I’m sure somewhere along the line we’ve all heard someone say, “I’m taking a break from painting my nails. I need to let my nails breathe.” But, do nails actually breathe?
This next excerpt is written by Doug Schoon, an internationally-recognized scientist, author and educator, with over 30 years experience in the cosmetic, beauty and personal care industry. He is a leading industry authority, known for his technical and regulatory work that has helped shape the beauty industry:
“No, they don’t! There is no reason to believe that nails need to “breathe”. Nails aren’t alive and don’t have lungs nor do they have any ability to absorb air into the nail plate. This myth makes no sense on many levels! In short, nails do NOT require an external air supply and do not breathe or exhale. 100% of the oxygen needed by the nail matrix to create a new nail plate comes from the blood stream and 0% comes from the outside world.
Everything the nail plate needs to properly grow and function is delivered and/or removed by the blood flow to the matrix area and nail bed. The matrix is where the nail plate is created from nutrients which can ONLY be delivered by the blood stream. Neither “air” nor “nutrients” can be absorbed or “fed” to the nail plate from any external source.
Moisture and natural nail oils leave the nail bed and pass through the nail plate at slower than normal rates, but they aren’t “trapped”. The nail plate’s moisture content is increased by 10-15%, and the oil content increases only slightly; both serves to increase the flexibility of the natural nail plate.
Waste products are removed from the matrix area and surrounding tissues by the blood as well, and are not released into the nail plate. Normal, healthy nail plates would continue to grow and thrive in a completely air-free environment, as long as a healthy flow of blood to the nail is maintained, so clearly… nails don’t need to breathe!”
So now we know, nails don’t breathe. You can safely wear nail polish every day, year after year, without ever having to worry about giving your nails a day off to “breathe”.