How to restore nails after gel polish - reviews

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Svetlana Pavlikhina

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Restoring nails after gel polish is not an easy task. Many women, after wearing manicures and pedicures for a long time, are faced with the fact that the nail plate has deteriorated. This happens when the coating is exposed continuously: the old manicure is removed and a new one is applied.

Why do nails need restoration after gel polish?

After gel polish, nails become dull and brittle. Negative changes can be noticed only after removing the manicure.

The reasons lie in the preparation of the nail for the application of materials. First, the master processes and polishes the plate several times, thinning and leveling the surface. If your nails are initially brittle, then you cannot cover them with gel polish .

Using an acidic primer instead of an acid-free one results in the nail plates getting burned while drying under the lamp.

Poor quality materials and incorrectly done manicure lead to undesirable consequences. Improper removal also causes harm.

It is necessary to strengthen your nails if:

  • the plates take a long time to be treated with gel polish remover;
  • when removing materials yourself;
  • an infection develops, a fungal infection develops, an injury occurs;
  • allergy to any product used for manicure;
  • Naturally thin nails.

The appearance of yellowness after removing the coating indicates the use of low-quality materials and fungal infections.

"Pitfalls" of gel polish

The surface of the nail consists of scales, like tiles on a roof. The more they are opened, the better the grip will be, which means longer wear. Isn't that what everyone wants? Yes, but no one thinks about the harm this causes to nails. In order to “raise” the scales, a primer is used. An extremely aggressive acid-based product. Its use guarantees that the condition of your nails will deteriorate after removal. Thin, soft plate and pain. Under the influence of an ultraviolet lamp, the base coat “melts” with the scales. Brr.. Just imagine! Each layer of colored varnish and topcoat is dried in a lamp. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation has an extremely negative effect on the cuticle, nails and skin. People with a large number of moles on their hands may even be unsafe due to the appearance of new formations.

Then you enjoy the aesthetic appearance of your hands, and your nails, “walled up” under 2 layers of varnish, do not breathe all this time! But that's not all. The most traumatic moment for nails comes - removal. The master will, of course, remove the coating using a special device. This is the safest way. The machine will remove the artificial coating with minimal contact with the nail. But the master must be a professional in his field and be able to remove the base carefully without injuring the nail plate.

Woe to those nails that have to endure a 20-minute soak in nail polish remover under foil. Fragility, dullness, and delamination are guaranteed.

The second unfortunate option is if the master took up the file. It is extremely problematic to work out the indentations between the nail and the skin. Unevenness, tuberosity of the plate and injured cuticle will cause you discomfort for a very long time. But the worst thing is if you find it possible to remove the coating yourself, “by hand.” Just tear it off. Save money, so to speak. The gel polish will come off along with a couple of layers of the plate, leaving behind “rags” instead of nails.

You may also be interested in the article: Eyebrow care after permanent makeup

Home Remedies

Damaged nails must be treated. Strengthening procedures are recommended if the nail plate has been covered with a thick layer, as well as when wearing gel polish for a long time.

After removing gel polish, masks or baths in combination with pharmaceutical products are recommended.

Restorative baths

Such procedures are excellent for restoring nails.

With chamomile

Dissolve sea salt in warm water and add chamomile decoction, keep your nails in the mixture for fifteen minutes.
For quick recovery, take a bath three times a week. Add a few drops of lemon juice and any essential oil to the infusion of chamomile and sage. The duration of the procedure is also a quarter of an hour.

Iodine baths

Add a few drops of iodine to warm water and hold your hands in it. You can do a weak iodine grid on the plates before going to bed until a positive result appears.

With oils

The most effective remedy that helps restore healthy appearance to nails. Heat cold-pressed olive oil in a water bath and hold your fingers in it for ten minutes. Do the procedure every evening for a week.

Nourishing masks

Are your nails peeling a lot? In this case, masks will help.

With wax, clay, berries

A simple way: melt cosmetic wax, spread it on the nail plates, polish the surface with a file.

Clay helps a lot, as it has a beneficial effect on the structure of the nail. Apply the product diluted in water to your nails, leave for 20 minutes, then rub in the rich cream. Make a mask twice a month.

