Are you a fan of fashion-forward nails but tired of the commitment and expense of acrylics? Enter press-on nails, the temporary and affordable solution that provides a salon-quality manicure from the comfort of your home. However, even though they are easier on the wallet than acrylics, that doesn't mean they're completely without drawbacks. Wearing press-on nails can still impact the health of your natural nails if you don't take proper care of them during and after use.
In this article, we'll go over tips and tricks for maintaining healthy natural nails while wearing press-on nails, so you can enjoy the aesthetic benefits without any unwanted side effects.
Precautions for Wearing Press-On Nails
Press-on nails are a fun, temporary way to update your look without a salon trip. But to rock those press-on nails in comfort and safety, follow a few pre-application pointers.
First up, prep those natural nails! Before pressing on fake tips, ensure your real nails are clean, smooth, and oil-free. This means a good scrubbing with soapy water and using nail polish remover to degrease the nail plate. Trimming any jagged or sharp edges on natural nails also helps the press-ons adhere snugly.
Next, the size is right. Make sure to match your press-ons closely to the length and width of your real nails. Going too big or long can leave unsightly gaps or lead to lifting and snagging. On the flip side, press-on nails that are too tight can pinch and bend natural nails. Opt for a shape that suits your nail shape too - almond press-ons for oval nails, coffin for square-tipped fingers, and so on.
Also, moisturize those nails! Massaging cuticles and nails with oil before attaching press-ons helps them flex and bend more comfortably under the fakes. The coat of slip ensures press-ons glide on without snagging cuticles.
Lastly, avoid long wear. Although press-ons are meant to last up to two weeks, resisting the urge to wear them that long is best for natural nails. Once a week is a healthier limit that breaks real nails from the rigidity and pressure of press-on nails.
Caring for Natural Nails While Wearing Press-On Nails
Press-on nails may make your fingers look fabulous, but it's important to still give your natural nails some TLC underneath those fakes. Follow these nail care tips to keep your real nails healthy while rocking press-on nails.
First and foremost, keep things clean. At a minimum, wash your hands and soap up under press-on nails once a day. Grime buildup under press-ons can cause inflammation and irritation of natural nails. Soaking your press-ons off nightly and scrubbing your real nails with a nail brush can further remove bacteria. Then apply hand lotion to moisturize cuticles and nail folds.
When removing press-on nails, don't tug or peel them off - this can break or lift real nails. Instead, soften the adhesive by soaking nails in acetone or nail polish remover. The press-ons will then slip off with minimal risk to your natural nails.
After removal, give those real nails some serious TLC. Rub cuticles with cuticle oil to rehydrate the sometimes neglected nail matrix. Massaging cuticles stimulates blood flow and cell renewal in nail growth plates. Use an exfoliating glove or foot file and nail buffer to gently remove dead skin from nail folds and plates.
Even while wearing press-on nails, continue to apply cuticle oil and moisturizer daily. These products will penetrate the silicone barrier of press-ons to nourish your real nails. Staying hydrated from the outside will keep natural nails strong and flexible under that press-on layer.
Tips for Strengthening Natural Nails After Wearing Press-On Nails
After wearing press-on nails, your poor natural nails could use some TLC to recover their strength and shine. Here are some tips to nurture your real nails back to health once those press-ons come off:
First up, give your nails and cuticles a break. Resist the urge to immediately apply polish or another set of press-on nails. Instead, allow nails to breathe naked for at least a few days. This will give them time to rehydrate and recalibrate after being confined under press-on nails.
Apply protein treatments to nourish weakened nails. Gel or liquid nail strengtheners infused with proteins like keratin, collagen, and silk can replenish moisture and restore flexibility. Use these treatments nightly for a few weeks to thicken and revitalize thinning nails.
Boost your diet with nail-healthy vitamins and minerals. Incorporate more foods rich in biotin, zinc, and vitamin E to help fuel new nail growth from within. Consider a daily supplement containing these key nutrients to expedite nail recovery.
Gentle is key when it comes to products. Switch to nail oils instead of harsh acetone polishes and removers to avoid further damaging nails. Opt for long-wearing cremes and softer gel polishes rather than harsh acrylics for a few manicures.
Give cuticles extra TLC. Apply cuticle oil multiple times per day and use a cuticle pusher to gently remove any dead, lifted skin from the nail matrix. This will promote healthy nail growth from cuticles.
Exfoliate and moisturize hands daily. An exfoliating glove or germ-fighting washcloth will slough off dead, dull layers and aid circulation in fingertips. Combined with a rich moisturizer, this will nourish nail beds and replenish hydration.
In summary, taking proper care of your natural nails when wearing press-on nails is key to preserving their health and minimizing damage. With routine cleanliness, moisturizing, and removal precautions during use followed by rehabilitative treatments afterward, your natural nails can fully recover, and you can continue to enjoy the style and convenience of press-on nails.