best nail strengthener reviews

The 10 Best Nail Strengtheners For Under $20

Do you need to transform weak and brittle nails? You’re not alone! Check out our list of the 10 best nail strengtheners to find the perfect pick for you.

I love growing out my nails for DIY manicures; you’ll notice that I rave about them in “Best Drugstore Nail Polish Under $10 – Quality Manicures for Cheap”. Unfortunately, my nails don’t tend to grow very long. They’re weak and prone to breaking, and this seems to be a common problem for a lot of manicure enthusiasts. So, how do we get lengthy, stronger nails?

The not-so-secret answer is to use a quality strengthener. There are tons of super popular oils, polishes, and creams designed to restore health and vitality to nails. Of course, some products stand out among the rest. I’ve researched to find the 10 best nail strengtheners, and they’re all about $20 or less. Let’s explore your options.

Best Nail Strengthener Polishes

OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener

nail envy nail strengthener review

OPI is a salon nail care brand, but it’s easily accessible and pretty affordable. Their Nail Envy nail strengthener clocks in as one of the top options. This product has won two awards – Sunday Times Style Beauty Awards of 2015 and the Best Beauty Awards of 2015. The popular formula is designed to harden, protect and fortify nails that are thin and prone to breakage. You can use the product every other day to quickly strengthen your nails. You can choose from 10 different colors ranging from Original (clear) to Bubble Bath (light pink). 

Sally Hansen Diamond Strength Instant Nail Hardener

sally hansen diamond strength nail hardener review

This is my go-to nail hardener because it’s effective and incredibly affordable. Sally Hansen is well-known for their high-quality nail products, and the Diamond Strength Instant Nail Hardener is no exception. The product is designed to prevent nail breakage, splitting, cracking, and peeling. It contains real diamond powder to harden and strengthen nails. You can sport this clear nail hardener alone, or use it as a base coat. The formula is also DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde free. 

essie Grow Stronger Nail Polish

essie grow stronger base coat nail strengthener

essie brand nail polish is the perfect mixture of salon quality and competitive pricing. I was pleased to see that their Grow Stronger Nail Polish is a popular and well-rated pick. This formula leaves nails looking and feeling smoother, and it also reduces breakage. It contains nourishing and strengthening ingredients like Vitamin E, Ginkgo Biloba, and various minerals. It’s also free of formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP. For best results, it’s recommended that you use it with other high-quality essie nail products. 

Nailtiques Nail Protein Formula # 2

nail protein review for nail strengthening

Nailtiques Nail Protein Formula #2 is a very reputable and well-loved formula that’s designed to treat seriously problematic nails. You start out by using the product on a daily basis, then decrease usage as you see improvements. One coat can easily be applied over the previous one, so it’s very easy to use. The formula contains strengthening ingredients including keratin and wheat amino acids. This product can be used on soft, peeling, weak, bitten, or thin nails. If you need something that will produce serious results. 

Nail Tek, Nail Strengthener Xtra

nailtek strengthening products review

Nail Tek offers a huge array of quality nail products, and their Nail Strengthener Xtra is one popular pick. This formula is designed to significantly correct severely weakened nails. According to the description, this product is also a prime choice for people who have used other methods that didn’t work. You can use the entire line of Nail Tek nail therapy products – they’re designed to work together.  

Best Nail Strengthener Creams And Oils

Gena Healthy Hoof Cream

best nail strengthening cream

As the name suggests, this cream was originally designed for horse hooves. It’s now a very popular product for enriching weak and brittle nails. The cream is comprised of soothing and enriching ingredients including aloe vera, lanolin, rosemary oil, lavender oil, castor oil, and hydrolyzed protein. In addition to conditioning and strengthening nails, this unique blend heals the cuticles. This is a great option if you want something simple, soothing, and very effective. 

Barielle Nail Strengthener Cream

barielle nail strengthening cream review

Do you have weak nails that are prone to peeling, splitting and breaking? If so, Barielle Nail Strengthener Cream may be your perfect pick. This formaldehyde-free cream was originally designed to condition to hooves of racehorses. You can apply the cream daily, and it can even be used while you’re wearing nail polish. Some of the nourishing ingredients it contains include mineral oil, lanolin wax, paraffin, and hydrolyzed soy protein. The instructions say to use it two to three times daily, and you should notice results in 3-4 weeks. 

Bliss Kiss Simply Pure Cuticle & Nail Oil Pen

best portable nail strengthener in a pen

Do you want the best nail strengthener that’s portable and super convenient? Then you may love this unique nail and cuticle pen offered by Bliss Kiss. This pen works impressively fast; it starts noticeably healing peeling, brittle nails in just three days. Additionally, it works to repair hangnails in only five days. It can also help prevent nail polish, gel nails, and acrylic nails from cracking. The brush pen applicator makes it easy to apply even layers of the oil without a mess. The formula is antifungal, antibacterial, and antimicrobial, so it keeps nails healthy as well as strong. 

Hard As Hoof Nail Strengthening Cream

hard as hoof nail strengthener review

Hard As Hoof Nail Strengthening Cream has been a go-to nail strengthener for over 25 years. Made by Onyx Professional, this cream is designed to prevent chipping, peeling, and cracking. It also helps strengthen nails while repairing and moisturizing cuticles. The coconut scented product is rich with nourishing ingredients like aloe vera concentrate, jojoba oil, aloe vera oil, and hydrolyzed protein. It even contains several vitamins include Vitamins A, C, D, and E. You can use the cream three times per day, and it can even be worn over nail polish. If you want a highly reputable product that’s got glowing reviews get Hard as Hoof cream.

essie Apricot Cuticle Oil

use cuticle oil to nourish your nail cuticles and strengthen them

essie makes our list again with their restorative Apricot Cuticle Oil. This fragrant oil is designed to nourish your nails and cuticles, and it absorbs quickly for easy use. It instantly makes nails and nail beds look refreshed and revitalized. The formula is made from 75% apricot kernel oil; this oil is rich in Vitamins A, C, and E as well as fatty acids. While this is not technically a nail hardener, it’s does add nourishment and strength overall. essie recommends that you use their Apricot Cuticle Oil along with their essie Base Coat, essie Nail Color, and essie Top Coat

Why Wait? Get The Best Nail Strengthener For Your Needs Today

Whether you want a natural nail strengthener or the best drugstore nail strengthener, our top 10 list has you covered. There are plenty of budget-friendly options, they’re highly-rated, and each one is designed to produce great results. What’s not to love?

If you enjoyed this post, I’m confident you’ll also like reading “Best Cuticle Cream & Oils: Affordable Options for Noteworthy Nails”. Make sure to take a moment and sign up for our spam-free e-mail list; you’ll get our latest posts sent straight to your inbox. For sales alerts, coupons, and all things budget beauty follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Amy Baum
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Amy Baum

Thanks for reading! My name is Amy. I'm a 20-something mother, avid coffee drinker, freelance writer, and makeup junkie. I'm also a sucker for sales, discounts, and saving money. And that's exactly why I'm sharing my cosmetic and beauty adventure on BaumBeauty!

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