A mixture of pureed sour berries (cranberries, sea buckthorn and currants) is applied for twenty minutes, then washed off with warm water.

Restoration with paraffin

You will need cosmetic paraffin: melt the product in a water bath, immerse your hands in it for ten minutes, then apply vitamin E to your nails. Perform the procedure daily before bed.


Edible gelatin perfectly restores and strengthens thin nails.
30 g of the product are dissolved in warm water (250 ml), the nails are treated with cream, then dipped in the solution for fifteen minutes, blotted with a napkin. The procedure is done twice a week.

Pharmacy products

Pharmaceutical products together with baths give an excellent effect. It is recommended to use special oil or vitamin E capsules to moisturize the plate and soften the surrounding skin.

Rapid recovery occurs when using liquid nail products. They are applied several times a day, waiting for complete absorption and drying.

List of the best professional nail care products:

  1. Smart enamel.
  2. Growth activator Phytocosmetics.
  3. Horsepower (Mega nail strengthener).
  4. Mavala Scientific.
  5. IBX.
  6. OPI Natural Nail Strengthener.
  7. Eveline.
  8. Sally Hansen.
  9. Christina Nail Hardener.
  10. CND RescueRXx Daily Keratin Treatment.

Restoring varnish, which can be transparent or colored, also helps. This product strengthens the plate, prevents fragility, and protects against the action of chemicals and water.

A positive effect also occurs after applying transparent medicinal products and various cosmetic oils.

Strengthening nails

At home, strengthening baths using sea salt, paraffin, olive oil, wax, iodine, clay, berries, vitamin E, gelatin, herbal decoctions and other products that are always at hand are very helpful.

Effective recipes:

  1. Ground red pepper. 0.5 tsp. stir in a small amount of water, add hand cream. Apply the mixture to your nails, leave for twenty minutes, rinse. Make a mask once a month.
  2. Wine. Red or white wine is great for treating nails. Mix 200 g of the drink and sea salt, put your hands in the bath for twenty minutes. Another recipe: add butter and honey to white wine (200 g). Heat the liquid, cool to a comfortable temperature and immerse your hands. The duration of the procedure is half an hour.
  3. Egg, honey and olive oil. The mixture strengthens flaking nails. Heat the product and dip your fingers in the liquid for thirty minutes. Regular use adds shine and makes the surface smooth.

With regular use, strengthening baths in combination with medications restore the nail plate within a month.

A quick method of treatment is rubbing cosmetic oils. They are sold at the pharmacy. These products do an excellent job, and after a week of use the first results are visible.

Salt baths give excellent results, strengthening thin nails.

A banana-lemon mask, milk compresses, and regular vegetable oil stimulate growth (the product is heated, then rubbed into the nails until completely absorbed).

Regular nail care

So that your nails don’t have to pay for your mistakes when applying and removing gel polish, you need to surround them with constant care. Agree that strong and healthy nails will withstand aggressive influences much easier than weakened or naturally weak and brittle ones. Therefore, we advise you to regularly set aside time to care for your brushes.

Eat right!

The functioning of the entire body, which undoubtedly affects appearance, is very significantly influenced by what we eat - this is not news. Nutrients enter the nails through the blood, maintaining their health and beauty.

Carry out useful procedures!

Various baths are very good, using products that have a beneficial effect on the nail plate. Moreover, these products are most likely found in every home: olive oil, lemon juice, iodine. You can also add herbs and sea salt to the baths.

Hot paraffin therapy is good from all sides, as it nourishes not only the skin, but also the nails. This procedure is carried out in beauty salons and at home - no difficulties!

Use special means!

These should be nourishing oils, waxes or serums, as well as strengthening coatings. It will be convenient to choose a couple of products and use them constantly, for example, apply oil to the nails and cuticles in the morning and evening, and use the IBX system about once every 2 weeks. You'll see, in a month you won't recognize your nails!

ARAVIA Professional, cosmetic paraffin “French lavender”, 500 g

Cosmetic paraffin with vitamin E, lavender essential oil and shea butter for paraffin therapy


450 rub.


