There’s no better feeling than leaving the nail salon with freshly manicured tips. Who doesn’t love high shine, gorgeous color and the perfect nail shape? And with proper care, that lacquer mani is bound to last at least 3 to 4 days. So why is your polish chipping off by Day 2? You may have developed some bad habits that are compromising the integrity of your nails. Take a peek at the most common nail mistakes women make, and find out how to stop doing them now.
Bad Habit #1 - You shower after you get your nails done.
Hot water is a manicure’s worst enemy. Warm water breaks down the bond between the nail and polish, resulting in premature chipping and flaking. If possible, shower in the morning before visiting the salon, or, wait at least six hours before bathing and make sure to turn down the heat.
Bad Habit #2 - Forgetting to apply base coat.
If you’ve ever worn red polish a little too long, you know the struggle of stained nails. A manicure is only as good as your nail prep, so make sure to always apply base coat before polishing. Get a base coat that performs double duty, such as a ridge-filling base coat like CND RidgeFX, in order to protect the nail plate from unwanted staining and create a smooth canvas before polishing.
Bad Habit #3 - Using your nails to open soda cans, packages, etc.
Essie founder Essie Weingarten said it best, “Your nails are jewels, not tools.” As convenient as it may be to use your tips to pry open tricky lids or jars—don’t! This will cause weak nails and breakage. Instead, reach for a trusty pair of scissors or a knife to open boxes.
Bad Habit #4 - Cutting the cuticle.
Before we address this bad habit, it’s important to understand exactly what the cuticle is. The cuticle is often confused with the eponychium, the living tissue that surrounds the nail plate and protects the nail matrix from infection. The cuticle is the dead tissue that attaches directly to the nail plate. Although the cuticle is technically non-living tissue and can be removed, accidents happen and nipping the eponychium is a common occurrence in the salon. Your best bet? Make sure your tech soaks your nails in warm water, applies a cuticle treatment, then uses a stainless steel cuticle pusher (instead of a nipper) to remove the dead tissue from the nail plate. For daily maintenance, gently push back cuticles while you’re in the shower.
Bad Habit #5 - Skipping the moisturizer.
Much like the rest of your body, your nails and the surrounding skin need nourishment and hydration. While most women apply lotion as soon as they get out of the shower, many forget to apply hand lotion and cuticle oil daily. Washing your hands throughout the day will also dry out your skin and cuticles, so keep lotion and cuticle oil in your bathroom, purse and car so you can moisturize all day long.