How To Protect Your Nails At The Beach

by Emily McClure
Blond hair young woman playing in the morning enjoying time in nature.
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While protecting our skin may seem like a no-brainer when we're at the beach, rarely do we think about protecting our nails. However, the sun, surf, and sand can play a huge part in the overall nail health. From split cuticles to damaged nail beds, there are several ways that a day at the beach could ruin your delicate nails. But you can keep your polish looking it's best by knowing how to protect your tips from the harsh sun, sand, and surf.

Did you know that your nails can get sunburned, just like the rest of your body? According to the team at, the sun can burn the skin under your nails, and can cause damage the nail itself. How scary is that? However, before you go wearing a pair of gloves at the beach know that there are many other ways to combat this type of damage. All it takes is a few extra steps in your beauty routine to keep your nails looking and feeling their best. Besides, no one wants burned fingernails. It just sounds completely awful. Here are seven easy steps for protecting your nails when you're at the beach. It's the easiest thing you can do all summer long.

1. Use Nail Strengthener Beforehand

OPI Natural Nail Strengthener, $8, Ulta

Give your nails the strength they need to survive a day at the beach by applying a few coats of nail straightener before you head out the door. This way your nails will be nourished and strong before you hit the sand.

2. Keep A Nail File On Hand

Will Ragozzino/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

According to, longer nails are more prone to snagging and breaking. By filing your nails down, you can reduce your chances of ruining your manicure while at the beach.

3. Moisturize Your Cuticles

Nail Oil, $12, The Body Shop

From the gritty sand to the salty sea, there are plenty of reasons why your nail beds could be drying out at the beach. In order to prevent splitting, or even bleeding, consider bringing along a cuticle moisturizer to the beach. This way your cuticles can soak up the moisture, while you're soaking up the sun.

4. Be Sparing With SPF Around Your Nails

Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images

For those with a fresh manicure, try to be sparing when it comes to applying SPF around your nails. According to SELF, there are some chemicals in sunscreen that can weaken or remove nail polish.

5. Use UV Protection Polish Instead

Top Coat, $4, Nail Supplies

Like any other part of your body, your nails are prone to UV damage, according to Keep your nails looking and feeling their best by using a UV protection topcoat or polish before you head to the beach.

6. Minimize Your Time In The Ocean


According to POPSUGAR, you may want to think twice about spending a lot of time in the ocean. Not only can prolonged time in the water cause your manicure to chip, but the salt water can also dry out your nails causing them to become brittle.

7. Bring Along Your Polish

Kristian Dowling/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Anything with a grainy texture is going to remove your nail polish, according to, therefore, sand is basically your pedicure's worst nightmare. Bring along your nail polish to the beach in order to fix any chipping.

When it comes to protect your nails from the sand, surf, and sun, it's anything but a day at the beach — but you can do it!

Images: Getty Images (5); Courtesy of Brands