TM ChocoLatte, Nail wax, 10 ml

Wax strengthens, activates growth, and prevents delamination of the nail plate.


130 rub.

130 RUR Buy

Procedures carried out in beauty salons

Professional treatment gives good results.

Beauty salons offer clients various procedures aimed at restoring nails after damage, including gel polish:

  1. Hot manicure with oil . The master makes a bath, which consists of a hot oil solution. The product softens the skin, relaxes and nourishes.
  2. Lavender massage . Combines peeling with sea salt and lavender gel. The massage is followed by a mint mask with shea butter, wrapping in a warm towel, moisturizing the cuticles with paraffin, and covering the nails with a strengthening compound.
  3. Japanese manicure . Aimed at strengthening nails, nutrition and active growth. Before the procedure, the specialist makes a diagnosis. Manicure includes peeling, cuticle massage, bath, rubbing special powder and paste into the nails, medicated oil and serum. A hand massage completes everything.

The salons offer simple warm hand baths, regular and deep chemical peels, paraffin therapy, massage, and SPA manicures.

Methods for restoring nails

Method 1 – Using the IBX Strengthening System

This is one of the best products that has proven itself and is used both in salons and at home to restore and strengthen nails, including after removing gel polish. The IBX system acts from the inside, penetrating deeply and gluing the separated parts of the nail.

The IBX system includes two tools:

  1. IBX Repair and for the treatment of cracks that can only be seen under a microscope,
  2. Strengthening agent IBX Strenghtlen for restoration, strengthening and protection of the nail.

They only work when used simultaneously, which is why they are sold only as a set. You can read detailed instructions for applying the IBX system, as well as my experience of using it to strengthen nails in a separate article.

Method 2 – strengthening nails with a gel polish base

Nails can suffer in certain ways if you use a cheap and low-quality nail base. After all, it is the protective barrier between the gel polish and the nail plate.

Cheap bases for gel polish from China are very acidic, so over time they dry out the nails, which leads to their delamination and problems that then have to be treated.

What is the essence of restoring nails with a base? It is known that under gel polish, nails are protected from external influences, they break less and are stronger. Therefore, a simple coating with gel polish is already restoration. The main thing is to use good materials for this. You can even just use a nail base, but apply it in two layers.

Here I can recommend using biogel instead of a base. It is also transparent, but also has strengthening properties. Here's my review of one of them.

Method 3 – restoration with nail wax

This procedure even has its own name - “sealing with wax” or paste. Its essence is to apply a special nail wax and then polish it with a file. Thanks to this, a protective film is created on the surface of the nail, which retains moisture inside, preventing the nail plate from becoming dry, and also protects from harmful external influences. And the special elements contained in the wax at this time work to strengthen the nail.

Kits for this procedure are also easy to find on sale. This is a very budget option when compared to the IBX system, and the sealing procedure itself takes almost the same amount of time.

In my blog, I showed in detail how to seal nails using products from Patrisa Nail as an example. If you choose this method for recovery, I recommend studying it.

Method 4 – rubbing cuticle oil

You can try to restore your nails as much as you like, but as they grow, they themselves will look healthier and more beautiful. Therefore, a complete change of the nail plate by regrowing it is also an effective way to restore it, but also the longest. And to speed up nail growth, you can use cuticle oil.

The oil is rubbed into the cuticle area with circular massaging movements. At the same time, the beneficial elements in its composition are able to penetrate to the root of the nail, nourishing it, accelerating growth and making the new nail stronger and healthier. The oil can be used not only after a manicure procedure, but every day. This is even recommended if your cuticles are dry.

Method 5 - using folk remedies

I am not a supporter of folk remedies for “treating” nails, but it can hardly do any harm. Therefore, if you believe in their action, you can easily find recipes with numerous reviews on the Internet, then choose what is available and try to use it on yourself.

This also includes the use of vitamins. They are useful not only for nails, but also for the entire body as a whole. Personally, I take calcium and magnesium on a regular basis, which is good for the skeletal system, as well as nails and hair.

It’s interesting to hear your experience of restoring nails after gel polish, if you have any. Have you ever encountered problems with your nails after gel polish? Write in the comments - sharing your experience in this is always important and, I think, will be useful to other readers.

