Keeping Nails Healthy After Polish Changes

Q: I am a complete nail polish addict and change my polish color multiple times a week, which is making my nails very unhappy. Any recommendations for keeping nails healthy during polish changes? Can you recommend a good base coat or polish remover? —Jen

Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme, $6, burtsbees.com, Priti NYC Soy Polish Remover Wipes, $10, pritinyc.com

A: Dear Jen,
My recommendations, besides the obvious love-the-color-you’re-with-for-at-least-a-few-more-days (!) are: 1. These Priti NYC nontoxic remover pads, which despite their gentle ingredient list do the job. Acetone, the main ingredient in removers that work like a dream, is rough on your nails (not to mention the environment). So super-avoid. 2. Pass the pad over each nail lightly, for just a second, and after you’ve done all 10, go back in and seriously swipe off the color. The initial pass starts the dissolving, so you don’t have to rub as hard on the second visit. 3. Swipe from the bottom of your nail to the top, doing your best to avoid your cuticles. 4. Once you’ve repolished, go nuts with the cuticle oil and/or salve. You can’t baby your cuticles enough. And definitely don’t cut them or push them—that plus the removing and polishing is a recipe for splitting, cracking and every other gruesome nail misery. 5. Really, try to contain yourself for a week! You can wear that great color next week! It’ll still be there! No?

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