When it comes to caring for your nails, many times it’s pretty much last on your beauty list. We focus so much time and attention on our hair, skin, face…we tend to overlook our hands and nails. Sure, they may look on trend, sculpted, and ultra-shiny, but are you paying attention to your overall nail health?
We asked Dr. Geeta Yadav, board-certified dermatologist and founder of FACET Dermatology to weigh in on four basic nail and cuticle care concerns.
Here’s expert advice on how to keep your nails in tip-top shape, according to Dr. Yadav.
1. Is it bad to peel off your gel mani?
“Yes, you should never peel off your gel manicure! Gel manicures work by curing to the nail bed rather than drying on top of it. When you don’t properly remove your gel manicure by thoroughly soaking it off, you damage the top layers of the nail, weakening your nails significantly and putting them at risk for breakage, tears, cracks, and further peeling.”
2. Should I cut my own cuticles?
“I would advise against cuticle cutting in general, but especially doing it yourself. Few people are as hygienic with their nail tools as top-quality salons and cutting the cuticle is one of the most common causes of infection. Instead of cutting them, push them back with an orangewood stick. You can also use a formula like this to facilitate this process.”
3. Nail slugging has been very popular. What are your thoughts on this trend?
“I love face slugging and I think nail slugging is a great idea! Most people don’t take very good care of their cuticles, and applying oil, then petroleum jelly to the nail area is an easy way to provide deep nourishment and help strengthen the nails. It’ll work best on bare nails, so I encourage you to take a break in between manicures to get the best results from nail slugging. I’d also suggest doing this before bed and wearing cotton gloves (you can get affordable pairs on Amazon!) to really seal in that hydration.”
4. Is there a right or wrong way to file your nails?
“Yes, you should only file in one direction. I recommend filing towards the center of nail, regardless of which side you’re working on, and not using a “sawlike” method that causes you to file in both directions, which will create fraying and peeling.”
Janene Mascarella holds the answers to all your burning beauty questions. Her work has been published by a variety of top-tier titles and media outlets such as Cosmopolitan, Self, Glamour, Health, Cooking Light, Women’s Health, USA TODAY, The Washington Post, CNN.com, Woman’s Day, Parenting, Consumers Digest, Parents, Family Circle, Babytalk, Weight Watchers, Working Mother, Fodor’s Travel, Hamptons Magazine, Consumer Reports, ShopSmart, Modern Woman, CBS News, Shop Etc., Taste Of Home, PureWow, and many others. She was beauty director of BELLA Magazine for over 11 years, the fashion editor of Luxury Living Magazine, and a frequent beauty & lifestyle contributor for Parade.com. Besides deeply pondering hairspray holds and TikTok trends, Janene is the mom of two college-aged kids and she oversees copy and content for KISS Products, Inc.