NAIL CARE 101: YOUR GUIDE TO HEALTHY, STRONG NAILS
These are the dos (and don’ts) of nail care, according to CHANEL Australia’s Nail Expert Jocelyn Petroni.
Words by NAOMI FERREIRA
Country icon Dolly Parton once gave credit to her acrylic nails as a musical instrument on her album, painting a picture that our embellished nails really can do it all. That is until they become a tale of frailty. A chipped corner caught in your knitted sweater, unwanted peeling from the gel mani you didn’t rip off and a flimsy tip accidentally bent back. Ouch!
It’s in these acutely uncomfortable moments that one might ask, “How do we actually take care of our nails?” And according to CHANEL Australia’s Nail Expert, Jocelyn Petroni, it’s fairly simple. Here, we break down her top tips.
Don’t Pick. Don’t Peel. Don’t Bite.
“Don’t pick at your nails or cuticles and don’t peel off your polish,” says Petroni. While it might sound obvious, picking, peeling and biting is harmless until it isn’t. It not only weakens your nail plate but can lead to fungal infections around your cuticle and permanent damage.
If you want to keep any nail-biting at bay, keep them short to stop the urge and nourish your nails to soothe any negative effects.
Detergents, cleaning agents and daily activities like washing and gardening put your digits at serious risk of breakage. Realistically, we can’t give up our Sunday reset, so Petroni recommends protection and prevention.
“Try and avoid extended periods of cleaning and sturdy work for longer lasting manicures, even when gel polish has been applied and wear gloves when unavoidable.” It should do the trick just fine.
Lather Cuticle Oil
“Apply nail and cuticle oil before bed at night. It’s so simple but a quick application of oil to the cuticles and nail beds can heal, repair, feed and nourish the nail plate,” recommends Petroni.
“When applied before bed the oil will remain within the cells overnight without being washed off (as it would if applied during the day). This simple overnight treatment will help counteract damage from gel nails and aid in cellular regeneration.”
It’s All About That Base
Base coats are not just for your at-home pre-polish applications. “Not only do base coats protect the natural nail plate from the pigments in the colour but they can be personalised to your specific nail requirements,” says Petroni.
For oily or dry nail beds, a strengthening base coat can fortify the nail with an infusion of vitamins and minerals. It can also fill ridges, seal cracks and heal splits. If you are dabbling in polish trends at home, Petroni says the best thing about a base coat is that it anchors the subsequent polish applications to the nail plate for longer lasting results.
Opt For Natural
Sometimes we need to take a break from our go-to gel sculptures. Yes, that means putting aside glazed donut tips and obscure nail art from time to time. “If you have regular gel manicures, it’s advised to give them a break so your nail plate can naturally strengthen and thicken without artificial support,” says Petroni. “Gel nails are great, however they are not ideal for optimal nail health, particularly over a long period of time.”
This doesn’t mean you need to stop getting in-salon manicures all-together but, where possible, choose a natural polish rather than any type of gel application. It might take a little longer to dry but it’s an artistic-saver if going bare is not your thing.