Natural vs. Nourished: Is Bare Better for Your Nails?

Exploring the realm of nail care often prompts many individuals to consider whether they should embellish their nails with the latest colors or maintain them in their natural state. With various care strategies at your disposal, choosing the optimal approach for maintaining healthy nails can sometimes feel overwhelming. In this blog, we’ll delve into the advantages and disadvantages of leaving your nails bare compared to using protective products like ridge fillers or base coats. Whether you’re a fan of a minimalistic look or thinking about adding a layer of protection, this guide will help you make an informed decision about your nail care routine.

 We frequently receive questions about whether it’s better to leave nails bare or use products like ridge fillers or base coats. It’s a common concern for many who want to maintain healthy and attractive nails without excessive use of products. Let’s break down the options to help you understand what might work best for you.

The Benefits of Keeping Nails Bare and Well-Moisturized

Keeping your nails bare is a straightforward approach that avoids potential exposure to chemicals found in many nail products. These are not a problem if used according to the manufacturer’s instructions but it’s important to remember that after we reach the age of 21, our bodies ability to maintain moisture levels starts to decrease – so even when choosing no nail coating it’s important to focus on maintaining your nails’ natural state and ensuring they are well-moisturized and cared for. Regular use of a good quality nail oil and hand cream, as you’ve been doing, is excellent for keeping your nails and surrounding skin hydrated, which is crucial for healthy nails and healthy nail units. So that’s all fine just as long as you are consequent with that essential maintenance.

Advantages of Using Ridge Fillers and Base Coats for Nail Protection

However, there are benefits to using products like ridge fillers or base coats. These products do not inhibit any necessary physiological processes as nails do not “breathe.” Instead, they can provide a protective layer that guards against physical damage, enhance the appearance of your nails, and can even contribute to a more effective moisture level for the nail and the nail unit depending on the formulation.

For those considering using a protective product, it’s important to select formulas that are suited to your needs. This ensures you’re not trading one issue for another. That’s sometimes like looking for a needle in a haystack. Let’s put a few things in a row and see if it helps.

Choosing the Right Nail Care Products for Optimal Nail Health

Dryness of skin and nails is the number one reason for worsening deformities in nails and nail units. The problem is that dryness can be caused by any number of things, but if we leave that one thought on the side for a minute we can offer some solutions.

  • If your nails are weak – the cause could be that you have a short nail matrix, we can’t change that but a strengthener of some kind could be beneficial. Even then, nail care maintenance is essential.
  • If you nails split – the cause could be a weakness in the nail matrix that we cannot change but a soak off gel polish base and top coat with a piece of silk may be an option if you don’t mind wearing a nail coating. If you want to avoid a nail coating IBX would be the perfect solution as it works a bit like a support stocking, holding the nail plate cells together as the nail continues to grow. In both cases nail care maintenance is important. If none of those are an option nail care maintenance is essential.
  • If you have ridges in the nail plate these will be likely caused by mini defects of nail plate cells when they leave the nail matrix, you can use a ridge filler but not all of the time unless the ridge filler is flexible. If the ridge filler just makes your natural nail harder your nails will become brittle and you will experience a different kind of problem, your nail plates will just split and shatter – again, nail maintenance is important. The supplier of the ridge filler should be able to advise about how long the product should be used if not, don’t purchase it. Again, IBX could be the solution as this works IN the nail plate and NOT ON the nail plate.

For any or all of these problems an artificial nail product could be the solution – and if your salon of choice understand the products that they use they will match you and the product for a happy resolution but all of it will be a temporary fix – nails grow and our skin is in perpetual motion – again maintenance is paramount.

The choices are endless but the facts remain the same.

Effective Steps to Manage Chronic Nail Conditions

Chronic conditions that cause nail plate defects or skin problems cannot be solved, we can only improve the way they look.

Step 1 When trying to improve ANY nail or skin conditions it’s essential to improve or maintain moisture levels – with something simple like a quality nail and skin oil and lotion to boot, the improvement can be lifechanging. If natural is important to you find a product containing allantoïne or urea and of course jojoba oil or avocado oil.

Step 2 Is knowing your habit’s.

Step 3 Make the right choice for you.

Nail varnish can be a solution for dry nails as it also provides a coating over the natural nail, but not without nail maintenance and it will need to be replaced on a regular basis, but for weak nails it’s not an effective solution.

A clear soak off gel polish base and top coat could be a solution, but needs to be removed every 2-3 weeks depending on the condition of the natural nail and the recommended wear time of the product, maybe a couple of hrs. a month are needed to apply and remove and again nail care and maintenance are essential.

Using a nail coating that needs ‘filling’ could be a solution if your nail plates have pitting from psoriasis – in this case prep of the natural nail is paramount and filing of the nail plate before product application needs to be avoided as this will weaken the entire nail structure and this is when I go against the main stream and say acryl liquid and powder can be your best friend – by a correct and professional application – it will make a difference but remember that this is cosmetic, we didn’t cure the psoriasis – we just make the nails look better.

When it comes to removing any nail products, choosing an acetone-free remover will not solve the dryness problem. All solvents used to remove artificial nail coatings and or nail varnish will dry out the natural nail and or the nail unit. It may even take longer to remove or soak the nail coating off!

A nail polish remover containing acetone will remove your nail polish well. Wash your hands after with a neutral soap and water and apply a good quality nail and skin oil followed by a good lotion and your nail and skin moisture levels will be recovered – dryness from acetone is temporary and will not affect the health of your natural nail if you replenish it after.

Choosing Between Bare Nails and Protective Coatings: A Personal Decision

Ultimately, the decision to keep your nails bare or use a ridge filler or base coat depends on your personal preference, lifestyle, and the specific needs of your nails.

Both approaches have their merits, and with the right products and practices, you can maintain healthy, beautiful nails whether you choose to go bare or use a protective product as long as your care and maintenance routine is part of your daily routine.

Leave a Comment