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Do Fingernails Need To Breathe? Need To Take A Break Between Manicures?

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Confused? So were we! Until we delved into the deep rich world of #NailHealth, we didn’t really understand why our mamas and nail ladies told us that nails need to “breathe”. Now that we’ve become learned and blessed with good knowledge, we want to pass it on to you!
 
How Our Nails Actually Breathe
 
Nails that we can see on top of our fingers are dead, compacted cells made of keratin, the same type of protein that makes your hair. Because they are technically dead, they do not breathe!
 
However, our nails do need oxygen for them to grow longer. This is because our nail matrix underneath our nail bed is alive. It requires oxygen, nutrients and exercise to produce nail cells.
 
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The nail matrix is filled with tiny blood vessels called capillaries. The capillaries bring blood to our nail matrix. This blood flow brings nutrients and oxygen to our matrix, which is that is essential for nail growth. The more movement your fingers do, the more blood flow there is to your nail matrix. More flow, more nutrients and oxygen, more nail growth!
 
In a sense, that is how our nails breathe oxygen!
 

Do We Still Need To Take A Break Between Manicures?

Yes! It is important to give our nails time to heal in between periods of exposing them to harsh chemicals, and this will help with:
 
  1. Nail discolouration or yellowing from colour pigments
  2. Dry and brittle nails from acetone exposure
  3. Keratin granulations (white rough patches) from gel / acrylic removal
Just remember it is the removal processes that harm and dry out your nails, not the actual nail polish itself. Wearing a coat of nail polish actually helps your nail hold moisture in better!
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Give your nails a break before they get to this point.
 
If you’re taking a nail break but need to dress up, using nail stickers are a great option as they can be long-lasting and soak off quickly with warm water (when used without top coat). We love this printed collection from our own Emery & Co. store for its intricate designs!

Let your nails look pretty without the side effects!
 
Already have weakened nails from overdoing the manicures?
Blog Post: What to eat to keep your nails growing fast
 
Blog Post: How to rescue weak brittle nails
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