Why You Need Base Coat in Nail Care
(Photo : Vecteezy / Anastasia Korchagina)

Nail care is an essential part of our beauty routines, but sometimes our habits might be doing more harm than good. 

While we all aim for healthy, beautiful nails, certain practices can inadvertently lead to damage. Remember, the key to healthy nails lies in gentle care and regular maintenance. Treat your nails with the same kindness you would your skin, and they will reward you with a natural, healthy shine.

Below are some common nail care habits that might be negatively affecting your nails as well as better ways to maintain them.

1. Overuse of Nail Hardeners

Nail hardeners are often touted as a solution for weak or brittle nails. However, overusing them can cause your nails to become too hard and prone to breakage, according to Cameo College of Essential Beauty

Some hardeners contain formaldehyde, which can make nails brittle if used frequently. Instead of relying solely on hardeners, focus on a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals to naturally strengthen your nails.

2. Cutting Cuticles

Cuticles act as a protective barrier for the nail matrix, as per the Manicurist. This is why both the American Academy of Dermatology and the Mayo Clinic advise against cutting the cuticles. Cutting them can lead to painful infections and can also stunt nail growth, Hand and Wrist Institute warned. Moisturize your cuticles regularly to keep them healthy and pliable.

3. Peeling Off Nail Polish

It can be tempting to peel off chipped nail polish, but this habit can strip away the top layer of your nail along with the polish, leaving your nails weak and damaged. 

According to Sally Beauty, peeling off gel polish can tear layers from the nail plate, resulting in nails that are thinner, brittle, and "bendy."

Always use an acetone-free nail polish remover to gently remove polish without harming your nails. Follow up with a nourishing nail treatment to keep them strong.

4. Excessive Use of Gel and Acrylic Nails

Gel and acrylic nails offer long-lasting manicures, but frequent use can weaken your natural nails. The chemicals involved in applying and removing these products can lead to thinning and brittleness. 

To avoid damage, give your nails a break between applications, and opt for nourishing nail treatments to help them recover.

5. Not Using a Base Coat

Skipping a base coat might save time, but it can lead to staining and weakening of your nails. A base coat, according to Nail Knowledge, forms a protective layer that prevents color pigments from being absorbed and shields your nails from harmful chemicals, reducing the risk of discoloration and weakening

Make it a habit to always apply a base coat before your nail polish to keep your nails healthy and strong.

6. Neglecting Moisturization

Just like your skin, your nails and cuticles need regular moisturization to stay healthy. Neglecting this can lead to dry, brittle nails that are prone to breaking. Use a nourishing hand cream or cuticle oil daily to keep your nails hydrated and resilient.