Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Nail Hardeners - Fluoride Based Treatments II

Although this looks like some illicit drug, it's actually calcium fluoride and fits really well into our discussion of Fluoride based nail treatments.  This is part II of that topic. Part I can be found here. Fluoride based nail treatments are part of a greater category of Nail Hardeners.  See links below:

Categories of Hardeners and Formaldehyde
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 
Dimethyl Urea Base Hardeners 
Nail Conditioners Post or Video

Now on to the post ...

There are only a few products that contain fluoride:
ProStrong ProAccelerator Fluoride Nail Strengthener
Barielle - Fortifying Nail Builder
Almay Organic Fluoride Line (these I believe are discontinued, but I still see them online)

It has been a looooong time since I used either the Barielle or Almay ones, but have always gone back to prostrong for various reasons, mainly because it's easy to obtain, use and it works.  Since I prefer Prostrong, I will discuss the Pro Accelerator in greater detail.

Prostrong Pro Accelerator

I like the Prostrong fluoride accelerator because it's NOT like a nail polish. The treatment is a liquid, alcohol based, and can be applied to either dry clean bare nails or over dried polished nails and the treatment is just as effective.  The alcohol evaporates immediately.  You start off applying it twice a day and can cut back when your desired hardness is achieved. Some people may be concerned about the alcohol base, which can be drying, but that is why I seriously stress moisturizing, both with this treatment and in general nail care.

Problems and Concerns: 
I have used this product (and still do on occasion), but feel, similar to formaldehyde, it can over harden the nail plate. However, I think it takes much longer before a fluoride based treatments over hardens the nail plate vs. formaldehyde based treatments. I would say after about 6-9 months of using Prostrong I start to taper off. As such, it's more difficult to over harden the nail plate with fluoride based treatments.  

I suppose like any nail product there is a chance of skin irritation, but I have never experienced this.

Where I buy it:
In my experience I have found it is best to order off the ProStrong website rather than QVC because it's cheaper (that is unless QVC is having a sale/special). I usually get the "Proaccelerator Mini bottle with Bonus size Refill". It's 0.75oz + 0.125oz for $19.5. That is ~$22 per ounce of product.

Although this product worked for me, not all nail conditions are created equal. The proper choice of treatment must be based on your own nail condition.  In order to determine whether this product can help you see Part I.

Next Up: Dimethyl Urea Base Hardeners 


  1. Hi, I love your blog! I have a question for you I hope you can answer. I found a Orly Calcium Shield on clearance and bought it. I'm uncertain about calcium, I don't know what it does or how it works or even if it works. Do you know anything about it?

  2. @coramonster - Thanks! :) In the past I have used 'calcium' containing products and personally don't remember it hurting the situation. I know for a fact Prostrong made a calcium based product to work in conjunction with the fluoride (I know cause I bought it at one point), but honestly I don't think it was necessary because it only complicates the routine. Fluoride alone was good enough. I don't really know whether it would help either because I don't think calcium can penetrate the nail plate like fluoride can AND even if it did, it can not strengthen nails alone. I have not seen any research to support 'calcium' containing nail products (or other buzz word treatments like Garlic) actually work. However, like you, had I seen that Orly product on clearance I would have snatched it up and would definitely used it. I guess I'm just a product whore and wouldn't want to let it go to waste :P Besides it wont hurt anything. I am sure it would be a great base or top coat (that's what I would use it for). If it does nothing else, Orly Calcium Shield will hopefully reinforce the nail plate like any polish would.

    @alluring_mum - Thanks :)

  3. Hey after reading so much good stuff about Nail magic online I bought it excitedly.. Ive always dreamed of nice long hard nails and mine are weak and bendy ridiculous and break/peel. And then I read that its a carcinogen and have scared myself sooooo much :( .. and then I came across this AMAZING blog. You are so knowledgable! I want to buy this prostrong stuff but I cant find anything for selling it in the UK.. in fact ebay, amazon and google dont even know what it is. is there no hope :(
    I dread going back to spending £60 a month on acrylics and gels :(

  4. p.s that 'anon' above was me .. also i just looked for reviews on the CND toughen up and cant find anything really or anything that says its a hardener etc .. i won't lose hope!!

  5. I'm very interested in trying a fluoride based strengthener since I haven't had much luck with other strengtheners so far. I haven't been able to find a fluoride based strengthener over here though (I'm in the Netherlands) and buying online results in insane shipping. So I checked the ingredients on the prostrong and it's just alcohol denat. and hexafluorophosphate, is that right?

    I've been thinking about going to my local pharmacy and ask them if I can buy some calciumfluoride so I can make my own treatment with that and some alcohol in an empty polish bottle. But then I figured if it was that easy you probably would have tried that already. So my question is: have you? And if not: is there a good reason why I shouldn't either?

  6. I just read someone's blog who said that it is impossible for a fluoride nail treatment to actually help grow cracking and splitting nails. She went on to say that there was no evidence of it's even helping nails.

    I do not agree with that woman... in fact if there was somewhere to comment on her blog, I would CERTAINLY let her know my thoughts on the topic. So, instead, I will share them here.

    I was never able to grow my nails out... they were thin, and peeled every single time I tried to grow them. It was some years ago, and I had found a fluoride nail treatment, and I thought I would give it a shot. I am here to tell you all that the stuff works. Years later, I can still grow my nails to beautiful healthy lengths because I believe it "taught" my nails how to properly do so.

    I am not working on making my very own fluoride nail treatment, because SO MANY people ask me what my secret is in growing them so long. (I often file them back because if not, they would be too long to function with.)I have tested my own product, now, for approximately three weeks... then, offered it to people on my facebook account for trial, because I want to see if it is working for others, as mine aren't really good proof, as they grow on their own without it... (Although, I have used this product everyday since it's conception, and I must tell you all... it is WONDERFUL!) If all goes well, this product will be up for sale within months.

    If I didn't believe in fluoride treatments, there is NO way I would be staking my own hide on it. If you have the chance to try a fluoride treatment, DO SO!

    BUT there is something else you must all know!!!!!! You have to throw away your nail files, emory boards and such. Yep, I mean it, pitch them in the garbage can ASAP, and buy a Nail Tek Crystal Nail File. These are glass files. (BEWARE: ALL GLASS FILES ARE NOT CREATED EQUALLY... NAIL TEK IS THE ONLY ONE THAT DOESN'T MAKE THE ISSUES WORSE!) Then, only shape the nails to your preferred shape, and by all means STOP FILING all the time. A lot of women do not understand that they are causing their own splitting and peeling with the wrong file and over filing.

    So, there you have it, ladies! YOU CAN HAVE BEAUTIFUL NAILS TOO!!!!!

  7. And don't worry, ladies... when I get this product up and off the ground... YOU WILL SEE IT. It is unlike ANYTHING you have ever seen, and is EVERYTHING you need! :) Hugs all!

    1. Did you get this product off the ground yet?

  8. I have looked for a long time for the Barielle Fortifying Nail Builder with no luck. I finally found it on Amazon for $8.29! List price is $16. Here is the link:

    Hope this helps! I am looking forward to trying it!


    1. Well, I guess I messed the link up because it's not working. I guess the easiest way to find it would be to go to Amazon and search for it! ��

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