After that gel manicure in October 2016, somehow, my nails were just not as robust as usual. I know gel manicures aren’t supposed to really damage your nails, and maybe it was just the soak needed to remove the gel polish, but it definitely did a number on mine.
To try to combat the sudden peeling nails, I decided to try just using Julep Oxygen Nail Treatment ($18 regular, $14.40 Maven) for a few weeks. Julep calls it Take a Breather now, but I got mine before Julep rebranded everything. This is the original color, which is now called Sheer Pink, since there’s also other colors available:
This is a nail treatment and not meant to really provide much color, but the sheer pink tint seems to even out nail color and make it look brighter and cleaner. I only applied one coat, no base or top coat, and left it as-is for about a week each time. Then I’d take it off with a little of my home-brewed nail polish remover (just pure acetone with a tiny bit of distilled water and glycerin – I’ll make a note to share my recipe later!), wash my hands with soap, let them dry, and reapply one coat.
The good: The nail treatment seemed to be pretty durable and lasted almost a week. It’d start chipping after about five days, though, which is pretty average for me and polishes, but it seemed to hold up pretty well and glued together the separated nail layers nicely. The peeling parts were almost invisible while it was on. Easy to apply and dries fast, too.
The neutral or less good: I realize this is highly dependent on each person’s nails/nail chemistry, so I don’t hold it against the product itself, but it did seem to make my nails more brittle, unfortunately. After a couple weeks, I noticed chunks of the nail tips chipping off from just everyday activities, nothing rough. The brittleness got a tad worse in the third week, so I stopped using the treatment. My nails are naturally on the sturdy/hard (rather than flexible) side, and my skin and nails tend to be dry, so I guess I’m not surprised that I’ve been less compatible with the strengthening/hardening treatments I’ve tried. I think I might need something that encourages more flexibility instead. This treatment might work better for someone with softer or more flexible nails, though!
Overall, I like Julep Oxygen Nail Treatment and will probably still wear it sometimes when I feel like taking a break from nail polish, but I’ll probably have to restrict wearing it to one week or less at a time. I’ve heard good things about OPI Nail Envy but haven’t tried it yet. Do any of you have recommendations for me?