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Protect Your Nails From The Sun: Nailing It

Operations associate, Loren, has a thing for nails- and we can’t blame her. We love reading about new finishes and fun techniques, so we thought we’d give her a weekly slot on our blog to wax poetic about all things manicure (and pedicure!) related. Check back every week for Nailing It, Birchbox’s dedicated polish series.

Especially in the spring and summer, it’s important to apply SPF on any exposed areas like arms and legs. But we often forget about the smaller spots like our toes and ears—and even our nails! Since nails are made of protein, keratin to be exact, they need protection just like skin does. In fact, a Birchbox staffer went on vacation with her nails bare and came back with sun burnt, purple nails. She described the pain as “feeling like her fingers had been slammed in a car door.”
Not only can the sun burn the skin under your nails, it can also cause damage in the form of vertical ridges. Once these ridges form, it can take up to six months for the nail to completely grow out so they disappear. (It can take even longer for toe nails—up to a year and a half.) Shielding your cuticles is also important because damage can affect nail growth and even make you more susceptible to fungal or bacterial infections.
One great way to protect your nails from the sun’s rays? Get a manicure! Most polishes are already infused with UV absorbers, but to ensure that your digits are covered, use a top coat with added UVA and UVB filters. These will also prevent that dreaded nail bed staining and polish color morphing that happens from sun exposure. You can find some UV-absorbant top coats made by familiar brands, such as Essie Sun-EOrly UV Protect Top Coat, and Haken Nail Magic All In One UV Protect Top/Base Coat. To protect cuticles and nails in one go, I recommend using these dual protection, all-star products like Dermalogica AGE Smart Multivitamin Hand and Nail TreatmentOPI Manicure Finishing Butter, and Gigi Organics Skin Hydrator.
If your nails have already been damaged—don’t worry! Ridge fillers can do wonders to even out your nails. 
How do you protect your nails from the sun?
—Loren
Planning to spend tons of time in the sun? Take a look at the Birchbox Shop for some great products to keep your hands and nails safe!

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