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When scrolling through Google on the hunt for the latest nail trends to try, you may have heard rumors about breathable nail polish. Sure, you may be familiar with gel, quick-drying, and crackle (what a throwback) nail polish formulas, but breathable nail polish is new to the beauty scene. What is it, you ask? Well, that’s what we’re here for. Read on to learn what breathable nail polish is and why you should add it to your mani-pedi kit.
Breathable nail polish is exactly what it sounds like—nail polish that gives your fingernails and toenails the opportunity to, well, breathe. This type of nail polish is formulated so that the molecules are suspended, which allows water and oxygen to pass through the polish and onto your nails.
How do you know if your nail polish is breathable? Typically, this type of nail polish will be labeled as “water-permeable.” If you want to put it to the test yourself, paint one layer of nail polish onto a thin piece of paper, like a coffee filter. Allow it to dry before applying a drop of water to the nail polish. Eventually, the drop of water should go through to the other side of the coffee filter if the nail polish is permeable. If it isn’t, the nail polish will act as a barrier. You can also carefully pat the droplet onto the nail polish to speed up the process.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, it’s a good idea to go without nail polish for a few weeks in between pedicures to expose your nails to the surface and allow them to breathe. This is important because leaving nail polish on for too long can cause the pigment to soak into the top few layers of the nail, drying it out, according to the Cleveland Clinic. This can cause fungus, bacteria, yeast, mildew, and mold to develop underneath the nail plate (ew!). Not to mention it can also result in nail staining.
If you’re someone who constantly wears nail polish on your fingernails and toenails, it may be time for you to swap your regular nail polish for a breathable nail polish formula. Breathable nail polish is a better option than traditional formulas for those who can’t go without a manicure or pedicure. That said, if you don’t mind going au naturale now and then, regular nail polish is totally fine—just make sure to give your nails a chance to breathe every few weeks.
Aside from skipping the nail polish every now and then (or opting for a breathable nail polish), there are a few other ways you can show your nails some much-needed TLC. Here are four other ways to give your nails a break, courtesy of the Mayo Clinic.
Practice proper hygiene and keep your nails clean and dry to prevent bacteria growth under your nail. Consider wearing gloves when washing dishes and doing other activities that involve long exposure to water.
On the note of hygiene, use nail clippers to keep your nails shaped and tidy. It’s recommended to cut them straight across and then slightly round the edges with a nail file.
Your nails need moisture just like your skin does. Apply the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Manuka Honey All Over Balm - Face, Neck, Chest and Hands to your hands twice a day. Take the time to rub the moisturizer into your nails and cuticles, making it part of your skincare routine.
Lastly, you can help your nails by adding a nail hardener to your regimen. It's specifically meant to be applied to your nails to help make them stronger.
Next: How to Take Care of Your Cuticles
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