Why Do Nails Peel? — Causes and Treatment


NailDesigners, are you having problems with peeling nails?

Peeling nails can be unsightly. It’s a sign of bad health and reflects badly on us.


Also, if you’re fond of nail art, it’s hard to keep doing nail designs when you’re having nail issues in the first place. Nail art will only work if your nails are strong and healthy.

Let’s find out what the culprits are when it comes to nail peeling. If we can understand the problem, we can come up with a solution.


Why Do Nails Peel?

Nails peel as a result of a variety of different reasons. The following are some examples of external factors that may cause your nails to peel.


This is the most common reason for splitting nails since an excess of moisture can soften your nails and cause them to peel. Your nails repeatedly drying out because of extended water exposure can cause peeling as well.

There are lots of ways to keep these things from happening such as wearing gloves when you plan to get your hands wet for extended periods of time, or by making use of lanolin-containing lotion to keep your nails from getting too dry.



Another very common cause would be damage or physical trauma to your nails from injuries. The easiest ways for your nails to get injured could be from everyday occurrences such as prying or scraping on things too often. Nail-biting is also another form of injury on your nails.

One way to get around this is to be more mindful of how you treat your nails and trimming them often.

Lack of Iron

Iron is essential in hemoglobin production, a type of protein present in your red blood cells that aids in oxygen transport to the different systems of your body. This could result in brittle nails which would then lead to peeling. This is a common type of anemia known as iron deficiency and may cause other symptoms as well.

Do you remember your elementary Science? Don’t forget to add iron to your daily diet.


Cleaning supplies in your house (e.g. detergents, soaps, disinfectants) have properties that cause nail damage especially if acetone is present. Making sure to minimize long exposure of your nails to these substances or by making use of clear nail polish weekly, especially those that are designed to counter nail peeling. These can protect your nails from the resulting harmful effects of these harsh chemicals.


How To Keep Nails From Peeling

Now that we’ve read about what is causing your nails to peel, you probably have some good ideas now on how to counter this problem. See if you can learn more from the below recommendations.

  • Use Gloves.

Just to reiterate, gloves are a lifesaver. You can use rubber gloves when you expect your hands to be exposed for long periods of times to water or chemicals, and this exposure can be from everyday things such as washing the dishes or doing other chores around the house. Protective gloves (not necessarily rubber) arehelpful as well for tasks that could potentially physically damage your nails such as gardening.

Protective gloves (not necessarily rubber) arehelpful as well for tasks that could potentially physically damage your nails such as gardening.

  • Moisturize always

Regularly moisturizing your nails is a must as it is very easy for them to dry out which would then cause peeling. When you know that your nails are going to get some abuse, moisturize them every time afterward using non-manufactured moisturizers. Manufactured moisturizers could contain harmful substances.

Be sure to read labels on the beauty products you use. Petroleum jelly is a safe product to use.

  • Use clear nail polish

As previously mentioned, nail polish (even just the clear base) can help protect your nails from chemicals and also minimize loss of moisture. There are special formulations you can get that are designed to strenghten and protect nails.

  • Avoid nail polish removers with acetone

Acetone dries up skin. This is because it strips off the natural oils of our skin.

And just so you know, excessive exposure to acetone is harmful and has serious side effects. If you’re buying nail polish remover, choose one without acetone to avoid damaging your nails and skin.

  • Avoid trauma on your nails

Proper care is the most important factor in keeping your nails in tip-top condition and not proper nutrition. Make sure to pay more attention to taking care of your nails properly in everyday activities where you may not notice that you’ve been causing trauma to your nails.


We often use our nails to remove stuff, cut stuff, scratch stuff, or open stuff. If you use your nails as tools often, try to break that habit and use the tools meant for the job instead.

Now here are some homemade recipes you can make that will help strengthen your nails and keep them from peeling or breaking.


DIY Nail Strengtheners

There are plenty of nail strengthening brands available in different stores, but if you really want to take that extra step and attempt making your own nail strengtheners that are naturally cheaper and more natural period, take a look at the following strategies:

  1. Making your own cream – Mix the following ingredients: 1 egg yolk, 1 tbsp honey, 2 tbsps olive oil, 1 pinch of salt. After, it’s immediately ready to be applied. After applying the mixture, leave it on your nails for around 20 minutes and rinse. Do this three times a week to maximize effectiveness.
  2. Adding to a store-bought strengthener – Simply add in the following to the strengthener: 1/2 tsp minced garlic, 5 drops white iodine, 5 drops lemon juice. After mixing the ingredients, leave it for around 2 days By then, it would be ready for application.
  3. Making use of oils – Brittleness comes from dryness so it’s only natural that different oils which help in moisturizing help your nails out as well. Rubbing olive oil on your cuticles daily helps out a ton. Other moisturizing substances work too such as petroleum jelly.



Top 5 Best Products for Peeling Nails

You can solve your peeling nail problem with any of these 5 solutions:

5Probelle Nail Hardener Formula 1

This is a special formula. You’ll be surprised how it can manage to cure and repair damaged nails that are cracking or peeling. In 2-4 weeks, it can make your nails grow strong and healthy.

4Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Instant Nail Hardener 3478 Clear

This Sally Hansen formula has a real micro-diamond and titanium blend. It’s very strong as it can instantly bond and seal weak nails in a protective and shatterproof shield.

3Sally Hansen Miracle Cure for Severe Problem Nails

This miracle formula can keep your nails from peeling by making them stronger by 50% in a matter of 3 days.

2Nailtiques Nail Protein Formula

Our number 2 most popular item for peeling nails is this special nail protein. If your nails are peeling, soft, bitten, thin or weak, just apply one coat on your naked nails everyday. You can skip days as your nails improve. Really works!

1OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener

As expected of our bestseller, this Opi Nail treatment has several awards under its belt. It’s the most expensive item on our list but that’s for a reason. It’s worth every penny as correct use will really fix your severely damaged nails.