Whether your nails take a beating on the job or for a hobby, the best nail polishes for working hands will extend the life of your manicure with chip-free wear. Depending on the type of work that you do — as well as your personal preference — that could mean a drugstore lacquer or a long-wearing gel. Below you'll find the pros and cons to each.
Regular Nail Polish Vs. Gel Polish
A traditional brush-on nail polish is less of a hassle to apply and doesn’t require sanding down or soaking in acetone to remove. That said, you will have to touch it up more often. If your hands are constantly getting banged up and you can’t stand chips, or you don’t have the patience for a drawn-out gel application, you might want to look specifically for a long-wearing version of regular polish. Today you can find formulas that are all-in-one or quick-drying.
Gel manicures last far longer and provide an additional layer of protection that lets you keep your nails at a longer length than you might with a traditional polish. However, they require a lamp for setting and are notoriously hard on nails. Side effects range from brittleness to peeling — even UV damage. If you spring for a gel polish, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends applying waterproof SPF 30 to protect your hands during gel manicures, as well as taking a “nail polish holiday” every few weeks and moisturizing heavily to rehydrate your nails. For that reason, I've also included an ultra-nourishing hand cream on the list below.
Whatever type of polish you prefer, below you'll find the five best nail polishes on Amazon to keep your tips in top shape. No matter what activity you get up to, these polishes are up for the job.
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