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Weak, Brittle Nails Are the Bane of Our Existence—These 10 Products Can Help

For so many beauty lovers, nails are a point of pride. Whether it's a devotion to gel extensions, at-home manicures, or cool designs, how we style our nails is one of those elements of our beauty routines that allow for untethered self-expression. And one thing is for certain: Your nails will always look their best when they’re at their best strength-wise. 

Perfectly manicured shapes and nail beds coated in one of the year's most popular polish shades are great, but there's more we can do to make sure our nails are primed for slayage. After all, no one wants flimsy nails that break and peel, destroying all that creative energy we've painted on. In many cases, improving nail strength is as easy as swiping on a treatment or base meant to impart strengthening nourishment to stop bending and breaking for good.

Best nail polish strengtheners

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If we’ve learned anything over the last year, it’s that acts of self-care are of the utmost importance. You don’t need an appointment at your local nail salon to care for your nails, though, especially now that there are so many tips and tricks to keep up your nails at home. Once you finally find the right products, investing in strong, thriving nails should be at the top of your priority list. We're here to help.

Keep scrolling for our roundup of the best nail polish strengtheners to improve the overall health of your nails and foster strength, protection, and growth. 

1. CND RescueRxx

Not only is this keratin nail treatment clinically proven to improve nail condition in just one week, but it's also one that I personally swear by. It's been my holy grail to restrengthen my nails when they’re not at their best, especially during the winter months when the frigid air in New York City makes my hands and nails dryer than usual. It's formulated with keratin protein that bonds to the natural nail to help strengthen and protect your nail plates, sweet almond oil to soften and condition your nail beds, and jojoba seed oil that increases the penetration of the other ingredients and enhances the overall moisture of the nail.

2. Ella+Mila Nail Care Nail Strengthener 

Ella+Mila offers more than just attention-grabbing nail polish shades that are near impossible to choose from. (This explains why my collection of bottles is so large.) You'll also find products that cater to nail health enthusiasts, like this polish strengthener. It's got vitamin E, which works to support nail health by providing the moisturizing benefits your nails and skin need to prevent dry skin and cracked or yellow nails. 

3. Kiss Maximum Strengthener

We love an affordable product that seals and hardens your nails and can be found at your nearest drugstore. Kiss's line of nailcare products will honestly change your life without draining your bank account. Used in tandem with its signature variety of press-on nails, this Maximum Strengthener will protect your natural nails through any and every occasion.

4. Orly Nail Defense

Here's a two-in-one product that gives your nails the strength they need while still serving as a bomb basecoat. Orly’s Nail Defense is a must-have. It's great for everyday use as part of a nailcare boot camp regimen thanks to its double dose of plant-derived proteins.

5. Nailtopia Spinach Nail Strengthener

Unlike most other nail treatments, this one is plant-based and created with AHA and PHA that each provides anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits for your skin and nails. All of its ingredients are bio-sourced, plant-based fruits and veggies that contain nutrients like vitamin A and C for an extra boost of nail strength and protection.

6. OPI Envy Nail Strengthener

OPI’s Nail Envy Strengthener deserves all the recognition it has already received and then some. I’ve used this nail strengthener after transitioning from acrylic nails or gel nails back to my regularly scheduled manicure, and after each use, my nails always get healthier, shinier, and more moisturized. This one's got vitamin E (a nutrient recognized as the gold standard in nail growth and strengthening) and kukui nut oil.

7. Côte Nail Strengthener Base and Top Coat

Another multifunctioning product that serves as a nail strengthener, basecoat, and topcoat is Côte’s treatment polish. It contains vitamin B5 and coffee extract—a combination that, when applied every two to three days, will leave your nails prepared for anything. If your nails are weak due to damage or just need a little loving, using this product will definitely help.

8. Isdin Si-Nails Nail Strengthener

You likely know Isdin for its suncare offerings, but this swipe-on nail treatment is another game changer you have to try. The serum polish is housed in a one-click applicator pen that can travel with you anywhere. But outside of being able to travel with you on the go, it's clinically proven to increase the thickness, density, and durability of your nails and cuticles in just under 14 days.

9. Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Hardener

This OG nail hardener has been a go-to drugstore option for years thanks to its unique blend of film-formers that help toughen up weak, fragile nails.

10. Nail Tek Nail Recovery Kit

This three-step polish kit contains everything you need to repair nail damage, strengthen fragile nails, and moisturize cuticles for a full-spectrum nail health overhaul. There's a reason you'll spot this system being used even in professional salons.

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