Nail Product Separation. Is It Really The Lack Of Cuticle Oil?

Maybe you’ve seen the nail images with the severe pulling away of the natural nail from the nail enhancement. Or perhaps you’ve seen the memes of drenching your nails in cuticle oil.

Cuticle oil moisturizes the skin and the nails. When the skin is moisturized, it is less prone to breaking, so you will end up with fewer hangnails. And when you massage your cuticle oil into the fingernails and surrounding skin, you’re stimulating nail growth by warming up that matrix area and encouraging it to shed more of those dead keratin cells that the nail is made up of, thereby helping your nails grow.

Also, when cuticle oil penetrates those nails, they become flexible and less prone to breakage. The benefit of this flexibility in the natural nails is that upon impact (say you jammed your fingernail straight on into an object), that nail will flex with the product and be protected.

Assuming your nail product is flexible, which is a very important thing I will mention at the end, you won’t want to miss that, so make sure you stick to the end!

So there you go! Cuticle oil does wonderful things for your nails, enhancing the look and longevity of your manicure. It would be best if you used it at least once per day. Don’t stop using your cuticle oil; use it more, please! It really does wonderful things to the nails and the skin surrounding them.

Now that this is established let’s dive in and identify more inconspicuous culprits that lead to severely dehydrated nails.

An online image suggests that if you don’t wear cuticle oil daily, your nails will fall off or apart. While cuticle oil is super beneficial, and I recommend you use it daily, before bedtime, if the oiliness annoys you, it’s not true that is the only reason your nails are splitting or separating from the sides like in the images.

Culprit #1 Over-filing the sides

Guilty! I confess. I admit I am a bit rougher with my nail prepping on my left hand than on my right hand. After all, I am more gentle when using the efile with my non-dominant hand because I don’t want to over file my nails; however, when Im using my dominant hand, I can go hard on my nails trying to prep them to perfection. You can tell when the sides are thinner because the free edge starts bending in, and the nail starts curving and taking a “pinched” form.

Soft gel normally tends to contract itself and give the nails a more natural, pinched look, but we have to be careful not to over file the sides since it could lead to lifting, breaking, or even permanent damage. If you look at my hands, you can notice that the nails look wider on my non-dominant hand because of over filing the sides. Again, I’m not saying don’t use your cuticle oil. Please do but not using it regularly is not the only reason the nails are separating from the sides.

Culprit #2 Prep chemicals like dehydrator and bonder

When a system requires you to use a separate dehydrator and bonder, you must remember that those products deplete the nails of their natural oils. If you are required to use those chemicals, use them but keep in mind that you need to replenish those oils, so the nails don’t lift or break when you bump them into something. The natural oils keep the nail healthy and flexible, which is what you want, so they are less prone to breakage, and your nail mani lasts longer.

That is one of the reasons why I like soft gel systems because the adhesion components are integrated into the base formulas, so you don’t need primer and bonder. For the nail systems where those are required, I recommend using your cuticle oil 3 or 4 times a day so you can rehydrate the nails and avoid issues or breakage.

Culprit #3 Incompatibility between the natural nails and the nail product

The last thing I want to talk about is product compatibility. This is another point that is severely missed when the dramatic images of separation between the natural nail and the product are being shared.

And it’s not intentional. I’m about to tell you very few people know, so if you’ve made it this far, enjoy this nugget of information, and I go over this more in detail in my free masterclass to help you master gel nails.

So for the best adhesion between the nail and the product, the flexibility of the natural nail and the nail product has to match. So, that means hard nails will wear well with hard products like acrylic, hard gel, and acrygel. And soft, flexible nails will wear best with products like soak-off gel. And so, with the dramatic images of nail separation, you’re seeing not just a lack of cuticle oil but a lack of compatibility between the natural nail and the product. Upon impact, the nail flexes, but the product does not.

So let’s recap:

The nail lift is not just due to a lack of cuticle oil. Cuticle oil is magnificent. Keep using it, but the nail separation is likely due to over-filing the sidewalls, harsh prepping chemicals, and product incompatibility.

That is it for me today; what did you think of today’s topic? Drop your comments below. I’ll see you at the next one!


Content written by Paola Ponce & Fabiola Saucedo

Loved this blog? Then I think you’ll love learning more about my journey as a specialized gel nail solopreneur in the nail industry. Click here to get instant access to my free masterclass. These blogs are copyrighted material and any use of this blog is not permitted without written concern first. Some of these blogs contain affiliate links that provide us with a small commission when qualifying purchases are made. Thank you for being so supportive, which helps us continue creating valuable resources and content like this.

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