Dermatologist winces at beauty habit that 'destroys' your nails

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This all-too-common habit could be leaving your nails brittle and damaged (stock image) (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)
This all-too-common habit could be leaving your nails brittle and damaged (stock image) (Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Keeping your nails in tip-top shape isn't always easy unless you happen to be a professional manicurist, but there are a few things you can avoid to ensure they remain strong and healthy. With this in mind, a certified dermatologist has urged against a beauty habit many of us will be guilty of, warning that it could well lead to you "destroying" your nails.

In a recent TikTok video, well-known skin, hair, and nails expert Dr Lindsey Zubritsky shared "three mistakes you're making that are destroying your nails", and number one on the list may feel uncomfortably familiar for some people.

In the clip, Dr Lindsey, best known to her one million followers as @dermguru, revealed: "Number one, is that you're picking off the polish. This is especially true if you have on Shellac or gel nails. By doing this, you're absolutely destroying the nailbed and making it really unhealthy, thin, and brittle."

Thin, dry, brittle nails can split and break more easily, and don't exactly make for a glam look. To make matters more alarming, it would appear that this sort of damage isn't easily reversed. In a separate interview with Glamour, nail artist to the stars Jenni Draper warned that, once picked at, nails don't actually repair themselves, and it may well take as long as six months for the damage to grow out.

Dr Lindsey also cautioned beauty fans to make sure they're protecting their nails and hands from UV damage, advising them to wear sunscreen and protective gloves whenever they're getting treatment at the salon. For her third piece of advice, Dr Lindsey continued: "Number three, you're not moisturising your hands and cuticles like you do with the rest of your body. Try slugging your cuticles every night for the softest, hydrated nails and hands."

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According to beauty giant L'Oreal Paris, 'slugging' is a skincare trend whereby a person slathers their skin, hair, or nails with a thick moisturising agent such as Vaseline, creating a barrier that helps keep moisture locked in. The knowledgeable doctor has attracted a number of fascinated comments on this particular video, which has clocked up more than 5,000 likes at the time of writing.

One person commented: "I am also a cosmetologist, and in general getting her nails done and putting things over them, even polish for long periods of time will ruin your nails." Another approved: "I love this!"

Do you have a nail care story to share? Email us at [email protected]

Julia Banim

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