The Real Nail Hardening Bitch

At one point or another, some brand will claim that it can harden nails.  And that is darn nice.

Except for one thing - 

it's bullshit.

Do you remember what they say- 
contains calcium, algae, carbon, tough as diamonds (as if they contain diamonds- bah!), bamboo, mineral....
Tell you what - 

they don't work.

There is only one ingredient clinically proven to really strengthen nails.

And that is Formaldehyde.  Yup, same one used to embalm corpses.
But then it was banned together with toluene when there was a move to have all the nail products hypoallergenic. (Hypoallergenicity is so overrated really!)

So, if a product claims to harden your nails and boasts of some wimpy herbs to do the job, save yourself the money and the trouble of disappointment, just stick out your tongue and say-



  1. Apologies for quite a long pause.
    My life is currently being turned upside down - in a good way.
    But from your early encouraging feedback to my little poll (there still is a chance to answer), I will be able to post more frequently even if with short ones like this one.

  2. PHEW. glad its an upsidedown happy flip.

    I am totally a sufferer of weak, peeling, crap nails, with dry as the sahara cuticles. no matter what I use it doesnt work. Been supplementing with Biotin since like January don't know if its made a diff, likely not.

    Is there anything at all to help the overall condition of nails?


  3. Hey Y-
    Thanks for the concern- there is always a positive side to every story :-)

    Well, grandma legend has it that chopping massive amounts of garlic improves nail condition and helps grandma with her cooking - the former cannot be proven- but grandma is happy.

    The answer unfortunately is not in cosmetics- but rather diet, hydration- what goes inside the body rather than outside. Isn't that so boring?!

  4. Rowena,

    I'm really happy to see you posting again. I don't mind short ones and it would be more relaxing for you (and readers) ;)

    I do think that people are too obsessed with the 3-free polish. Unless one is working in a nail salon, how could a few drops of polish be so harmful to us? But as you said, the polish companies won't argue with the consumers and have to change their formula. LOL!

  5. Hi Cathy Lee!
    It is nice to feel welcomed back! This almost feels like family.
    It is true- suppliers won't argue- and moreso, the hypoallergenic formula are more expensive and less performant.
    Who are we to complain about making more money?

  6. There is at leas one brand sold by a major beauty retailer that contains formaldehyde and that is Perfect Formula Pink Gel Coat. Nice to note that formaldehyde isn't banned (an easy assumption given the hype of "natural" and "cruelty free" products lately) and that topical herbs do little if nothing for nails!

  7. Did you know that Avon's nail lengthening and strengthening formula actually contains "diamond dust"? Not sure if amazing bullshittery or just sad...

  8. OPI Nail Envy also relies on Formaldehyde to increase cross-linkage and therefore hardness of the natural nail....but if your nails are already hard but dehydrated, it can increase brittleness, so be careful what you wish for!

  9. i've always had a problem with weak nails, but they don't break, they are flexible. i used fake nails for a long time, but removed them months ago. (my nails were bad before the fake nails, jsyk.) i've tried products that say they grow longer and stronger nails, but it's kind of hard to tell if it works or not.

    1. maybe you should try a better diet. i've heard calcium and protein help nails.

    2. i agree. you know, maybe your diet is poor. are you overweight? it might have something to do with hormone levels. hormones disolve in fat...maybe if you lost some weight it would help your nails.

    3. Ok, I am not crazy about this anonymous commenting. Would rather have a commenter that shamelessly promotes her own blog than a troll who is ballsy only in anonymity. I admire strong opinions and good humour but i am not crazy about personal anonymous attacks, either to me or my fellow readers.
      And with this, i disable this anonymous commenting experiment. World is a better place if we all own up to our ideas, opinions, words and actions. Try it!

  10. helpful suggestions...but i really think i have just poor nails due to calcium problems. and i don't need you lecturing me about my weight!

  11. I have the same nail issue. And I am def not overweight. rofl

  12. looks like those comments were all left by someone trying to be controversial on their own...only one minute between each message? As if.

  13. I tried a bunch of the so called nail hardeners out there and of course, nothing changed. I also have lots of calcium in my diet and although taking extra seemed to help for a while it no longer does.
    p.s. get rid of the anon option, not nice to hide while making personal comments.


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