, then 1-2 layers of regular nail polish and 1 more layer of top coat. Nails will be reliably protected, and their appearance will not fail.
9. Review your diet
The beauty and health of nails are directly dependent on the quality of nutrition. Healthy, wholesome food should prevail in the human diet. Choose foods high in protein (lean meats, fatty fish, legumes), calcium (dairy, nuts), zinc (liver, seafood), and B vitamins (almonds, green leafy vegetables).
Do not forget also about the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables, which can replenish all the vitamins and minerals that the body needs.
Ekaterina Filatova, manicure master, teacher, technologist
On the market of the nail industry, there are nail restoration products that can be used with gel polish. For example, the IBX system is a liquid polymer that is absorbed and polymerized inside the nail structure, forming a polymer lattice there, thereby strengthening the nails from the inside. It is also useful to use such funds for prevention every 4-6 corrections.
If you want to remove gel polish, then the easiest and absolutely cost-free way to restore your nails is to wait until they are fully grown, i.e. 3-4 months.
You can speed up the process of nail growth with cuticle oil with vitamins. But it is important to know that the percentage of penetration of vitamins into the matrix through the cuticle is quite small, and to a greater extent the effect will be from massaging movements that increase microcirculation in the area of the growth zone of the nail.
In addition, you can help nails from the inside and drink a course of vitamins for skin and nails. Or simply add more foods rich in B vitamins, vitamin E and other trace elements to your diet.
To avoid brittle nails after removing the gel polish, you can use a transparent nail polish. Almost any, but preferably not very liquid, because they usually have a high content of solvents, which can add brittleness to the nails.
Bio waxes for polishing are very effective for improving the condition of nails. It is good if the nail wax also contains essential oils and extracts. For example, sandalwood, argan oil, clove extract, etc. Wax for polishing natural nails can be used at home. To do this, in addition to the wax itself, you need to purchase a special polishing block with which the wax is rubbed. They are made from natural suede and are usually sold with wax.
A small amount of wax should be applied to each nail and polished with rubbing movements. It does not last long, so the procedure can be repeated at least every day.
Mineral pastes for polishing nails work on the same principle. But with them a slightly different application procedure. Here you will already need a special buff (2in1 grinder-polisher) and, again, a suede polishing block. Before applying the mineral paste, it is necessary to sand the nails, then polish with the paste, and then polish with the polishing side of the buff.
The main thing in the process of restoring nails is to regularly perform the procedures you like, and then very soon the nails will again delight you with their healthy shine.
Alla Gorban, paramedic, podiatrist
Those who build nails or use gel polish know that they need to be restored.
There are professional formulations on the market of care products that restore nails after prolonged wear of gel polish.
Pay attention to the possibilities and home care. Here oil baths are in the lead. They restore the nail bed after trauma, exfoliation, the occurrence of dystrophy — onycholysis.
The main component of the bath solution is base vegetable oil. We use any oil: almond, olive or coconut, which we heat in a water bath and dip our fingertips into it. For best results, add a few drops of oil solutions of vitamin A (if not allergic), E, or essential oils and extracts (monarda extract is best). To prepare an oil bath, you will need 1/2 cup of oil and about 5 drops of additional ingredients.
After the procedure, do not wash your hands, but blot them with a napkin. Rub the remaining oils into the fingertips with massage movements, this stimulates the growth of the nail and allows you to prolong the effect of nutrients. I recommend doing such baths once a week.