Many of us enjoy having well-groomed and polished nails. But sometimes, our manicures do a lot of damage: improperly applied false nails, aggressive products, abuse of sanders, softening capsules or gel. An explosive cocktail that ends up damaging and weakening them.
To dress our nails in need of care and be sure to have the right gestures, we apply to the letter the advice of Agathe Pons, expert in manicure and founder of the BleuCocotte brand, very committed to the health of our nails. .
SOS nails in distress: emergency care
Some attacks are unforgiving and can cause violent allergies, infections, burns or serious injuries that would make any manicure worthy of the name stomach ache. If you are the victim of a nail emergency, you act quickly and above all, you don’t panic.
There is no miracle cure for regaining perfectly healthy nails overnight. And if some specialists recommend the use of formalin-based products to treat them; our specialist is totally opposed to it. “The formalin penetrates the nail and reaches the blood, it is very powerful and it only makes the situation worse.” According to her, the most desperate cases are treated gently over a period of time varying according to the severity.
First, we remove everything on our nails like varnish, semi-permanent or false nails, and we let our real nails breathe. Then, we wash our hands with a very gentle product so as not to attack our bruised nails. If they are not already too short, we shorten our nails reasonably to reduce the surface to be treated.
You can also allow yourself a very light roughening to flatten the nail with a sponge file, but only if you have a hollow or a demarcation created by a sander or false nails.
In terms of care, we avoid anything that attacks: no exfoliation, no creams never tried. On the other hand, we have a heavy hand on repairing and healing creams that we apply several times a day, in a thick layer. We treat our skin and cuticles with cuticle oil that we apply generously. For it to penetrate better, massage for a few seconds and try not to wash your hands for several hours. Bedtime is a good time to do this kind of treatment.
To repair our nails and restore their resistance, we use a product that Agathe Pons particularly likes: the repairing varnish “Millionails” from Essie, which she considers “a miracle treatment”, because this varnish combines the components of ‘a classic varnish with a shield of fibers and iron that diffuses active molecules. The expert recommends applying a layer per evening for 5 days then removing everything, and so on until you find stronger and harder nails. For the lightest cases it will be enough for a week, but the dramatic situations will require a treatment of a month.
Obviously, if the wounds or the pain are too severe, if the appearance of the nails is worrying, we rush without thinking to a dermatologist.
Instructions for a healthy manicure
Once the crisis is over, we take new habits with a complete and regular maintenance ritual. Reclaiming our nails naturally is the best solution to no longer hide our hands in the sleeves and to expose them again with pride. We thus review the order of our priorities and we focus on what is REALLY important in terms of manicure: the care.
- Focus on hygiene
Every good manicure starts with a clean clean. “To remove the dirt that regularly nestles under our nails, we put a nail brush in our bathroom and use it every day,” advises the manicurist. “Don’t panic, the brush doesn’t damage the varnish,” she adds.
- Pamper our hands
If we want to do things well, we plan to scrub our hands once a week with a suitable scrub. Then, we complete by applying a hand cream several times a day. This should be chosen according to the nature of our skin: dry, dehydrated hands …
- Find the right length
No need to let fragile nails grow, to adopt the length we need, we look at our bare nails, without varnish, and we cut so as to have a maximum of 1 millimeter of free edge (the white part of the nail). Those who never do without varnish can allow themselves slightly longer nails.
In practice: to shorten nails that are too long, they are first cut with a classic nail clipper or scissors, then the shape of the nail is adjusted with a glass file or with a fairly fine grain. Beware of metal files which are far too aggressive.
- Don’t forget the cuticles
“If there was only one product left, it would undoubtedly be cuticle oil”, assures Agathe Pons. Often composed of several oils (cotton, almond , apricot, avocado ), it is not only an emergency treatment and can be applied every evening before bedtime for daily maintenance. “We leave the bottle on our bedside table, we put a drop on each nail and we massage. In 30 seconds, show in hand our cuticles are nourished and sublimated thanks to the oil which acts during the night.”
The virtues of the oil combined with the benefits of massage stimulate growth as well as the quality of blood exchange. So with daily care we say goodbye to small dry skin and hello to healthy cuticles.
- Frost in moderation
Using our sponge file, it is possible to even out the surface of our nails. However, even if the latter are relatively healthy, they should only be roughened once a month because if we abuse this tool there is a risk of over-refining our nails, weakening them and consequently causing duplication or even breakage.
- Sorting through our tools
Who has never had a cuticle cutter or a boxwood stick in their kit? If these two tools, which are as widespread as they are inadequate, are still lying around here, we throw them away immediately. Indeed, they are responsible for injuries and sometimes even infections. Only a professional should be able to tackle cutting the cuticles. On the other hand, thanks to a quality metal pusher, we can push back ourselves the skin of the bottom of the nail to enlarge its surface.
- Do not confuse base and protective varnish
Some of us apply a base coat to protect our nails, but this product is used exclusively to receive a varnish.
The right products: if we want to protect or repair our nails, we opt for a hardening protective varnish such as “Millionails” from the Essie brand, to be used as a “one shot” or regularly during a cure, as explained previously. Otherwise for less damaged nails, she recommends the “Treat love and colour”.
“They are a bit like the ‘detox’ products par excellence.” And these products have a long list of qualities since they can be used as bases under a varnish thanks to their protective action.
The main “risk situations” for our nails
It is often believed that the miracle recipe for beautiful nails is to opt for a beautiful varnish carefully applied. Mistake ! The most beautiful and trendy color will have no charm if applied to diseased or poorly maintained nails. This is why, in parallel with our routine, we must be far-sighted and anticipate certain daily situations that put our nails in danger.
Regardless of the activity or the product used: gloves are compulsory. According to Agathe Pons, this is one of the first reflexes to have if we want healthy nails : “We must be careful with degreasing or stripping products because they do not spare our dear hands, on the contrary.” Commercial dishwashing gloves may be sufficient for some tasks, but for the most meticulous work it is preferable to wear transparent disposable gloves or nitrile gloves without talc (to avoid any risk of allergy).
- A broken nail
“If we break a nail, we shorten all the others. It’s out of the question to have a much shorter one”, explains our expert. Indeed, fashion is no longer with long endless claws but rather with neat mid-long nails and especially at equal lengths. Beyond concealing the broken nail, this technique makes it possible to file the other fingers regularly and to strengthen them.
Even though all nail shapes are in nature, however, a reasonable choice must be made. In order not to make a mistake, Agathe Pons recommends choosing a rounded square shape, ideal for cleaning up damaged nails.