Nail polishes (also called lacquers or enamels), base coats, top coats, nail hardeners, and nail treatments are coatings applied to the nail plate to provide a pleasing look and to address specific nail plate conditions, such as soft, peeling or brittle nails. Upon application of the polish, treatment, or hardener, the solvents in the product quickly evaporate, leaving a coating of film behind.
Nail Products are products that are used to color the nails, to protect them against damage, to soften and condition cuticles, and to supplement the nails. They include nail polish and enamels and nail polish and enamel removers.
Manicure and Pedicure Products are designed to cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize hands and feet. They may contain a large variety of ingredients. Many products have multiple functions and may fall into more than one category. The major categories are as follows: Soaks are designed to cleanse and soften skin nails in preparation for the rest of the manicure or pedicure service. Soaks may be sold as liquid concentrates or as crystals, both of which are added to water to make the soak solution.
Artificial nail extensions are nail coatings applied over natural nails. They provide a protective coating for the nail plate and may extend beyond the free edge of the natural nail to add length. These are broadly classified into three categories: (1) liquid/powder systems, commonly referred to as acrylics; (2) light-cured systems, commonly referred to as gels; and (3) wraps. These systems should be applied by properly trained nail professionals who know how to prepare the nail plate, maintain the artificial nail and understand proper and safe removal techniques.
Cuticle oils, creams and lotions are designed to moisturize, exfoliate and address a variety of cosmetic conditions of the skin in the finger nail area (i.e. dry skin or hangnails). These products serve one or more of three main functions: 1) to exfoliate living skin, 2) to remove dead skin from the nail plate, and/or 3) to condition and moisturize living skin in the finger nail area. The ingredients typically used in this category have a long history of safe use. The difference between products lies in their unique combination of these well known and understood substances.