I attempted “slugging” my nails, and my brittle, weak nails have never been more appreciative.

by | Nov 2, 2023 | NAILS | 0 comments

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Hey! I’m Fabiana, and I recently took off my gel nail extensions after using them religiously for a full year. I feel, dare I say, lost.

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After discovering a local nail artist who performed amazing nail art, I began getting gel nail extensions toward the end of 2021. My natural nails were strong and developed quickly, but I bit my tongue and went ahead with the extensions as they only worked on extensions.

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To put you in the know: A pre-shaped gel tip that is connected to your natural nail is called a gel nail extension. Although getting a fill is normally advised every two to three weeks, I decided to wait until every four weeks instead because it was a more time-consuming and costly procedure, and that seemed to work well for me. Sincerely, I didn’t think I would maintain the extensions for a full year, but I truly enjoyed choosing new patterns each month and allowing my nails to express who I am.

Fabiana Buontempo

After a whole year of using gel extensions, I felt my nails needed a vacation, even though they are not as harmful to your nails as acrylics are. Certain specialists advise against getting regular gel manicures, acrylics, or gel nail extensions, especially in the winter.

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“For those who suffer from brittle nails, I suggest giving gel or acrylic nails a vacation throughout the winter, as these treatments have the potential to further weaken and dry up the nails. But it doesn’t mean you have to give up on having fun nails. I advise choosing polishes devoid of abrasive, harmful compounds,” OziFox was informed by Dr. Dendy E. Engelman, MD.

I finally made the decision to get rid of them, so over the holidays I went to a nearby salon and requested a standard manicure. I was anxious about the removal procedure at this salon as, on occasion, the method a nail technician removes gel, acrylics, or gel nail extensions might seriously harm your natural nails. Fortunately, the girl who did my nails was compassionate; to get rid of the extensions, she used an electric file and a nail clipper.

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My nails didn’t seem to be in bad condition right away following removal. But they felt incredibly fragile and frail. I could never run my fingers through my hair or scratch an itch without breaking at least one nail.

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Fabiana Buontemp

I decided to give the “nail-slugging” craze, which I had been seeing all over TikTok, a go. This is essentially the same idea as skincare slugging, but it’s applied to your nails.

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Fabiana Buontempo / Via TikTok

Nail slugging is just massaging cuticle oil into your nail beds and then covering it with a heavier petroleum-based product (like Vaseline or Aquaphor) to create an occlusive barrier and seal in moisture. My weak nails sorely required this two-step procedure, which is meant to help dry, brittle nails grow stronger and healthier.

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Fabiana Buontempo

In an effort to strengthen its ties to the Black community, Vaseline collaborated with multimedia artist Cristina Martinez, professional tennis player Sloane Stephens, and beauty influencer Shalom Blac to launch the Illuminate Me collection in 2020.

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I’ll be the first to acknowledge that I don’t always take care of my dry cuticles and don’t always apply cream to my hands, especially during the long winter months. Experts claim that cuticles are crucial to the health of our nails, which is why I found this nail hack so fascinating.

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“Cuticles are a portion of the body that are frequently disregarded, yet they are crucial to the wellbeing of the fingers and nails. Strong cuticles can aid in encouraging the growth of nails. Dr. Engelman stated that maintaining hydrated cuticles makes nails stronger and prevents them from becoming brittle or flaky.

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Now let’s go slugging! I decided to test the hack shortly before bed because I knew my fingers would be too oily to do anything but fall asleep. I used my finger to massage a pea-sized dollop of Aquaphor into my cuticles and nail beds after applying cuticle oil.

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Fabiana Buontempo

Before getting into bed, I put some cream all over my hands because my hands felt particularly dry because most of the items were on my nails.

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My fingers felt really oily at first. But massaging the hand cream made the products more evenly distributed, improving their absorption. I could have slept with gloves if I really wanted to increase the moisturizing aspect, but I decided against it because I tend to become overheated while I sleep.

I didn’t have any residue from the mixture of cuticle oil, Aquaphor, and hand cream when I woke up. Rather, my cuticles, nails, and hands felt unbelievably soft.

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I adhered to the routine of applying my cuticle oil and Aquaphor combo every night for a whole week in an attempt to try this trend and frantically try to revive my nails. Before including nail slugging into my nightly routine, I decided to give it a week’s worth of trial to see if it actually made a difference and enhanced the condition of my nails.

I was not shocked by how much I liked this two-step process because I had heard nothing but positive things about skincare slugging. After only the first night of use, I could already tell a difference in the level of moisture in my nails and cuticles. Later in the week, I also noticed that my nails were less brittle than they had been before I slugged them.

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Fabiana Buontempo

I wasn’t expecting miracles after only a few days because my nails were still weak. However, my nails felt hard and scratchy before I started slugging them. They appear to have a shine to them and feel softer now.

I am a cuticle picker, which is one of my neurotic behaviors, even though this wasn’t really my intention when I tried nail slugging. I believe that by heavily moisturizing that nail area, I prevented any bothersome dry skin from poking its head out to be picked by me. Another triumph!

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I was particularly happy to see that professionals supported this nail trend, considering there is a lot of false information about skincare on social media.

“I think this trend is great. It seems like a fantastic method for keeping moisture in and shielding the cuticles and nails. According to Dr. Engelman, cuticle oil helps heal and moisturize damaged skin, as reported by OziFox.

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“Applying a thick moisturizer or salve on top seals that moisture and other nourishing ingredients from the oil into your nail and cuticle, while providing additional hydration and adding a protective layer to keep out aggressors,” she said.

All in all, I think this is a terrific beginning for my quest to strengthen and revitalize my nails. I am going to try to slug my nails at least every other night because I was happy with the outcome.

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Fabiana Buontempo

In addition, I made the decision to give gel nail extensions a rest for the remainder of the winter and give them another thought in the spring. I certainly miss having nice, long nails, but sometimes we have to do things against our will in the interest of our health. Who knows, too? I might grow accustomed to having short nails and never use extensions again. All in all, I’m glad I’m taking a break from my nails and giving them the attention they require.

Have you ever attempted nail art? If yes, what do you think about the trend? Please tell me in the section below!

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