The Benefits Of Taking A Salon Break To Let Your Nails Breathe

There's nothing like getting a fresh manicure. You leave the salon feeling rejuvenated and get a boost every time you look down on your new nails. Whether you get acrylic or gel nails or just a simple cuticle clean and basic polish, your nails and hands look nice and help create the look you want.

Consider how many things your hands and nails come into contact with on a regular basis, and you can clearly see how the deep cleanse that takes place at manicures is beneficial, as per Health and Style Institute. Keeping cuticles clean helps prevent hangnails and ingrown nails. The thorough cleansing your nails undergo during a manicure also helps curb fungal infections. Old and dead skin cells are removed which fosters new growth and soft skin.

The benefits of a manicure can extend beyond your nails. Those lovely hand massages that take place before the polish is applied help you relax and reset. They also have medical benefits. According to Blossom Nail Spa, they help boost blood circulation which can also result in hands looking more vibrant. However, keeping nail polish always on your nails may not be ideal.

What happens when your nails are always covered in polish

When you wear nail polish every day for months on end, your nails undergo a certain change. When you add dipping powder, glue, and other chemicals into the mix, it can result in ruining your natural nails.

"It is best to read the label before use, as different brands of nail polish contain a range of potentially toxic and irritating chemicals, including alcohol, various fragrances, toluene, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate," board-certified dermatologist Dr. Sonia Batra tells Today. "Using gel polish has been found to cause nail thinning, most likely due to the acetone soak used to remove the polish, which can be extremely drying and cause nail peeling."

When you constantly wear nail polish, your nails may get keratin granulation, when keratin in your nails gather in clusters and appear as white spots on your nails. "If this is the case, it's time to take a break from polish for a while until your nails return to their normal color," says skincare expert Adina Mahalli (via Sunday Edit). "Depending on how quickly your nails regenerate and the severity of the discoloration, your nails can take anywhere from one week to a few months to return to a healthy color," she notes. "If the discoloration is particularly severe, you might have to wait until the nail fully grows out, which can take up to half a year."

How to keep your nails healthy and still enjoy manicures

There are some signs that your nails need a break from polish. If you notice that your nails look particularly dry, have ridges or bumps, or are weak or brittle (which can easily be determined if they bend back easily), these are signs your nails need a break. 

Other signs include discoloration on the nail bed. "When your nails become weaker and thinner, you might experience discoloration with your nails, where they turn slightly yellow," says nail expert Amy Lin (via mbg lifestyle) "This is a physical sign that your nails may need a breather from polish."

When nail polish is left on too long, it can cause nails to lose much-needed moisture. "You could dehydrate nails and cause them to peel and become brittle," says Steinmetz, who says it's best to not go longer than 2-3 weeks without taking off nail polish, as per Bustle. "If you see any signs of damage, take a break for a few months." While allowing your nails time to go without polish or chemicals, use cuticle oil to help keep nails hydrated and soft.