OMG, can it be possible that this series is actually coming to a close!?!?! Praise the LORD. Okay, well I make no promises really, because I am sure I will add subsections to it as I see fit in the future. In case you missed this annoyingly long series here are the links:
Categories of Hardeners and Formaldehyde Based Treatments
Are Formaldehyde Hardeners right for you?
Protein Based Hardeners
Formaldehyde + Protein Based Hardeners
Formaldehyde or Protein Based Hardeners + Moisturizers
Fluoride Based Nail Treatments Part I
Fluoride Based Nail Treatments Part II
Dimethyl Urea (DMU) based Hardeners - Similar to formaldehyde without allergic or over hardness problems.
Prostrong's Fluoride Nail Treatment and good general nail care there was one other product that helped me eliminate that darn peeling problem. The product is called DermaNail. It's a conditioning treatment. It's not a polish or an oil, but a unique solution with a few interesting ingredients (more on that below).
I feel like DermaNail changed the condition of my nails on a very fundamental level with permanent results, but it was in NO WAY a quick fix.
This product takes time and dedication to work, like any nail care routine. After all damaged nails have to grow out and as I have mentioned before it takes ~ 6 months for your nail to grow out fully from cuticle to tip. Hence, I would give it at least this long to see if it works for you. Yea, really, 6 months >.<, now that's dedication!
Aside from all the claims on the box, what really got me was at the time they were giving it away as a free trial if you paid shipping and handling. Oh man I jumped all over that!
Furthermore, it came with a free gift ...
This is a great hand and nail cream. I have to warn you though. One time I put it on and an hour later was like "what the hell is that stink??" Finally I came to realize it was my fingers lol. It has a unique smell, but IS great at what it does.
I like to leave these little stinky guys all over so that I always have some moisture within reach.
The ingredients in this product that do the dirty work are: butylene glycol (or similar) and acetyl mandelic acid. The glycol is a humectant. The chemical structure contains hydrophilic (water loving) groups which help retain water and keep your nails moist (like cake, lol). The acetyl mandelic acid is an apha hydroxy acid which smooths out (almost like an exfoliant) the nail surface, which consequently prevents nail splitting and peeling.
There are only two products that I have found to contain similar ingredients,
1. DermaNail Nail Conditioner
2. NeoCeuticals Nail Conditioner
Warning: THIS IS NOT A QUICK FIX!
The bottle clearly warns that it takes at least 8 - 16 weeks to see improvement. I definitely attest to that and then some.
How to use:
I have only ever used dermanail and followed the direction on the package (see picture above).
Anyway, you slap this stuff on your clean dry cuticles (and nail edge if you want) twice a day (once in the day time, once in the evening). Then you avoid washing your hands for 1 hour afterwords.
The directions also suggest applying the Cutemol or your moisturizer of choice after you apply DermaNail. Great suggestion DermaNail! :)
Where to get this treasure?
I don't know why I do this, but whenever I come across something I want my first instinct is always, "how can I get this baby for free??" So initially that is exactly what I searched for online. To my luck and surprise the maker, Summers Labs, happen to be running a great deal for DermaNail: a free trial of the product, if you paid shipping and handling. It was around $5 I think. So my first couple of bottles I got for free. Afterwords I started searching for it online. The normal going rate at the time was ~$23 for 1oz.
(Note: 1oz. will last you about one year with continuous use.)
At some point I realized DermaNail did not require a prescription, but still could never find it in stores. I, per chance, went behind a pharmacy counter and asked them about it. They said they didn't carry it on the shelves because it wasn't that popular (obviously not many people knew about it), but they had some in the back or could order it for me. The first time around I think I got the Wal-Mart pharmacy to order it for me and I only paid ~$15 for it. I'm guessing this was the price the pharmacy buys it for because other times I had to pay ~$23.
Some time ago, I was running low and happened to have a friend that worked at a pharmacy. Boy, I found out she could get it for ~$15, so hell yea I stocked up. Now I have the army you see above, lol.
In terms of being cost effective, DermaNail is cheaper than NeoCeuticals.
DermaNail ~ $27 per oz.
NeoCeuticals ~ $60 per oz.*
However you can probably find both cheaper by doing a Google search.
*Note: The company who makes NeoCeuticals nail conditioner has informed me that it was discontinued in the US so it is not available on their website; however, it looks like it may still be available for purchase online through other suppliers.
Problems, Side Affects?:
I have probably gone through 4 bottles (off and on) of DermaNail without incident. Then at some point, only in the last couple of years of use, the skin around my thumbs began to split and crack, but the nail itself was healthy. This was really strange and my only explanation for it was that I was not following directions properly (i.e. I was not avoiding washing my hands for 1 hour after DermaNail application) AND not properly moisturizing my nails. However, I have no reservations about using this product again.
I haven't used DermaNail for probably almost two years and my nails are still in great condition. If they ever started peeling or cracking I would jump back on the DermaNail band wagon in a heart beat.
Is this product right for you?
I feel like this product would be great for dry, cracked, peeling nails. Obviously its a conditioner so how can you go wrong?!
Furthermore, I also think this would be a great product for very soft and peeling nails in combination with a hardener treatment. I would however keep the treatments separate just to avoid too much chemical mixing. First harden up the nail plate for a few weeks with Formaldehyde or Fluoride, then stop the hardening treatment and start DermaNail.
Lastly, this may be a good product for people with ridges or whose nails split at the ridges. Because one of the active ingredients is an alpha hydroxy acid it has the potential to smooth out these types of nail surfaces and prevent the peel or split.
Overall, I think DermaNail is a great product to add to a good nail care routine as long as you are dedicated and follow the directions :D
As always ... whether using this product or any other treatment, moisturize like a crazy and your nails will eventually shape up! :D
I have made a video review for this product here.