Summer Nail Care Dos and Don'ts

Proper nail care and maintenance is always a must, but summer activities like swimming, gardening, and travel require that we take our routines up a notch. To help us keep our manicures in top form, we looked to the experts at Washington, D.C.-based luxury nail destination Varnish Lane for advice on how to keep our nails strong, healthy, and perfectly polished all season long. Here are their recommendations:

Do prepare for a day at the pool with extra strengthening top-coat. Prolonged exposure to water and chlorine can greatly weaken and dry out your nails and cuticles. Strengthen your manicure with an extra coat of top-coat before a day at the pool, and keep your polish color on hand for any necessary touch ups.

Do apply cuticle oil every night. To keep your cuticles from drying out in the summer heat and prevent hangnails, which can cause polish to peel and chip, add cuticle oil application to your nightly routine. Try Lauren B. Beauty Nail and Cuticle Balm for ideal hydration.

Do protect your hands while working in the yard. In addition to protecting your polish from chipping, wearing gloves while gardening will keep your cuticles from drying out due to soil and moisture.

Don’t soak your nails. Soaking your nails in water will cause them to expand, and if you apply polish while your nails are waterlogged, it will chip prematurely. (This is one of the many reasons why Varnish Lane is a waterless salon.)

Do moisturize your feet daily. While it’s a summer favorite, the open-toed sandal can be brutal on your feet and really dry them out. To minimize damage, apply moisturizer after showering.

Do keep lotion on hand for travel. If your summer plans involve frequent air travel, it is important to remember to moisturize. Recycled airplane air causes dryness around your nail beds, so bring a travel-friendly hydrating lotion or oil to apply before takeoff. We recommend the chemical-free hand and body butter by Sans Skincare. 

Don’t spend too much time in the sun. We all know that too much sun can damage your skin, but UV exposure can also fade and ruin your manicure. If you’ll be spending a lot of time outside, try a non-yellowing topcoat like Deborah Lippmann On A Clear Day. It will make the manicure last longer and keep your color bright.

Do keep your nails healthy from the inside out. The benefits of drinking water are well known, but we’ll add another one: Imbibing H20 will help keep your nails strong and healthy.

TSG Tip 162 provided by Carrie and Lauren Dunn of Varnish Lane in Washington, D.C. Image via Varnish Lane on Instagram.