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Your nails can take a beating in your daily life thanks to temperature changes, heat, constant washing and whatever activities the day may bring. While they’re meant to withstand a lot, sometimes they break and peel under the pressure. If you have peeling nails that feel thin and vulnerable, you can use a nail strengthener to protect your nails and keep them from peeling.
Just like your hair, your nails are made of super-strong protein fibers. When those protein fibers start to wear away, your nails start to peel and become more sensitive to the elements. One way you can protect your nails is by painting on a strengthening base coat that contains proteins. Whether you paint on fingernail polish or not, the base coat helps make your nails much stronger and less prone to peeling.
Keratin and Calcium
In addition to proteins, some nail strengtheners incorporate keratin, another protein-filled fiber that enhances your nails when they are peeling and damaged. Another nail-strengthening component is calcium, which also strengthens your nails. These two ingredients are especially helpful if your nails have been damaged by the past application of acrylic nails tips. While they may look good at the time, the tips can be tough on you when you take them off.
Make Your Own
If you don’t have a pre-made nail strengthener handy, you can make your own in a pinch with some items you probably already have in your home. This includes wetting your nails and rubbing corn or soy oil in your cuticles and nails. After a few seconds for soaking, wipe your nails clean to cut down on greasiness. Then, you can apply a moisturizer to your nails -- bonus points if it contains amino acids, proteins or vitamins.
What to Avoid
Fingernail polish over your nails can help to protect them and keep them from peeling -- but there are some ingredients that will do the exact opposite of strengthening your nails. This includes toluene, formaldehyde or DBP, which all can damage already-weakened nails. Do yourself a favor and always read the ingredients list for your nail polish or strengthener carefully to ensure an ingredient won’t work against you.