Does constant wearing of nail polish damage nails?

edited December 2013 in Ask the Beauty Brains
My nails have always been healthy and hard with very few instances of flaking or ripping/tearing. 

Until a couple of months ago, I used to wear nail polish perhaps 6 or 7 times a year. But I've recently been getting into nail polish and have been wearing it nearly constantly for the past couple of months. I always use a base coat, 2-3 coats of colour and then 1-2 layers of top coat.

Two days ago I removed my nail polish and noticed that 2 nails are peeling in a couple of places.

So... does constant wearing of nail polish damage nails? 


  • Some polishes contain formaldehyde which can strengthen nails but also dry them out. This could account for the increased peeling you've observed. And if your'e using more polish you may be using more polish remover which may be based on acetone, a solvent that can dry out the nail and also cause damage.  
  • Thanks Randy. I should have mentioned that I use a non-acetone nail polish remover.

    Interesting about the formaldehyde! I've checked the ingredients for the top coat; it specifically states "sans formaldeyhyde". The base coat states that it helps prevent peeling & splitting. The coloured polish I was wearing last, however, doesn't list the ingredients so it may well contain formaldehyde.
  • Some polishes contain formaldehyde which can strengthen nails but also dry them out. try to use branded nail polish instead of local
    also check out the list of some best branded nail polishes
    Best Nail Polish Brands
  • Dark nail polish and can cause nails to turn an undesirable yellow. Traditional nail polish removers can really dry out your nails, leading to peeling and splitting. Avoid remover with an acetone base at all costs, to keep nails healthy.But if you use low-quality fraudulent nail polish, it can damage your nails.
  • I only use acetone to help with cleanup or prepping (I always have excess on my sidewalls) because I use peel off basecoat all the time.

    Acetone isn’t harmful. All removers are drying to the surface of the nails and skin. That dryness quickly reverse itself as your body continues its constant process of releasing moisture from inside to the outside of your skin and nails. Even though acetone is more drying, it’s actually better for your nails than non-acetone removers because it works so much faster. The total moisture loss ends up being less with acetone. As long as you drink enough to stay hydrated, oil your nails and cuticles, and use a lotion or hand cream, you won’t feel any ill effects from acetone. Here Coconut Oil for Stronger and Healthier Nails
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