Before you schedule your next manicure, read these expert tips from nail specialist, Dr. Dana Stern. 

There’s nothing we love more than escaping to the nail salon for a fresh manicure and pedicure. But did you know always having nail polish on your fingers and toes, can lead to weak nail, discoloration and dryness? We spoke to renowned nail specialist, Dr. Dana Stern to learn more about the consequences of our standing nail appointments and how to avoid future damage.


How much damage is caused by weekly manicures?

Weekly manicures do not necessarily cause damage to everyone, however, when it does the most visible changes and damages to the nails, are:

Brittle Nails: Polish removers are solvents and tend to be very drying and dehydrating to the nail.  Constant use of remover can lead to dry, brittle nails (weak, peeling, easily breaking).   Note, if you are tolerating polish and your nails are looking healthy then it is fine to keep applying.

Keratin Granulations: occur often after wearing polish for a prolonged period (think that Cranberry red from Christmas when you finally get around to removing it before your March holiday).  This occurs because when the polish is removed, along with the polish, the superficial layers of nail cells are also removed, leaving uneven, white, rough patches.  These white patches and surface changes will grow out and fade with time (can take weeks to months) or you can expedite the treatment process with my 3-Step Nail Renewal System.

Nail Yellowing: The most common cause of nail yellowing are from dark nail polish, polish remover, and skipping the base coat.

How weak do the nails become?

Post gel or acrylic removal can significantly thin the nail plate causing nails to become extremely damaged, weak and brittle. Using products that contain formaldehyde can also lead to paradoxical nail weakness because they cause the nail to harden and stiffen, preventing flexibility and often leading to separation and breakage.

What can be done to restore hydration?

In between polish applications, it is important to care, maintain and prevent nail damage just like we do our skin. I am a big proponent of what I refer to as essential exfoliation of the nail. This process removes the superficial damage so that you can more effectively treat and moisturize the nail, bringing the canvas back to shape. [This is how my treatment system works, Steps 01 and 02 are the exfoliation process, Step 03 is the deep hydrating treatment].  It is also anti-aging as it treats and prevents the formation of ridges in the nail (which are equivalent to wrinkles and a telltale sign of an aging nail).

Besides stopping their weekly visits, what can manicure lovers do to improve the health of their nails?

They can wear gloves when working with chemicals or water, try and keep nails shorter to prevent absorption of water and chemicals and consider getting dry manicures (no soaking as water puts a strain on the nail). At home, they can use The Dr. Dana Nail Renewal System— a break-through, once-weekly, 3-step nail treatment system that immediately reveals a healthy, hydrated, youthful shine. This hybrid polish-free system will treat and beautify so that you don’t need to continually camouflage issues such as keratin granulations. It’s also great if your nails are trashed from gels and you want to bring that canvas back to shape so that you can resume polish or go au natural. This polish-free system immediately transforms the nails in 10 minutes, without the need for removal and it is chip-free. Added bonus: the system is 5-free (no Formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, and camphor), Paraben free, dye free, fragrance-free, and cruelty-free.

Images: Dr. Dana Stern.


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