Nail strengtheners have come a long way: In fact, clean- and natural-leaning experts used to advise against them in general—Nadine Abramcyk, co-founder of clean salon tenoverten, once told us—since traditional nail strengtheners and hardeners typically contain formaldehyde. Fast forward, and you can find tons of natural-leaning nail-strengtheners commanding the market (also advertised as nail serums, treatments, or base coats) that boast plant-based ingredients, like vitamin E, olive oil, garlic, and tea tree, to effectively bulk up the nails.

Before filling you in on our list of favorites, we should note that strengthening your nails is not, by any means, a quick fix. Ultimately, it takes more than a single swipe of base coat—it may require both standard nail care practices (like hydrating the cuticles, monthly maintenance, UV protection) and internal strategies (like collagen and biotin supplements) to help the nails truly bounce back.

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