The Best Products For Natural Nails (To Rescue Your Post-Acrylic & Gel Hands)
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!"
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.
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You can use this clear nail strengthener as a base coat for color polish or totally by itself.
"Hydrating the cuticle post-enhancements is key," says Lippmann. "Healthy cuticles are key to healthy nail growth."
Hydrolyzed wheat protein and calcium give OPI's Nail Envy Original formula an extra kick — making it a smart choice for protecting damaged nails.
Dealing with discoloration? Dior's clever Nail Glow lacquer enhances the pink and white hues of natural nails.
"We should wear gloves when putting our hands in water, using cleaning supplies, and if your nails are thinner," Lippmann explains. "If you are a bath girl like me, don’t let them soak in the tub for too long."
This routine formula whips fragile, peeling, and thin nails into shape. Though you start by applying it once per day, you can slow that down once you begin noticing results.
The Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm checks all the boxes: It smells great, works wonders on dry skin (cuticles included), and the 2.5-ounce tube is travel friendly.