If your nails are brittle or weak, you may think polishing them is the only way to make them look presentable or keep them from breaking. Unfortunately, constantly changing polish and subjecting your nails to acetone polish remover could just worsen things. Instead of covering up the issues at hand, take the time to care for your nails with one of the following treatments.
$15 at Sephora
We use masks to treat our face, so why not use them on our nails, too? You can use this between manicures to help your nails recover from the abuse they take on a daily basis. There's a ton of goodness packed in this little bottle, including hydrating sweet almond oil, panthenol (also known as citamin B5), antioxidant green tea and acai berry extracts and spirulina. Just massage it into your nails and let the mask work its magic while you sleep, then rinse it off when you wake up.
$18 at Ulta
Think of this wildly popular nail treatment that Julep refers to as "nail makeup" as a low-key alternative to the traditional manicure. This product contains some interesting ingredients such as hexanal, which strengthens nails, along with alpine rose stem cell extract, which helps to protect nails from environmental damage. You can also choose from the prettiest sheer pink or ivory tints. Like all of Julep's nail polishes, it's 5-free, meaning it doesn't contain the three big bad chemicals that were once common in many nail polishes — DBP, Formaldehyde and Toluene — while also omitting Formaldehyde Resin and Camphor.
$8.49 at CVS Pharmacy
This multitasking treatment contains green tea for antioxidant protection along with bamboo extract, which bonds nail layers together, and hydrolyzed wheat, corn and soy proteins, all of which work together to strengthen nails. Your nails will automatically feel harder and stronger when you apply it, and it imparts beautiful shine, so your nails will look healthier right away, too. It can be used on its own, or use it during your next manicure as a base coat and a top coat. This formula is 3-free, so no DBP, Toluene or Formaldehyde here!
$7.39 at Target
This is another great choice for when you absolutely must get a manicure but want to make sure your nails continue to stay strong and healthy. It contains hydrating argan oil, fortifying calcium, antioxidant ginkgo biloba and other botanical extracts. Use it to ensure a long-lasting manicure, or use it on its own. Essie polishes are 3-free.
$15 at Sephora
Nails, Inc.'s unique base coat helps your nails get healthy using with some classic nail-strengthening ingredients along with some assistance from Mother Nature. For starters, this base coat contains keratin to help fortify your nail's natural supply and hexanal, an effective nail hardener. Not to be outdone by its own nail mask, Nails, Inc. puts tons of good-for-you ingredients in here, including biotin, kale extract, moisturizing sunflower seed oil, aloe, vitamin E and antioxidant grape and ginseng extracts.