So you finally got your gel mani removed and your nails are a dry, peeling mess. Not to worry: Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting them strong and healthy again.
1. Trim Your Nails. Longer nails are more prone to breaking with everyday activities (like trying to pry that stubborn lid off your Tupperware). Keep your nails short and slightly rounded at the edges to prevent them from snagging on things and chipping.
2. Gently Buff Them. Lightly run a buffer over any uneven edges or ridges to smooth things out. This will help prevent further peeling—especially at the tips.
3. Moisturize Often. Massage a cuticle oil into your nails and the skin around them several times a day. Then seal everything in with a thick hand cream or salve. Oils absorb better into the nail beds, and creams create an occlusive barrier so that moisture doesn’t escape.
4. Use a Nail Treatment. Take a break from polish for a couple weeks and swipe on a nail strengthening treatment instead. This one from Essie has proteins to fortify weak tips, plus brightening pigments that camouflage any yellowing or dullness.
5. Leave Your Cuticles Alone. Resist the urge to cut or trim them. Your cuticles are there to help protect the new nails that are growing underneath (which is yet another reason why it’s important to keep them well moisturized).