Healthy Nails, Finally!

I’ve had poor weak nails for years. It started when I got eczema a few years ago and they’ve been paper thin and peeling since then. Because of it, I don’t wear a lot of nail polish, as is evident by the lack of nail posts on this blog. The last straw was when I soaked off my 3-week-old gel wedding nails at home. Besides not getting all of the gel off, it left my nails even weaker than they’ve ever been. A piece of advice: don’t do what I did, especially if you have weak nails, too.

I currently have my eczema flare-ups under control — knock on wood, I don’t even know what I’m doing differently — so I’ve been taking extra care of my nails to make them stronger and longer. I went to Sally Beauty to pick up a couple of things, and boy are they doing the job well!

Barielle Pro Argan Oil Nail Fortifier and ASP Crystal File

I’ve heard about glass nail files so many times but I never listen. Regular nail files usually leave my nails splitting, so I finally got a glass nail file: ASP Crystal File ($3.99 at Sally Beauty). I file in one direction (learned that on the web, thanks Internet!). This doesn’t leave a sharp jagged edges that I get with my previous nail files. I’ve only used it 3 times so far and it doesn’t show any signs of wear yet, so I can’t really comment on how this holds up. For $3.99, I’m already pleased with it though! I just have to be careful not to drop it on the floor. /klutz hands

ASP Crystal File

I didn’t read any reviews before I walked into the store, so I just asked the sales associate for her recommendation, and she showed me Barielle Pro Argan Oil Nail Fortifier ($9.99 at Sally Beauty). You guys, what a find! After only two applications, I’ve noticed a dramatic difference to my nails. I can open pop cans now! I put on two coats of this alone, and it leaves the nails a nice sheen. Not glossy like a top coat, but enough gloss for a clean nail look.

Ingredients: glycine soja oil, vitis vinifera seed oil, oryza sativa bran oil, tricaprylin, persea gratissima oil, prunus armeniaca kernel oil, juglans regia seed oil, butyrospermum parkii, argan oil, rosmarinus officinalis leaf oil, tocopheryl acetate, oleic acid, palmitic acid, retinyl palmitate, parfum

Healthy Nails

What do you do to keep your nails in good shape? Any must-have products or nail strengtheners?

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  • mdemaria

    I used to have paper thin nails too a couple of years ago. I can’t really say what I did to stop them breaking or peeling, but I think buying a glass nail file had a lot to do with it. Mine is 4 years old and as good as new! So I can recommend it enough, mine is from Kiko Cosmetics.
    Another great tip is clipping them weekly (I don’t use a clipper though, I use nail scissors). I’m a big fan of short nails, and I’ve noticed that keeping them short and taking care of them weekly is something that has really made my nails stronger!
    Also, if you like wearing nail polish (i’m a nail polish hoarder) you MUST give your nails a rest of 3-4 days for every week you’ve been wearing nail polish, because they need to breathe.
    Anyway, I hope you’re able to achieve stronger nails, because it’s quite frustrating when they constantly break!
    <3 (Sorry for such a long comment!)

    • Thanks so much for your comment! I think the glass nail file does help a lot. 🙂 I’ll try to be consistent with the nail treatment every week or so as well. I don’t wear nail polish often but I think I’ll keep using the nail fortifier as a base coat when I do.

  • Proper nutrition and water intake makes a huge difference in my nails. The Body Shop Almond Hand and Nail Cream is also awesome. I bought a file from Sally Beauty also and it converted me. Then I bought one from Cult Nails and it blew SB’s out of the water. I should totally check into the treatment polish for between manicures. The outside part o my thumb nails always splits inward. Does that ever happen to you?

    • Yeah that happens to mine when my nails are bad. 🙁 I don’t really wear cuticle or nail cream though. I only use a Biotherm hand cream that I keep on my desk at work.

  • murt

    It’s funny I naturally have strong, fast growing nails except when I wear nail polish regularly. I get into the habit sometimes when I wear nail polish for a couple months at a time and that always leaves my nails peeling and weak.

    Now that I’ve given the nail polish a break for a month, they are back to being strong again. So I’d definitely say that regular use of nail polish can be a factor.

    • I think it’s important to give them regular breaks. 🙂 Thanks murt!

  • I’m always looking for a good nail fortifier, too. But I pretty much always have polish on now, which makes them horrible and peely. But so pretty T_T I like glass files – they last a long time! My mum bought me one a long time ago, and that’s still good. I also have some from Mont Bleu that I really like.

    • Haha I know, so pretty! But my problem with nail polish is that when they peel… I have to pick and peel them, which probably adds to the sh*tty nail situation. 🙂

  • Your nails look lovely hun! Glad you are on the road to keeping them healthy! I moisturize often, take Biotin supplements, and use OPI Nail Envy, which has made my nails like mini-tools. I can do and open anything with them, but it does take time, so keep at it! 🙂

    • Thanks Margo. I heard about Biotin and Nail Envy! Mini-tools! I’m so jealous. 🙂

  • Hey Arianne, I’m also a member of the poor nail club (sucks to be in it)! In my case it’s pretty much genetic. My mother also has weak nails that don’t grow too much. Living in a country where water is extremely hard doesn’t help, either. I have Dior Creme Abricot and Huile Abricot, and I try to remember to rub them in a couple of times a day. It doesn’t solve the problem, but it does help!

    • Oh that sucks Sunny! Can you maybe take supplements? I heard good things about Biotin, but haven’t used it. Also have you tried glass nail files?

      • I’ve been on a supplement and using a glass file for several years now. Unless I can stop cooking and doing housework, my nails will probably only be BETTER but not 100% healthy and strong!

  • dowantmakeup

    Hurray for no eczema! I was using the ASP glass file for a while but now I mainly use the fine and medium Tropical Shine ones they have at Sally–fine is good for buffing out small breaks or peels before they get worse :>

    • Thanks for the reco, Angela! I’ll look out for the fine Tropical Shine next time.

  • Toya

    Yay for strong nails, Arianne! I have a few friends with this problem so I’m going to recommend they check out that Barielle base, it sounds great. And yes, glass nail files all the way! 🙂

    • It’s really great, Toya! I was surprised to get a quality reco from someone in Sally’s actually. Maybe I’ll trust them with more questions from now on haha.

  • OMG I love this post! Exactly what I needed. My nails are weak because I have been biting them my whole life.. wah!! I’ll have to drop by Sally’s to pick these up and hopefully my nails will be sexy by summertime 🙂

    • Ohh definitely pick up a glass nail file Maria! It really helps a lot. Also, off nail polish for a while. 🙂 Good luck!

  • Wonderful, I’m glad it’s working! Ill be looking into it. For the past couple of months my nails have weakened incredibly. They used to grow so fast and were so strong. I find that keeping them polished is essential, I’m using glass files as well and Argan oil to nourish.

    • Oh hope your nails recover soon, Taylor!

  • BooBooNinja

    Yes, glass nail files are the way to go! I tried one early last year and I’ll never go back. For nail treatments, I’m having luck with the Nailtiques line. They have three treatment “levels” so you can tailor it to your nails.

  • I just started using Nail Envy by OPI less than a week ago since I’ve heard a lot about it. I’m hoping it’ll help strengthen my nails so that they can grow long like they were just a few months ago