The Miracle Treatment That Will Resurrect Your Nails

Shannon Farrell
gel manicure damage

Photo: IMaxTree

It’s been common knowledge for years that gel manicures are rough on nails. But cutting them out of your beauty routine cold turkey? Not easy to do. Once you’ve gotten used to such long, shiny, perfect nails, it’s almost impossible to go back to regular manis. But a recent product breakthrough has given us hope that we can have both our gel manicures AND healthy natural nails.

That breakthrough is called the IBX System. It’s a two-step treatment provided in professional salons that treats and prevents damage caused by gel manicures. “We found that what was missing in the industry was an effective natural nail strengthener that could protect and strengthen the nails from the constant soak off process of gel polish, and that could actually help natural nails grow out on their own,” says Linda Nordstrom, the co-founder of IBX.

The treatment takes about 10 minutes and takes place before your gel manicure. Your technician applies two different clear coats, both of which are cured with an LED lamp. Not only do the coats work as a protective shield against the gel (think about it, the gel never touches your bare nail now), but actually seeps through the nail to strengthen and repair already present damage. “We use two penetrative oils, avocado and jojoba, to help IBX penetrate into the natural nail and then become part of the structure inside the nail,” says Nordstrom. Once the oils find a hole or break in the structure, they work like two-sided sticky tape to bind the nail back together.

“Clients can get IBX with every manicure,” says Eleanor Langston, the founder of New York-based nail salon Paintbox. “If you come to us with nails that have been damaged from improper gel removal at another salon, IBX is great to get on the road to recovery while new nails grow in.” Langston says her clients love it, and can see a difference in the strength and health of their nails after just a few treatments.

We at Daily Makeover take these kinds of things seriously, especially because one of our editors had a disastrous gel experience recently. When we tried IBX, we found that afterwards we experienced none of the usual brittleness or white spots that we usually get. Our nails felt a little weak, but no worse than they would following the removal of traditional nail lacquer. As for strength and growth? We’ve only had a couple of IBX treatments, so the jury’s still out here. But there’s no doubt that our nails are in better shape now than they have been for a long time—and that’s enough to turn us into believers.

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