Thanks to social media, you can’t believe everything you read these days. From local news stories to beauty tips, unfortunately, there are a lot of untrue facts out there, which can actually do more harm than good, especially when it comes to myths about nails. To help you keep your tips on track, we sifted through the top five nail myths out there to separate fact from fiction.
Cutting your cuticle is safe as long as you use a nipper.
FALSE. The next time you find yourself tempted to cut your cuticle, think of the '90s Salt-N-Pepa party jam and “Push It” instead! Cutting your cuticles is dangerous, especially since a majority of people out there don’t even know where the cuticle is. (Hint: It’s the dead skin that attaches to the nail plate, not the folds around the nail. More on that here. To properly care for cuticles, soak your hands in a bowl of warm water. (You can also do this during a shower or bath.) Then, once the skin has softened, use a stainless steel cuticle pusher to gently remove the dead skin from your nail. Finish with a little cuticle oil to keep your nails nice and hydrated.
White spots on your nails are always a symptom of vitamin deficiency.
FALSE. White discoloration on nails is actually a condition called leukonychia. This nail disorder is most commonly caused by trauma to the nail plate. White spots can also appear as a sign of an allergic reaction, and, in some cases, they can signal a zinc or protein deficiency. Before running to the pharmacy to stock up on vitamins, check with your doctor to see if you should take a blood test first.
Filing back and forth will strengthen your nails.
FALSE. Filing your nails back and forth can actually thin out the free edge and cause it to fray, leading to splitting and breakage. Instead, file nails in one direction using one fluid motion. This movement allows for the most precision and has less impact on the nail.
Nails need a chance to “breathe.”
FALSE. Nails get all their nutrients and oxygen through your bloodstream, not from the outside air, so they don’t need to take a break from polish. However, it is good to give your nails a break if you’ve noticed more peeling, splitting or breakage than normal as a result of improper gel or acrylic removal. If that’s the case, give your nails a few days off from polish and gel and apply a nail strengthener daily.
Ice water helps nails dry instantly.
FALSE. Think about your last trip to the nail salon. Did they dunk your nails in ice water? Probably not. Which tells you that this myth is just that, a myth. The only way polish can dry is once all the solvents in the polish have evaporated. Water, ice or room temperature, can harden the top layer of polish, thus giving it a “dry” look. But, because the lower layers of polish underneath haven’t fully dried, the lacquer will still be soft and easy to dent. In short, the “ice water” method is definitely not advised.