10 Legitimate Ways to Strengthen Your Nails, According to Dermatologists


Are your nails feeling as weak as a house of cards, always on the verge of crumbling? Don’t fret, because help is at hand! Dermatologists have shared their top tips for strengthening your nails, and they’re all backed by science.

Whether you’re dealing with pesky peeling or frustrating splits, these 10 legit ways will help you achieve the strong, healthy nails you’ve been dreaming of.

From using a gentle glass nail file to taking breaks between manicures, each step is designed to give your nails the TLC they deserve.

So say goodbye to brittle nails and hello to a gorgeous, resilient set that you can show off with confidence. It’s time to give your nails the boost they need!

Underlying Issues and Medical Conditions

If you’re experiencing weak nails, it’s important to consider underlying medical conditions. Weak nails can be a symptom of fungal infections and nail psoriasis. To address these issues, see a dermatologist or primary care provider for evaluation and treatment.

Fungal infections can be treated with over-the-counter or prescription medications, while nail psoriasis can be managed with various prescription medications.

Other conditions like Raynaud’s disease, hypothyroidism, and anemia can also weaken nails.

Using a Glass Nail File

Use a glass nail file for smoother edges and to prevent peeling and splitting of your nails. Coarse files can cause tears and rough edges, making nails more prone to breakage. Glass files create smoother edges, reducing the risk of damage.

Recommended glass nail files include OPI’s Crystal Nail File or Tweezerman’s Glass Nail File. Opt for a glass file to keep your nails strong and healthy.

Taking Breaks Between Long-lasting Manicures

Give your nails a breather by taking breaks between long-lasting manicures. Gel, acrylic, and dip manicures can weaken nails over time. The pressure from thicker polish or artificial nails can thin out the nail, and the harsh removal process further weakens it.

Consider taking breaks every one to three months, or longer for softer or brittle nails. This allows your nails to recover and regain strength before your next manicure.

Opting for Acetone-Free Polish Remover

To protect and strengthen your nails, dermatologists recommend opting for acetone-free polish remover. Acetone is dehydrating and can cause your nails to become thinner and weaker.

Instead, choose nail polish removers without acetone. While non-acetone removers may require more effort to remove color, they’re gentler on your nails.

To further protect your nails, consider applying a clear base coat before applying polish.

Recommended non-acetone removers include:

  • Ella & Mila Jojoba Nail Polish Remover
  • Cutex Non-Acetone Ultra-Care Nail Polish Remover.

Protecting Nails From Excessive Water Exposure

To further protect and strengthen your nails, it’s important to minimize their exposure to excessive water, as it can weaken them over time.

Nails can absorb a significant amount of water, which can lead to expansion and contraction of nail cells. This is especially important for brittle nails.

When doing activities involving water, such as washing dishes, make sure to wear rubber gloves to prevent water from weakening your nails.

Moisturizing Nails and Cuticles Regularly

Keeping your nails and cuticles moisturized is essential for maintaining their strength and preventing breakage and brittleness.

Dry nails are more prone to breakage, so it’s important to hydrate them regularly. Apply moisturizer or cuticle oil to hydrate your nails and cuticles. Look for moisturizing ingredients like shea butter and vitamin E, as they can strengthen your nails.

Massage the moisturizer or oil into your nails and cuticles daily to promote healthy growth.

Eating a Balanced Diet for Nail Health

To support the health of your nails, incorporate a balanced diet rich in nutrients that promote nail strength and vitality. Nutrient deficiencies can contribute to weak nails, so it’s important to consume foods that are high in biotin, vitamin E, iron, and protein.

Include foods like eggs, nuts, leafy greens, lean meats, and legumes in your diet. If necessary, consult a healthcare professional for guidance on supplements.

Avoiding Harsh Chemicals and Irritants

Limiting your exposure to harsh chemicals and irritants is crucial for maintaining the strength and health of your nails. Chemicals in cleaning products and harsh nail treatments can damage nails, so it’s important to wear gloves when using these products.

Additionally, try to limit your exposure to nail polish removers and other nail products with harsh ingredients. Choose products that are labeled as ‘nail-friendly’ or ‘gentle’ to prevent damage.

Be mindful of the products you use on your nails to keep them strong and healthy.

Practicing Proper Nail Care Techniques

Taking proper care of your nails is essential for maintaining their strength and health. Trim your nails regularly to prevent them from becoming weak and brittle. Use a gentle touch when filing your nails to avoid damage. Avoid using your nails as tools for tasks like opening cans or scratching surfaces.

Keep your nails at a moderate length to prevent excessive bending and breaking. Apply a strengthening base coat before applying nail polish to protect your nails.

Managing Stress and Practicing Self-Care

Prioritize your well-being and manage stress effectively to promote healthy nail growth. Chronic stress can impact nail health and contribute to weakness.

Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as exercise, meditation, or hobbies. Take breaks and prioritize self-care to reduce stress levels. Get enough sleep to support overall nail health.

Address underlying emotional and mental health issues that may contribute to stress-related nail problems.