Don’t misunderstand me: Affection, achievement, and inner tranquility are all fine and dandy. But if I’m being truthful, nothing gives me the same sense of satisfaction as getting my nails professionally manicured. Regardless of the hue or shape, a newly done manicure boosts my self-assurance in a way that can only be described as transformative. The only downside? The constant use of gel and press-on nails can significantly harm your natural nails. “Any peeling of the nail polish has the potential to strip away a layer of your nails, which leads to peeling and those white blotchy marks you see on your nails,” explained nail technician Eliana Gaviria in a previous statement to Shape.
When taking a break from nail treatments isn’t sufficient to mend your frail and thin nails, you might want to consider investing in a strengthening serum. The finest serums are loaded with components that have been proven to reinforce the structure of the nails and even hasten growth. However, not all formulas live up to their claims. Below, we compare the widely adored, $22 L’Occitane Nail and Cuticle Shea Oil with the highly popular, $11 Essie Advanced Nail Strengthening Treatment to help you decide whether to be thrifty or extravagant.
Be Thrifty: Essie Advanced Nail Strengthening Treatment
Purchase It: $11, amazon.com
Main Component: Vitamin B5 (also known as calcium pantothenate) stimulates the growth of new cells, which subsequently fortifies and repairs the nails at a quicker pace.
Other components: Green tea extract is packed with antioxidants that calm inflammation and prevent damage caused by free radicals. Meanwhile, benzophenone, an ingredient commonly found in sunscreen, shields your nails and cuticles from UV damage.
Ideal for: Individuals with fragile, feeble nails searching for a day-to-day treatment.
What We Admire:
With over 13,000 outstanding ratings, this top-selling product on Amazon has garnered a multitude of enthusiasts. One reviewer who experienced a noticeable difference after “a few months” of use wrote that their nails are now “genuinely more resilient than ever.” Another individual concurred, stating that it “rescued” their nails from chipping while bestowing upon them “a stunning shine with a hint of color.” It glides on smoothly, dries rapidly, and, according to shoppers, can also function as a top coat.
Keep in Mind:
Customers suggest applying a fresh coat every few days or when it begins to peel off.
Splurge: L’Occitane Nail and Cuticle Shea Oil
Purchase It: $22, amazon.com
Main Component: Shea oil moisturizes and fortifies nails and cuticles utilizing antioxidants and fatty acids that combat free radicals.
Other components: Almond oil alleviates irritation and diminishes UV damage, while castor seed oil hydrates and prevents chipping.
Top Choice: Perfect for everyday usage on dehydrated cuticles and frail nails, particularly those frequently exposed to UV lights employed in gel manicures.
Our Favorite Features:
Apart from causing wear and tear on your nails, regular gel and acrylic manicures can also deplete the moisture from your cuticles. L’Occitane’s strengthening serum was specifically created to address all of these concerns. Three nourishing, reinforcing, and soothing serums collaborate to combat damage and alleviate discomfort. It’s “worth every dime,” stated one reviewer on Amazon who remarked that it “genuinely moisturizes and heals my inherently dry, fissured, and agonizing cuticles.” Another reviewer concurred that it produced “a substantial enhancement” in the condition of their nails and cuticles after a mere fortnight.
This product has a fragrance, which may be bothersome for individuals sensitive to scents. Additionally, individuals with allergies to nuts should certainly steer clear of this serum, as it contains almond oil.
The L’Occitane Nail and Cuticle Shea Oil provides a luxurious treatment experience while effectively fulfilling its claims: strengthening, hydrating, and soothing damaged nails and cuticles. However, if you’re seeking a more budget-friendly option that also fortifies weak and brittle nails, the Essie Advanced Nail Strengthening Treatment can deliver similar moisturizing results for half the price.
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