Most of us have heard talk that nails need time to “breathe” in between polishes, but little evidence to help us know whether this is necessary or not. Well, dermatologist Susan Taylor has told The Cut that there is no medical necessity for the practice of skipping your weekly mani-pedi, saying; “They [your nails] don’t actually breathe, and nail polish doesn’t ‘suffocate’ the nail plate.”
That being said, nails can benefit from a break in between painting. Nails are composed of the protein keratin, the same stuff your hair is made of, and like hair they can become dried out and in need of a deep conditioning. This is where the benefit of leaving nails unpolished comes in. Constant covering in polish, combined with the harsh acetone used to remove it can make nails dry and more prone to breakage, chips and splits. Waiting a week sans nail lacquer, and applying moisturizer to nails and cuticles can help them rejuvenate. It can also allow time for nails stained or yellowed by dark polishes to grow out in between applications. Try buffing nails if you are itching for some shine, or applying cuticle oil to give your digits a little bit of gleam without that top coat.