While vigilant hand washing is crucial to stopping the spread of COVID-19, we can all agree that the constant scrubbing and lathering has taken a serious toll on our nails. Sure, moisturizing creams, lotions and salves have been helpful when it comes to plumping up the skin on my hands. But my nails? They’re more brittle than ever before, and they split and break so easily.
To help my nails bounce back, I’ve tried it all: filing and trimming on a regular basis, upping my multivitamin intake and rubbing in cuticle oil twice a day. While these efforts have been helpful, it hasn’t quite done the job when it comes to keeping breakage at bay.
Eager to up my nail defense arsenal, I decided to give the SpaRitual Nourish Nail Vegan Strengthener ($20) a try. After all, it’s impossible not to wash your hands multiple times a day (and I can’t exactly stop washing my dishes). So, I figured a strengthener would help my nails withstand any kind of abuse I subject them through. Now, before we proceed any further, let me be completely honest in saying that I have always been a bit skeptical about nail strengtheners. Don’t get me wrong, the drugstore products I’ve swiped on previously were always available at a great price. But, despite their strengthening claims, they chipped off way too quickly for me to see any results at all. And before you asked, yes I followed all of the instructions properly.
With this in mind, I definitely had my reservations in using this SpaRitual product for the first time. However, unlike the strengtheners of my past, this formula actually proved to be everything I’ve ever wanted in a nail strengthener. And then some.
To be more specific, this product (which is completely vegan, BTW) is easy to apply, dries quickly and doesn’t easily flake off. In fact, it tends to stay intact, without a single chip, for up to five days. And while it’s too soon to tell how it effects actual growth—the brand says that it takes 14 days to see results and I'm only a week in—having that added level of protection has been a true lifesaver for me. Finally, my tips don’t split or break off as readily as they once did. Even after I’ve spent 15 minutes washing the dishes by hand.
My only hang up? This nail strengthener does give my nails a jelly-pink finish, especially when the recommended three to four coats are applied. It’s not the most natural look but if you’re anything like me—i.e., you’re too lazy to apply a base, then color, then topcoat—that glossy pink finish is actually a really nice touch.
So, what did I learn from this experiment? While nail strengtheners aren’t the magic formula that will make your short and brittle nails grow long overnight, adding products like these into your routine can spare you the headache of having to file down your nails each time one breaks or splits.