ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What Is The Best Nail Hardener Polish: 5 Reviews To Stronger Nails Daily

Updated on August 1, 2014

The Best Nail Hardener: A Polished Review

So, your nails are in trouble. Maybe you’ve worn acrylics for awhile and now your natural nails are wiped out. Or maybe you work with chemicals or lots of water, leaving your nails soft and easily damaged. Or maybe have never been able to figure out why, but your nails are weak, soft, and peel instead of growing. If this sounds familiar, you’re probably in search of a good nail hardener. But with so many on the market, which nail hardeners are really the best? In this article I’ll describe the ways nail hardeners work, and I’ll offer reviews on some of the best products... getting you well on your way to harder, stronger nails. Shall we?

But isn’t formaldehyde bad for us?

Formaldehyde products are extremely effective for helping nails become harder; however, use of formaldehyde is a controversial subject as it has been linked to cancer risk and can cause allergic reactions in many people. However, the FDA considers formaldehyde a safe ingredient in nail hardeners as long as it makes up no more than 5% of the product, and recommends that the product be applied only to the nail tips and not the cuticles. In this type of product formaldehyde is used in a diluted solution known as formalin or methylin glycol, in case you are curious about the ingredients.

So What Is A Nail Hardener Anyway?

Nail hardener is a product that helps your nails become harder. There are generally two types of nail hardener; those that use formaldehyde as the active ingredient, and those that don’t. Formaldehyde interacts with the keratin protein that human nails are made of; it causes the keratin to cross-link its fibers, causing more strands to be built - basically making a stronger and more durable mesh within the very substance of your nails. Some people are highly sensitive to formaldehyde, and in that case may find use of these products uncomfortable; paper-thin nails may also be sensitive when using these products. However, nail hardeners containing formaldehyde are generally the best, most effective option.

Too hard can be a problem too.

One potential issue with nail hardeners is over-hardening. As a nail hardens the moisture is being drawn out, which can lead to hard but brittle nails, resulting in breakage. To avoid this problem, use a cuticle oil or moisturizer daily, massaging it into the nail plate well. Apply it at a different time of day than your hardener, so the oil doesn’t interfere with the product’s adhesion.

The other type of nail hardener does not use formaldehyde, and does not interact with the keratin in the nail. Rather, it forms a protective shield over the nail plate, creating a hard surface that allows the natural nail underneath to grow stronger and harder. These products also contain conditioners so they are less drying than formaldehyde options, and generally safer for sensitive users. Let’s take a look at a few options and compare and review the best nail hardeners!

Best Nail Hardener For Quick Growth: Quimica Alemana

Quimica Alemana is one of the very best nail hardeners out there. Made in Columbia with a German formula, it is a multi-functioning product. Containing formaldehyde, it does cause the nail’s keratin structure to strengthen; but it also forms a protective shield over the nail, decreasing chips and allowing soft nails time to grow.

Start with applying a thin coat once a week; this product is that effective. It can be used as a base coat to improve nail polish adhesion, and can be applied weekly for nail upkeep.

Best Nail Hardener For Fragile Nail Tips: Mavala Scientifique

This Swiss formula has been around for decades and reviews very well. It works on nail tips that are fragile and peel or break easily. To use Mavala, you apply it carefully to nail tips only and allow it to sink in. Then wash hands and proceed as usual.

This product needs to go directly on the nail to benefit; you can’t put it on over other polish. Formaldehyde is the active ingredient so it works to make the nails physically stronger; but you do want to avoid putting this product on your skin.

If growing your nails out past nubs is a struggle for you, Mavala Scientifique may be the perfect answer.

Best Hardening System For Restoring Nails After Acrylics

If you are trying to grow your natural nails after wearing acrylics, your nails will likely be extremely thin, damaged, and sensitive. In that case, a system like this by Nail Tek is your best nail hardener option.

This kit offers a two-step system designed to coax your nails back to life without discomfort. Offering a ridge-filling base coat, a protective top coat, and a rejuvenating nail oil, this system does contain formaldehyde but not in such high concentrations. It makes for a much gentler transition when building up stronger, natural nails, and promises not to disappoint.

Best Non-Formaldehyde Nail Hardener

Daby contains no formaldehyde. Instead, it uses calcium and protein polymers to form a hard coating over the nail, bonding layers together and allowing the nail to grow out naturally.

Use this hardener on its own or over nail polish to give your nails the best resilience. This product has been around for a long time and many users swear by it.

DeLore Organic Hardener & Polish Dryer

Best Holistic Nail Care For Harder Nails

If you want a completely different approach to nail hardening, your best option is to try DeLore Organics Nail Hardener. This product uses purified oils that penetrate deep into the nail bed, hydrating deeply and restoring cuticle health. It works on the philosophy that the better your nail hydration, the healthier, harder and stronger your nails will be.

It’s a great option to try to has the added benefit of improving your skin and cuticles besides the nail. DeLore Organics does contain peanut and wheat germ oils, so approach with caution in case of allergies.


Exercise Caution When Trying Any New Products On Sensitive Nails

If your nails are thin and weak, they will likely be sensitive to many things - including heat and cold and some products. However, if you apply a product and experience noticeable pain, remove it immediately and wait a day before trying again. Your nails may not be ready, or you may be experiencing an allergic reaction to the product. In any case, exercise caution when trying any new product on sensitive nails.

Nail Hardener Poll

How often do you use a nail hardener product?

See results

The Best Nail Hardeners: Stronger Nails Are On The Way

I hope this has been helpful in demystifying the different types of nail hardeners. Each one has its strengths (pun intended) and each will suit a different need, but all will work and do a great job of making your nails hard and strong. If you try one I’d love to hear your experiences - or perhaps you have another tip for hardening soft and fragile nails? Let’s help each other by sharing info in the comments.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • manicuregirl profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Canada

      Awesome! Thanks for sharing that tip!

    • Jasmeetk profile image

      Jasmeet Kaur 

      4 years ago from India

      Yeah!! I always suggest my clients to use olive oil. It is the easiest thing, but the result will be visible only on regular usage and long run!!

    • manicuregirl profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for sharing, Jasmeetk! So it sounds like in your experience having well-hydrated nails has made a huge difference in keeping them healthy and strong, despite lots of exposure to polish remover. Thanks for sharing your tip about using olive oil - I'm sure that will be helpful to other readers as well. It's certainly an easy thing to try at home :)

    • Jasmeetk profile image

      Jasmeet Kaur 

      4 years ago from India

      You have shared really informative hub for those who have weak nails. I never used nail hardener and I used to change my nail polish quite frequent because I am nailart blog writer. Whenever I change my nailart, I do massage my nails with olive oil and nothing else. This is what made my nails strong, hard and healthy :)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)