Having beautiful nails, as with anything else worth having, comes with a price. Changing nail polish requires using nail polish remover, which often contains acetone. According to Paul Bryson, co-director of research and Development at O.P.I., "It is true that both acetone and the common acetone substitutes (such as ethyl acetate and methyl ethyl ketone), are very drying to the nails and skin.” If you have acetone damaged nails, take heart. You can repair damaged nails with a little tender, loving care.
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Cuticle creams are rich in emollients. They are generally sold in small pots, rather than pump jars, and often have the consistency of soft wax. “Massage the cream into and around your nails nightly before going to bed,” recommend the editors at SheKnows.com
Dryness is the main problem caused by acetone, and CNN Health suggests that you moisturize your nails and wear white cotton gloves to bed to combat this. Heat 1/4 to 1/2 cup of olive oil until it’s just a little warmer than room temperature. Soak your nails for 10 to 15 minutes before bedtime. Wipe off your hands, but do not wash them before putting on the cotton gloves. Do this every night for a month, and then use it as a twice-a-month preventive treatment.
There is no scientific evidence that taking gelatin will help your nails, but Editor in Chief of Harvard Women’s Health Watch, Celeste Robb-Nicholson, M.D., states that “Evidence from a small controlled study suggests that oral supplementation of the B vitamin biotin may increase the thickness of brittle nails and reduce splitting, although it’s unclear whether it’s more effective than moisturizers.” CNN Health also suggests that you take biotin supplements for healthy nails. It's not a specific sure for acetone damaged nails, but anything you can do to make your nails stronger will help them recover.
Wear rubber gloves when washing dishes or using harsh chemicals, and keep them from drying out further by massaging a moisturizer into your hands and nails every time you wash them. CNN Health also suggests that you apply a nail-hardener, but advises that you avoid any that contain toluene sulfonamide or formaldehyde, because “These chemicals can cause redness or irritate the skin.”
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- National Library of Medicine: Acetone
- Harvard Medical School: Does Having Ridged and Split Fingernails Mean I'm Unhealthy?
- CNN Health: How to Keep Your Fingernails Healthy and Strong
- She Knows: Top 10 Tips to Prevent and Repair Dry, Damaged Nails
- Beauty Tech: Acetone vs Acetone-free
- Care Fair: Natural Tips for Beautiful Nails