Beauty And The Bath

About Artificial Nails And Damage To Your Natural Nails

artificial nails

Facts About Artificial Nails

Many women who want longer or more finished-looking nails choose to use artificial nails—either because they feel their own nails are too soft or too brittle to sustain solid growth past the fingertip or because they wish to sidestep the constant care required to maintain a manicured look.

Without a doubt, the promise of beautiful, maintenance-free nails is alluring, especially when every drugstore and discount department store in America carries press-on and glue-on nails that can be applied in a fraction of the time it takes to manicure the fingers of just one hand. But like so many other promises that sound too good to be true—think fad diets or "instant” ab machines—the easy route to the perfect 10 doesn’t pan out as a healthy long-term solution.

Your natural nails, as you’ll remember, are designed to be porous. Furthermore, they are made to be exposed to the elements. When you cover them up and seal them in beneath a plastic or acrylic shell, moisture that would have otherwise evaporated harmlessly cannot escape. In a relatively short period of time, the nail plates can become saturated, soft, and loosely secured to their nail beds.

You can even lose an entire nail this way, particularly if an infection develops while the nail plate loosens and softens. Additionally, the glues and adhesives used in artificial nails sometimes prove irritating to the nails and the surrounding skin of the nail folds and cuticles.

On the whole, we believe that artificial nails are a poor choice for most women, most of the time. You can, however, make an exception every now and again, as long as you confine yourself to using press-on nails—which seem to cause relatively few serious problems for their users—and strictly limit the number of days you wear them. How long is too long?

Anything beyond 3 days, in our estimation. But don’t fret. That’s more than enough time to get you through a friend’s wedding or homecoming weekend when your natural nails aren’t looking their best.

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