5 Tips for Winter Nail Health

Are your hands and cuticles dry? Are your nails breaking more often? Is the cold, dry winter air wreaking havoc? I got you, friends. Read on for my 5 tips for winter nail health.


Your nails do not need to breathe. That is a myth. Your nails are made of keratin. Keratin is a protein made of dead cells. Dead cells do not breathe. But your nails DO absorb oils which is important to keep them from breaking, splitting or peeling. A routine for winter moisturizing can keep your tips in top shape! Use your favorite hand lotion several times a day. Apply a cuticle oil at least once every day before applying lotion. I like CND Solar Oil but there are a ton of options. Find your favorite and use it! At night, before bed, instead of lotion use a thick hand cream to seal in moisture. Using cuticle oil before this step would also be awesome for your nails.

Just say no to nail strengthener

What? Yep. I said it. You do not need a nail strengthener or nail hardener. They will make your nails strong and hard. But strong and hard nails are more likely to break, crack and chip. That isn’t what you want. At least it isn’t what I want. I want strong and flexible nails, friends. To get that all you need is cuticle oil and a good lotion that you use regularly.

Use acetone

Yep. I said that too. Although acetone can dry your nails and skin, I find that because acetone is quicker at dissolving nail polish it’s better than other removers which take longer. Acetone based removers also evaporate quicker which is another reason they’re less drying than the non acetone based versions. If you’re super concerned, just rub olive or coconut oil around your nails before using the acetone remover. It’ll work on dissolving that oil with your nail polish instead of the oils naturally in your skin. When you’re done, wash your hands and use your cuticle oil and lotion (unless you’re polishing your nails right away).

Only polish clean nails

I’ve talked about it before, but you want to start with clean nails before you polish. All that lotion and cuticle oil you’re using can make your polish not last as long because the oils interrupt the polish bond on your nail. Before doing your nails, clean them with alcohol or nail polish remover. Color Street comes with alcohol prep pads for this purpose but I often just use my nail polish remover instead (it’s a 3 in 1 – remover, cleaner & nail prep). Don’t worry about drying out your nails. If you’ve been using your lotion and cuticle oil, you’re only removing surface oil, not what has been absorbed in your nails. If you’re not using Color Street (really, why aren’t you?), you’ll need to use a base coat before your color coat and a top coat to protect your nails and seal your polish.

Cover up

Wear gloves. All the time. If you’re cleaning or doing dishes, wear gloves to protect your nails from harsh chemicals. And water. Did you know water is bad for your nails? Like oil, your nails can also absorb water. If your nails absorb water, they can bloat which will push the oils out causing your nails to dry out. The bloat can also change the shape of your nails and weaken the nail polish bond which leads to cracking or chipping. Who knew? Gloves will also help protect your hands & nails from the dry, cold winter air. And snow. And all the things you may encounter out there in the world that could cause you to break a nail.

5 tips for winter nail health

Do you have any tips for winter nail health?

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