tips & trends

how to care for splitting, peeling or flaky nails

Getting frustrated by flaky nails? Don’t worry, we’ve got you. Nails splitting, flaking or peeling can be a common occurrence, but the good news is there are lots of ways you can combat these issues and protect your nails for the future. We’ve put together a quick guide to what might be causing splitting fingernails, how you can prevent them and which products we recommend.

how to care for splitting, peeling or flaky nails

Discover our top 3 tips to look after your nails.


tip 1: splitting nail causes

Water, Water, Everywhere. You might expect water to be harmless, but prolonged soaking can actually weaken your nails – especially if you’re in a hard-water area. The minerals in water can break down your nail beds over time and can start to dry them out, which can even impact nail growth. If you’re noticing your nails feel brittle or are prone to splitting, it might be that activities like washing up are taking their toll. Try wearing rubber gloves to limit time spent soaking.

Picking & Peeling. If you find you’re tempted to pick or peel your nail varnish off instead of using a remover solution, you definitely need to read this. While it might feel satisfying in the moment, you might be doing damage to your nails. Peeling off polish could take the top layer of your nail bed with it, leading to thinner, weaker nails in the long term.

Evergreen Acrylics. Acrylic nails can be a lot of fun, but you should allow for a gap between applications. Nail technicians will typically file down the surface of your natural nails before applying acrylics, which can cause them to thin and weaken. Try to make sure your nails get a chance to breathe rather than getting acrylics back-to-back. You could even try doing your own home manicures to give both your nails and your wallet a break!

Gel Hell. Tempting as it is to cut off your gel nails as they grow out, it’s important to learn how to properly remove gel to avoid any damage. Tearing or tugging them off can strip away the top layers of your nail bed and leave your natural nails weakened. You don’t necessarily need to go to the salon to get them removed, though – we’ve put together a guide for safely removing your own gel nails at home with minimal risk.

The Tool Kit. Nails can be trusty tools sometimes but using them for odd jobs might be doing more harm than you think. Scratching, scraping or picking things apart can cause your nails to split or tear and can result in breakages. Be mindful of the pressure you’re applying to your nails day-to-day – and maybe consider investing in a Swiss army knife instead.

tip 2: how to prevent peeling nails

Keep it Short. One of the easiest ways to protect your nails is to keep them short. It prevents them from catching on objects during the day and also makes it less tempting to use them as tools. Make sure not to go too short – your nail should still come past your nail bed – and consider using a file rather than clippers for the final edge.

Go Round. Round nails are less likely to catch than square or pointed ones because they don’t have any sharp corners. You can shape your nails with a file to get smoother edges. If you prefer square shapes, consider at least rounding off the corners with your nail file.

Moisturise, Moisturise, Moisturise! When you’re applying hand creams and lotions, make sure your cuticles don’t get missed out! Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil can help lock in moisture and keep your cuticles healthy and hydrated as well as protecting them from stressors.

All You Need is Gloves. Keep cleaning chemicals and even just excessive water away from your nails by making sure to wear rubber gloves when you’re washing up or completing house chores. This can help limit exposure to substances that could weaken your nails over time.

tip 3: split nail repair products

Strong Start. Our strength boosting formula, infused with biotin, helps reinforce weak and brittle nails. Strong Start Base Coat is a great start to your manicure

Looking for even more ideas? Check out essie’s full range of nail-strengthening treatments.


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