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Is nail polish bad for your nails?

Always seeing yellow-stained nails post-manicure might leave you questioning. Is it time to take a break from nail polish? The short answer is no — at least if yellow is your only concern. According to Anastasiia Morozova, an educator at LeChat Nails, nail polish isn’t the problem — it is improper nail care that requires you to take a breather.

From harsh nail polish chemicals to the removal process, we can be pretty rough on our nails. And, while they might seem like little shields of armor, our nails can fall victim to the wear and tear of our manicures. “If you notice your nails are dry and brittle or prone to breakage, taking a break to moisturize might be a good idea,” says Adina Mahalli, a hair and skincare expert.

There’s nothing we love more than a fresh manicure. But always having polish on your fingers, or changing colors weekly, can end up weakening your nails, leading to dryness, discoloration, and even breakage. And, sadly, not even perfectly applied color can mask these issues, let alone fix them.

Traditional nail polish removers can really dry out your nails, leading to peeling and splitting. Peeling nails can be caused by many different factors, such as dietary deficiency of vitamins, minerals, protein, amino acids, side effects from medication, weather changes, and exposure to chemicals, and psoriasis. But you up your risk for weak nails when you decide to forgo the remover and pick at your chipping polish — a major no-no. The cells on your nail grow in a slanted direction, like fish scales, and pushing them in the wrong direction can cause breakage.

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