Having perfect nails is something many of us strive for, and for good reason. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but it also keeps our hands naturally at their best. However, there is one essential aspect of nail care and maintenance that we often overlook: exfoliation! This simple gesture may seem trivial, but in reality, it is essential for maintaining long-lasting manicures and preventing weak or brittle nails from suffering damage. We explain how exfoliating your nails properly in your manicure routine not only leads to fabulous polish, but also healthy results!

What is nail exfoliation?

Since your nails are technically “dead”, exfoliating them has a slightly different meaning than exfoliating your skin, although the benefits are largely the same. Exfoliating your nails simply means polishing off the damaged and deformed cells on the surface of the nail, exposing the healthy new cells – or nail bed – underneath.

Why should you exfoliate your nails?

Our nails are made up of keratin, a tough, fibrous protein that helps build and maintain healthy cell structure.

With all the wear and tear our nails go through on a daily basis (from water and temperature swings to chemicals like nail polish remover and harsh soaps), keratin can suffer damage and degradation in the form of:

  • Roughness (lifting and detachment)
  • Fragility (peeling, cracking)
  • Wrinkling
  • Discoloration

The result is comparable to the dry, rough, flaky skin we experience on the rest of our bodies. But, combined with a good nail care routine, nail exfoliation can help remove this damage and allow your nails to grow healthier.

Benefits of nail exfoliation.

Nail exfoliation can help restore the following:

  • Nail Color: Reveals the natural, healthy pink nail bed.
  • The texture of the nail: allows to obtain a smooth and shiny surface.
  • The structure of the nail: allows the formation of a healthy keratin.

How to exfoliate the nails?

While you can head to a beauty salon for a manicure or pedicure, with the right tools and a little time, you can exfoliate your nails to give them a healthy shine right at home. In general, there are two ways to exfoliate your nails: physically and chemically.

Physical nail exfoliation.

Physical nail exfoliation is simple enough that you can do it in a moment of relaxation, surrounded by your friends or loved ones, with a cup of hot tea on the side, which you taste with delicacy. For this type of nail exfoliation, you have two options:

  • An emery board and a polishing system.
  • A home scrub (with baking soda or oatmeal).

It’s the fastest and easiest way to exfoliate your nails at home, and you can combine it with other activities, like watching a show or listening to an audiobook.

For this method, it is important to have a variety of emery boards on hand, each with a different grain.

Instructions :

  • Start with a coarse-grit emery board to remove dead and damaged cells.
  • Switch to a medium-grit emery board to smooth out the ridges.
  • Finish with a fine grit emery board and buff to a silky shine.

Baking soda nail scrub at home.

This is a great step to include in your “at-home manicure-pedicure spa day”! Baking soda is effective in smoothing the nail, softening the cuticle and even helping to remove stains on the nail.

Manual :
  • Create a paste by mixing 3 parts baking soda with 1 part water.
  • Apply the paste to the nails, rubbing gently in a circular motion (and massaging the cuticles).
  • Continue for about 5 minutes, then rinse nails and cuticles with warm water.

Chemical nail exfoliation.

Working in much the same way as physical exfoliation, chemical exfoliants dissolve dead and damaged nail cells, revealing the pink, healthy nail beds beneath. However, the necessary ingredients are not as simple or easy to obtain.

Glycolic acid, a popular ingredient in facial scrubs, shows promise as an effective nail rejuvenator. Still, it’s best to be careful when exfoliating your nails this way, as the solution should contain around 70% glycolic acid, which is nearly twice as much as typical facial exfoliation products.

Lactic acid:

Chemical exfoliation of nails with lactic acid is a great way to make them stronger and smoother. The process begins with removing the existing product from your nails using an acetone-free nail polish remover, followed by gentle buffing with an electric nail file.

After getting the right shape and size, you can start applying thin coats of lactic acid nail solution. Let each coat dry completely before adding another, and repeat this process until all nails are perfectly smooth. When finished, rinse with water and apply a new coat of nail polish for better nail protection. Follow these steps carefully to get beautiful, natural, glowing lactic acid nails!

* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.