The Post-Gel Manicure Rehab Plan Your Peeling Nails Need

Updated 09/23/19

Weeks of chip-less wear and a shine factor that just won’t quit? The beauty of a gel manicure can’t be beat. The aftermath, however, isn’t pretty. Over time, the long-lasting mani can leave your nails thin, flimsy, and peeling. Ready to give your fingertips a much-needed lacquer break and nurse them back to their once-healthy state? Keep reading for the post-gel rehab plan you so desperately need!

Tip 1: Break Out the Buffer

Gentle buffing evens out the nail plate to prevent further peeling. A little buffing action once or twice a week also increases blood circulation, so new, healthy nails can grow back quicker.

Deborah Lippmann nail buffer
Deborah Lippmann Smooth Operator Buffer Nail File $12
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Tip 2: Keep 'Em Short

Your nails may be incredibly fragile right now. One little nick could lead to a painful tear. Until your nails recover, keep them short and slightly rounded (which is the strongest shape). Now more than ever, be careful to only file your nails in one direction—not back and forth. And use a fine-grit file to avoid snagging.

Tip 3: Soak Weekly

Weekly soaks also help in the recovery process and they're super simple to DIY. Try dunking your fingertips into a moisturizing bath of warm olive oil for 10 minutes. You can also empty a vitamin E capsule into soak for added strengthening power. Whole milk, which is rich in moisture-replenishing fats, is another good option.

Tip 4: Take a Break From the Polish

Perhaps most importantly, when in gel recovery mode, try to take some time off before your next trip to the nail salon. If you can't wait to get something on your nails, try swiping on a keratin treatment like this one from CND.

CND Rescue RXx Daily Keratin Treatment
CND Rescue RXx Daily Keratin Treatment $20
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Tip 5: Take Care of Your Cuticles

While your nails get most of the attention, be sure not to neglect your cuticle and the skin around the nail bed. Give yourself a quick treat with a luxe, hydrating serum.

base coat lemongrass and rosehip cuticle serum
Base Coat Lemongrass & Rosehip Cuticle Serum $18
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Tip 6: Boost Your Nutrients

Do your nails need a little extra help? Make sure you're eating a diet rich in healthy fruits and vegetables to encourage strong nail growth. We love our multivitamins, but be sure to talk to your doctor before starting a new supplement.

olly undeniable beauty multivitamin gummies
Olly Undeniable Beauty Multivitamin Gummies $13
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