Recovery after incorrect nail polish removal

You cannot remove gel polish yourself, otherwise there is a risk of removing the top layer of the nail plate.

In itself, such a manicure does not cause harm, but preparation for it and incorrect removal can ruin the surface of the nail.

Cosmetic oils, including vitamin E capsules, help eliminate the problem. The products are rubbed into the nails several times a day every day.

It is recommended to include foods rich in calcium in your diet.

Available methods for treating nails at home:

  1. Whole milk heals damaged stratum corneum. The product is heated and hands are placed in it for half an hour. The procedure is performed daily for a week.
  2. A nutritional cocktail made from pharmacy vitamins A and E is rubbed into the nails every day. For the duration of treatment (two months), you must stop using varnish.
  3. Castor and olive oil are mixed in equal proportions and the surface of the plates is covered with the resulting product. The mixture accelerates growth, moisturizes, nourishes, and gives elasticity.
  4. Oatmeal and chamomile are mixed, poured with boiling water, cooled, the composition is crushed in a blender, and applied to the damaged surface as a mask.
  5. Vegetable oil and cottage cheese are mixed until the consistency of thick sour cream is obtained. The mask is applied for half an hour, frequency – 3 times a week.
  6. Mix honey (3 tablespoons), salt (2 tablespoons) with 0.5 cups of warm milk, dip your fingertips.

To restore health and at the same time strengthen the thin nail plate after removing the gel polish, you need to rub in the ointment prepared as follows:

  • melt the wax in a water bath;
  • add the yolk of one egg;
  • add a few drops of peach oil.

Can be applied daily. This mask is completely harmless, nourishes the nail tissue and skin of the hands, promotes the strengthening and growth of the plates.

Restoring nails after shellac using purchased products

If your nails have become thinner after gel polish, you should purchase the following products:

  1. The boat from Kalyon is designed to strengthen the nail plate and accelerate nail growth. The product is a pearlescent or transparent varnish that looks beautiful even after drying. Recommended for application within two to three weeks. Can be used as a base for regular varnish.
  2. Trind from Keratin Nail Restorer - helps in strengthening thinning nails. Contains keratin that penetrates into the nail plate. Additionally, the composition includes moisturizing components. Does not contain oils and formaldehyde. Recommended for application twice daily.
  3. A complex of several products from IBX. This is the base and varnish. Both products effectively fight to restore the structure and healthy color of the plate. Requires curing under a UV lamp. Used once a week for severely depleted nails and once or twice a month to prevent splitting.
  4. Special oils to soften and moisturize the cuticle. They are easy to apply, even if you have nail polish on. Recommended for use 2-3 times a day.
  5. Liquid absorbent. It should be applied to the nail plate instead of polish, several times during the day. After application, you must wait a few minutes until the product is absorbed.
  6. Restoring varnishes. They can be either colored or transparent. They make the plates harder and prevent them from breaking. They also serve as protection against chemicals and water. Must contain vitamins, minerals, calcium. Sold in pharmacies and specialty stores.
  7. Nail wax for home use - easily applied to fingertips. This remedy has a healing and restorative effect.

Homemade wax procedure for sealing nails
Strengthening nails after gel polish with the help of these products will allow you to restore the nail plate in a short time.

What recipes for oils and mixtures can help restore nails after gel polishes?

Nourishing oils for cuticles
In addition to store-bought products, homemade recipes of various compositions and oils are also good. They are no less effective, but at the same time financially accessible.

  • Baths

One of the most accessible methods of tidying up your fingers is to take regular nail baths after gel polish with chamomile, sea salt and olive oil.

You need to keep your hands in this composition for about 15 minutes. The procedure should be repeated two to three times a week, and then use a nourishing cream.

You can also purchase olive oil separately. Heat it up a little and put your hands in the oil bath for 10 minutes. This bath is beneficial for both nails and hand skin.

  • Masks

Vitamin E is effective and beneficial for hands and nails. The vitamin capsule must be pierced and squeezed onto the nail plates and rubbed, including the cuticle. You need to perform the procedure thirty minutes before bedtime.

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