I remember my mother seemed to break her nails just by looking at them. She really tried every product on the market that was supposed to harden, protect and help nails grow, but she always seemed to be wearing band-aids and using tape (there wasn’t any nail glue back then) to keep her hands from hurting.
I inherited my mother’s nails.
For people like me, with nails that break, split, peel, and simply won’t grow, the quest to find nail products that really work, regardless of cost, is an ongoing quest. But recently, I was introduced to two nail brands that tempted me with products that purport to really produce results, although those results come at a price: Perfect Formula and KUR. While I never seem to be able to use products long enough and consistently enough to make any real claims to efficacy, these companies have products that really do appear, at least from what I’ve read and observed, to help even hard to nurture nails, improve.
Perfect Formula has a well curated collection of nail protection products. The founder of Perfect Formula products, Shari Gottesman was the owner of one of the largest nail polish manufacturers in the world, but I guess she realized there is always room for a “better mousetrap,” so she created Perfect Solutions for her own personal nail problems. We get the benefits!, Perfect formula has a product that I really like, because it’s for anyone who loves nail polish but doesn’t have the time or inclination to re-do so often. Most nail-obsessed people already know that to make a manicure last, you’ve got to use a base coat (to adhere the polish better to your nail) and a top coat (to seal and protect the color and shine). But the Perfect Formula Manicure Booster ($29.00) is a .60 fl. oz. bottle of clear product that can double the life of a manicure. Add a coat before color polish, and then another over two coats of your favorite color, and you’ve got the lasting power (or almost) of a gel manicure, without the fussing and damage of removal. In fact, the clear polish primes and seals with a protein-rich formula that actually protects your nails and prevents chipping.
I did try it, and while my nails take such a beating no manicure can last on my hands for two weeks, I definitely noticed a difference in how well my nail color performed. It didn’t fade away from the tips so fast, and it didn’t flake off. Since I type all day long, I’m really hard on my nails, so the high cost is justified if I don’t have to re-do my mani-pedi so quickly. I didn’t try the other Perfect Formula products, but I’m guessing they’re good, too.
You can get Perfect Formula Manicure Booster and other Perfect Formula nail solutions products at Sephora, QVC and the Perfect Formulas Web site.
Another nail brand with nourishing products that will help keep the dryness of Winter from destroying your nails and cuticles, is KUR (“cure”) by Londontown. These products are pricey, but for your dollars you get natural nail treatments. Note that in general, nail products notoriously not natural. In the past many of the products really had harsh and harmful chemicals in them. Those days are for the most part, gone, but KUR’s products are impressive by any standards. Their KUR Nail Hardener and Protective Top Coat are “5-Free” — Formaldehyde-free, Toluene-free, DBP-free, Formaldehyde resin free and Camphor-free. KUR’s Restorative Nail Cream is paraben-free, and the Strengthening Lacquer Remover is acetone-free. For your money all of the product are also vegan, gluten-free and cruelty-free.
One way to try the brand is with the five products features in the Kur Nail Treatment Kit ($125.00). I tried a few of these products, and found them to be very good. You can get the products separately if you wish to address a singular problem as well. But the nail hardener and protective top coat work together to thicken the layers of keratin of the nail. While it isn’t possible for me to use something long enough to quantify long lasting results, the Nail Hardener ($25.00 ,4 fl. oz.) and and Protective Top Coat ($25.00 .4 fl. oz. ) seems to do their jobs well. The protective top coat dried quickly and to a nice, glossy finish and has many of the same natural ingredients as does the Nail Hardener that helps to strengthen, nourish and protect nails, while natural oil balances to protect against cracking, chipping, splitting and peeling. The ingredients for the Nail Hardener for example, include: Rapeseed Flower Oil – (heals brittle and cracked nails. Hydrates the nails and prevents nails from splitting); Evening Primrose Oil -( prevents nails from cracking but also nourishes and helps keep nails healthy); Cucumber Extract – (the high silica content of cucumber helps to prevent the splitting and spoiling of nails); Chamomile Extract – (helps to cure brittle nails and increases nail strength of nails with azulene and bisabolol – active substances that enhance the healing process, strengthen the nail plastics and eliminates dryness and flaking); Garlic Extract – (to strengthen and harden weak, brittle nails)l Vitamin A to help absorb and process protein efficiently; Vitamin E – (increases blood circulation and improves the blood flow for nail growth, while helping the formation of red blood cells to help maintain oil balance in the nails); Biotin (Vitamin B7) to promote cell growth and nail strength, and Iron, the deficiency of which can cause brittle nails. Iron helps to strengthen the nail bed.
The Nourishing Cuticle Oil ($25.00 4 fl. oz.) is very nice, comes with it’s own dropper, smells like flowers instead of chemicals, and isn’t greasy. It hydrates the cuticle and nail root with Rapeseed Flower Oil; Evening Primrose Oil ; Cucumber Extract; Chamomile Extract ; Garlic Extract ; Vitamin A; and Vitamin E . The restorative Nail Cream ($35.00 1 fl. oz.) replenishes the nail to fortify damaged, weak and peeling nails and can be used as a night treatment with gloves. If your hands are dry, your nails are going to be dry and brittle a well. These products are really must-haves if you want healthy nails and cuticles.
To take nail polish off, KUR’s Strengthening Lacquer Remover 4 fl. oz. is a big ticket $18.00 for just 4 oz. in a plain, white, plastic bottle. However it is a strengthening “acetone free” lacquer remover that thoroughly cleans the nail plate without drying or damaging your natural nails or stripping the natural oils off of them. It also helps to condition nails by adding hydration and strength., thanks to a blend of vitamin and mineral extracts. It’s also acetone-free, Vegan, gluten-free and cruelty-free. It removes nail polish nicely, naturally!
Visit LondontownUSA.com to get yours.
If the prices of these products are a bit shocking, considering that you can find drugstore brand nail solutions for a lot less, you have to consider whether or not the results you may get are worth the cost. Only you can decide if they’re a splurge or a must-have, but if you have nails that break while you’re merely looking at them as I do, and you are concerned about harmful ingredients in your beauty products (especially if your immune system is compromised, you’re pregnant or have other health issues), these products are more than justified.