Hard As Nails | People Magazine

Hard As Nails

AS the cooler weather sets in, there are tons of new things to think about when considering your beauty routine, like changing your light moisturiser for a rich, heavy-duty one and battling dull and frizzy hair with a nourishing hair mask. But when it comes to the most hard-working parts of our bodies, our hands and nails, we often think about them last. Whether it’s from months of gel nail applications or simply biting your cuticles (stop that!), nails are even more feeble in dry and cold weather. But do not fear, there are ways to combat brittle, damaged nails and cuticles. Here are five of our fave hardening treatments and some tips to last you till you can shed those extra layers.

What are nail hardeners?

NAIL hardeners are infused with vitamins that make nails feel harder and become less prone to splitting and breaking. They basically add a protective layer on top of your nails to reinforce the natural structure.

Pro Spa Nail & Cuticle Oil: R270, O.P.I

Ultra-nourishing, the formula helps protect, replenish and strengthen. The rich, yet lightweight grape seed, sesame, kukui, sunflower and cupuaçu oils provide the ultimate in moisture and  absorbs super fast.


Scientifique Nail Hardener: R269, Mavala

The unique formula hardens nail tips to prevent flaking. It penetrates deep into the nail to harden the nail plate and join the three nail layers together and allowing the nail to grow naturally.

Ultra Strong Nail Hardener: R44.95, Essence

This fast-drying nail polish is so full of power that there are a few things to take note of: it contains formaldehyde, so it’s important to massage some oil into your cuticles after use and pause one day after two days of application.


Hair, Skin, & Nails Booster: R750, By Halo Beauty, Muse Beauty

If you want thick, long hair along with your goal to have healthy nails, this might be for you. The booster includes powerful antioxidants that destroys fee radicals adding collagen and elastin.

Breathable Treatment + Colour In Staycation: R189, ORLY

Want some colour while you are treating your nails? The Advanced Oxygen Technology in this ORLY range allows water and oxygen to reach the nail. Infused with Argan Oil, Pro-Vitamin B5 and Vitamin C ingredients to keep your nails well moisturised.

Here are some more tips on how to keep nails strong:

  • Always wear gloves for household chores, especially when washing dishes.
  • Avoid excessive use of hand sanitizers containing alcohol. Alcohol is extremely drying to nails and skin.
  • No matter what the weather, long nails are more likely to snag, crack and break than short ones. Keep them trim and even, until they’re healthy at least.
  • If you’re experiencing sudden onset nail weakening, make an appointment with your dermatologist as the cause may be something internal.

Fun Fact: Cuticles work to shield and protect nails as they grow, blocking bacteria from invading the nail bed.



I am Beauty Editor at People Magazine and a make-up artist. I have worked with many celebrities, including, Phumeza Mdaba, Boity, Zuraida Jardine and Rolene Strauss. I always knew I would work in magazines, as I grew up in publishing (my parents are publishers). When I’m not writing beauty or following my passion for make-up, I can be found reading and spending time with family and friends. I am also a tea-lover

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