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The Best Products For Natural Nails (To Rescue Your Post-Acrylic & Gel Hands)

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Transitioning from acrylics or gels back to your natural nails is time consuming even on a good day. It's why nail techs deserve their title — things get technical. Though once you're home with your freshly bare nails, you'll probably realize you have a whole new puzzle on your hands: How do you go about reviving "naked" nails once you remove any artificial layers? And what are the best products for natural nails, anyway?

Enter Deborah Lippmann, celebrity manicurist and nail brand founder. "When your nails are back to their natural state after removal of an enhancement, we need to try to remember why we put enhancements on in the first place," Lippmann tells TZR over email. "When we have the nail enhancement removed our nails are often a bit thinner than when we first put them on."

Los Angeles-based spa and nail salon Bellacures recommends four products for nail strengthening: OPI Natural Nail Strengthener, OPI Nail Envy, Nailtiques Nail Protein Formula 2, and Nail Tek Intensive Therapy 2. "All of these products can be used under nail polish as a base coat or on their own, but if you're staying at home, we recommend leaving your nails naked and applying the strengthening product every one to two days for maximum results," Bri Sherman, Bellacures nail technician, explains via email. "And don't forget to keep your cuticles super hydrated as well!"

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And what about any new nail length? "We think that because our own nails grow out beneath the enhancement that, when we remove them, our own nails will continue to be long. It is the enhancement that allows our natural nails to grow," says Lippmann. That doesn't mean you can't safeguard the new growth, though. "I recommend always putting several layers of polish on to protect our nails," she adds — even if it's "layers of base coat and top coat if you don’t want color."

Luckily, there is an end in sight to this process. "The good news is once we have a full regrowth of our nail — no matter how thin and damaged they may be from the removal — our nails come back to what they were before we applied the enhancement," Lippmann notes. Until then, keep scrolling to shop eight products that strengthen, hydrate, and protect post-enhancement nails.

We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.