When it comes to nail polish, women generally fall into three camps: those who cringe at the sight of chipped polish and must avert all crises with regular touch-ups and salon sessions; those who indulge in the occasional mani-pedi, usually on special days; and those who are perfectly fine going au naturel. If you’re part of the third set, well done. But if manicures are a constant occurrence in your life, you may want to double-check the health of your nails.

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MarieClaire.com reached out Danielle Candido, Morgan Taylor Lacquer and Gelish lead educator, and here’s what she had to say: To keep those nails in tiptop condition, limit regular polish use to once a week. She warns, however, that "if you are having a Brazilian-style manicure, where the cuticle and eponychium (tissue surrounding the nail) is all cut away, only have that done once a month or even less, because problems can stem from removing the cuticles, such as hangnails, cuts along the cuticle line, infection, and dry, broken cuticles."

As for gel manicures, twice a month is okay, but no more than that. And needless to say, if you think your nails are getting brittle and yellow from all those heavy layers, a little downtime won’t hurt. Load up on nourishing oils and creams in between paint jobs—your tips and toes will thank you for it.

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