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Remember the traditional emery boards that your grandmother and mother used to file their nails with? Well, as it turns out, those boards we’ve all grown accustomed to, are actually not good to use on your natural nails. Everything may seem alright after your manicurist has completed the job, but that’s because the underlying problems (like weakened nails) have been covered up and polished away. Luckily, glass nail files are here to change the manicure game. Gone are the days of worrying about damaged nails every time you file them. If you haven’t made the switch to a glass nail file yet, then keep reading. Ahead, we’re explaining what it is and the reasons why you should be using a glass nail file. Spoiler alert: it will help you get the best healthy-looking nails.
A glass nail file (aka crystal nail file) is a double-sided grooming tool that is made out of tempered glass on both sides. It’s chemically etched into a finely-grained design that offers a gentle grit (this refers to the level of abrasiveness). With traditional emery boards, you’ll get a flat piece of cardboard that has strips of emery paper attached to it, and they’re known to be very coarse. When choosing a nail file, it’s best to start by figuring out what style of nails you want first. If you’re going for acrylic nails or gel manicures, opt for an emery board because these styles will make your nails a bit thicker, so you’ll need to use a nail filing tool that’s coarser. But if you’re just planning on wearing your natural nails, opt for a glass nail file because it will be gentle on your nails.
A nail file that is overly abrasive can cause brittle nails to split and break. Due to the coarseness and grit of traditional emery boards, you’re more likely to get microscopic tears at the nail’s tip, which leads to significant damage. These little tears can look like rocky mountains after filing your nails back and forth repeatedly. However, when you use a glass nail file, it will create a smooth edge, without causing any damage to the nails because of its fine surface and gentle grit.
Editor’s Tip: If you are working with brittle or weak nails, we recommend scaling back on the amount of time spent filing your nails. Give them some time to heal and get stronger in between manicures.
Cleanliness should always be an important part of the manicure process in order to maintain healthy nails. And we love glass nail files because they can easily be cleaned and sanitized after each use. They are not porous like emery boards, so bacteria won’t be able to seep through them. Try washing your glass nail file with soap and warm water after each use and run an alcohol swab over both sides. We recommend not sharing nail files (or any nail products in general), as this can create unsanitary conditions and lead to infections. Traditional emery boards cannot be cleaned, so bacteria are more likely to sit and build up after each use. It’s also important to note that emery boards should be discarded after two or three uses.
Editor’s Tip: If you're heading to the salon for a manicure, consider bringing your own favorite glass nail file to alleviate any hygienic concerns.
You won’t have to worry about replacing glass nail files frequently because they don’t wear down. This tool is designed to last, which makes it less of a hassle and saves you money. Traditional emery nail boards are made pretty cheaply (strips of paper attached to a piece of cardboard), so you’ll begin to notice peeling and dulling pretty quickly, which means they will need to be discarded frequently. In nail salons, emery boards should also be considered a one-time use only tool.
Taking care of your nails is important, and it goes together with caring for your hands, too. Complete your manicure each time with the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Hydra Nutrition Manuka Honey All Over Balm - Face, Neck, Chest and Hands for soft, hydrated and nourished hands.
Next: How to File Your Nails and Get the Perfect Shape
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