The 5 Healthiest & Safest Manicures that Won’t Damage Your Nails

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Getting your nails done at a salon can be a fun and relaxing experience. However, some manicure techniques and products can damage your nails if not done properly. Choosing a non-toxic nail salon that uses safe products and practices is key for healthy nails.

The Best 5 Healthiest & Safest Manicures

Top 5 Healthiest & Safest Manicures that Won't Damage Your Nails

1. Natural Manicure

A natural or basic manicure is one of the healthiest options for your nails. This simple manicure focuses on shaping and buffing your natural nails and cuticles.

First, your nail technician will soak your hands and nails in a bowl of warm water or paraffin wax to soften the skin and cuticles. Then, they will gently push back and trim any overgrown cuticles using a cuticle stick.

Next, they will file and shape your nails using sanitized nail files and buffers. Filing in one direction helps prevent nails from splitting. Your nails will then be cleaned and massaged.

The final step is the application of a natural moisturizing lotion or oil to hydrate your nails and cuticles. No toxic polishes or chemicals are used. This allows your nails to breathe and recover.

A natural manicure helps strengthen nails over time by encouraging new and healthy nail growth. It also improves the look of dry, damaged nails. Make sure you get the nail services from certified professionals only; otherwise, it may not come out as you expect.

2. Standard Nail Polish Manicure

A standard nail polish manicure can be a safe option as long as toxic-free polishes are used. When choosing a nail polish, look for formulas that are “3-free,” meaning they don’t contain the toxic chemicals formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP).

This manicure starts the same way as a natural manicure, with soaking, shaping nails, and pushing back cuticles. After nails are filed and cleaned, traditional nail polish is applied in thin coats. Each coat should be allowed to dry before the next is added to prevent bubbling.

Two thin coats of polish are better than one thick coat, which can cause streaking. A quick-dry top coat is then applied to seal in color and add shine.

Look for nourishing bases and top coats that contain vitamins and essential oils to condition nails. Non-toxic polish in moderation will not damage nails significantly. Just be sure to remove it regularly to allow nails to breathe.

3. Dip Powder Manicure

A newer manicure technique is the dip powder system. This is a great longer-lasting option for strengthening natural nails.

Dip powder starts with short natural nails being lightly lined and trimmed. Next, a dehydrator base coat is applied to remove any oils on the nails. Then, nail tips are dipped into a colored powder of choice.

Dip powder manicures use resin-based activator liquid to adhere powder to nails, resulting in smooth, healthy-looking nails. Natural nails remain exposed, and a sealant top coat is added. These manicures last 2-3 weeks, with no chipping or smudging, and have a faster dry time compared to gel polish.

4. Press on Nails

Press-on nails, also called false or glue-on nails, offer a non-damaging temporary manicure alternative. These plastic or acrylic nails adhere using non-toxic, hypoallergenic glue applied to the underside of the false nail tip.

Press-on nails are lightweight, flexible, and easy to remove without damaging your nails. They stay put for up to a week and can be painted like natural nails. 

Taking them off allows your nails to breathe before reapplying, providing a break from polishing and filing. Cute designs are safer and healthier than elaborate nail art.

5. Gel Polish Manicure

Gel polish has grown in popularity for its extended two-week wear and chip-free finish. While gel manicures do carry some risks, they can be safe if done properly at a non-toxic salon.

Gel polish is an alternative to traditional polish combined with a gel base and top coat cured under UV or LED lamps. It dries quickly in seconds. Because it adheres to the nail better, it reduces chipping and smudging.

However, completely sealing the nail under gel polish inhibits nail health and growth for too long. 14 days should be the maximum wear time. Look for gel formulas that are toxin-free and soakable in acetone. Using gel polish too often or letting it grow out can cause nail damage over time.

Choosing the Healthiest Salon

All salons and nail technicians are not necessarily equal when it comes to nail health. Choosing one that uses safe products and practices is just as important as choosing a non-toxic manicure.

Here are some tips for picking the healthiest nail salon:

  • Look for salons clearly labeled as non-toxic, vegan, or “green”. Read their service menu for product brands.
  • Ask which polish, gel, base/top coat brands they use, and look for toxin-free ingredients.
  • Make sure manicure tools and foot basins are properly cleaned and fully sanitized between clients.
  • Confirm they don’t use drills for removal which can thin out nails. Look for soaking removal instead.
  • Choose a salon with plenty of ventilation and air purification systems to minimize fume inhalation.
  • Look for salons using safer LED lamps over UV lamps during gel manicure treatment.
  • Opt for nail technicians that allow your nails to take breaks from prolonged gel or acrylic wear.
  • Read online reviews of the salon’s cleanliness practices and service quality from other clients.

Choosing nail services from a salon focused on health and safety should be your priority for a damage-free manicure. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their products and practices before booking.

At-Home Maintenance for Healthy Nails

How you care for your nails at home between manicures is also important for maintaining strength and shine. Here are some helpful at-home tips:

  • Moisturize Daily: Keep cuticles and nails hydrated with vitamin E oil or moisturizers containing jojoba oil or shea butter.
  • Protect Hands: Wear gloves during housework and gardening to protect your hands from chemicals and dirt. Avoid prolonged water exposure.
  • File Properly: File nails in one direction only, not back and forth. Use a glass file for less damage.
  • Take Biotin: Some studies show biotin supplements help increase nail thickness and prevent cracking and splitting.
  • Allow Drying Time: After washing hands, thoroughly dry hands and nails to prevent fungus or infection from trapped moisture.
  • Limit Use of Acetone Polish Remover: Acetone dries out nails quickly. Use sparingly and moisturize after.
  • Avoid Picking at Nail Polish: Peeling off gel or regular polish can remove layers of your actual nail.

With proper at-home care and regular, non-toxic manicures, you can maintain beautiful, healthy, natural nails for life!


Regular manicures are essential for self-care, but it’s crucial to choose nail services that nurture the health of your natural nails. Avoid using harsh manicure methods and opt for safer options like toxin-free polishes, gels, and dip powders. Regular press-on nails allow nails to recover between wears. 

Maintaining good at-home habits like moisturizing and glowing hands can further strengthen your nails. Remember that nail health and self-care are interconnected, so choose the safest salon and manicure techniques for your nails. If you want any suggestions about choosing the healthiest and safest manicures that won’t damage your nails, contact Jumana Saloon experts. They are always eager to suggest the best nail treatments.