Now What? Now that you know what to look for in your nails, should you wean yourself off polish for good? Steele says it's important to inspect your bare nails from time to time, but when it comes to long-term nail damage, it's more about the other tools in our nail care regimen, versus giving up your lacquer. First up: nail polish remover. If you or your manicurist is using pure acetone, give it up now. This harsh chemical dries out nails and makes them weaker, so be sure the labels read "acetone-free." Steele also warns against tools (especially mechanical ones) that are used to shape nails and clean up the nail folds. These grind on and stress the nail plate, which makes your nails more vulnerable to infection. Steele also recommends simply switching up your nail polish if you tend to favor dark shades -- these stain nails after long periods of time, making it harder to notice texture and color changes in your natural nails. Now about those gel manicures ...
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