Sunday, 3 July 2011

Product review: Revitanail Nail Strengthener

I was invited by BeautyHeaven to review the Revitanail Nail Strengthener. I was in desperate need of something to fix my nails as for the last couple of years they have been in terrible condition.
About the product (from BeautyHeaven) Use daily as a base-coat or top-coat. A superior nail care treatment that hardens, strengthens and protects nails. Also restores nails damaged from nail extensions. Fortified with calcium gel, Revitanail Nail Strengthener helps to eliminate peeling, flaking and chipping, while also benefiting slow growing nails.

How to use (from Revitanail) Apply 2 coats of Revitanail Nail Strengthener onto clean nails avoiding the cuticle area and then one coat daily for the next 5 days. On the 7th day remove with nail polish remover. Repeat the process 3 times. (Each program lasts for 25 days). Allow your nails to rest for 1-2 weeks between programs

The Experiment To determine whether or not the Revitanail Nail Strengthener actually works, I decided to conduct the trial in a scientific manner. Just prior to commencing the trial I cut the nails on both hands back to the nail bed. I then cleaned off all of the nails on both hands with Sally Hansen Strengthening for Weak, Thin Nails Nail Polish Remover with Acetone. I then applied the Revitanail Nail Strengthener, as directed, only to the nails on the left hand. I applied nothing to the nails on the right hand. Whenever it was time to remove the Revitanail Nail Strengthener from the nails on the left hand I would also clean the nails on the right hand with the Sally Hansen Nail Polish Remover.
Background Before I go into the results of my little study I'll just give you some background into my nails. I used to have really strong nails - so strong that it was nearly impossible to bite through them. Then when I fell pregnant a couple of years ago they started peeling like crazy. I had terrible morning sickness throughout my entire pregnancy so I guess that any nutrients I was managing to keep down were being shunted to the baby rather than to non-essential things like my nails. Now, a couple of years later, some of my nails have recovered but my thumb and pointer fingers are still really soft and prone to breaking. So I was really looking forward to this trial.

The results I followed the directions on the packet for my left hand, and did the program for the required 25 days. Just before I started the trial I knocked the nail on my left thumb so it was a bit chipped to start off with. At the end of the trial, the only nail that broke on my left hand was the thumb that I had previously knocked - all the other nails were in perfect condition without any chipping, splitting or peeling. The thumb nail only ended up peeling slightly at the damage site, but otherwise the nail was saved.

On my right hand, which did not have the Revitanail, the thumb nail totally split and peeled and was in terrible condition by the end of the trial and half of the pointer finger nail also tore off. The other three nails were in good condition.

The really interesting result of my little study was nail length. For some reason all of the nails on my untreated right hand grew longer than the nails on my treated left hand - approximately 1-2mm longer. This was a big surprise to me. Possibly, Revitanail slows down nail growth so that the nails that are grown are much stronger than if they grew too fast? I don't think so, though, as Revitanail claims to benefit slow growing nails. Maybe the nails on my right hand have always grown faster than my left hand and I have never noticed? I am thinking of repeating the trial but swapping hands to find out whether it was Revitanail affecting the nail growth or if it is just my nails.

The nails on the left hand were definitely stronger. The pinkies and ring fingers on both hands were the same strength - I couldn't bend these nails at all; however, on the untreated right hand I could bend all of the three remaining nails whilst on the treated left hand the only finger that I could bend was the pointer.

In addition to strengthening my nails, Revitanail also made an excellent top and base coat. It really did make my nails look nice. A friend asked whether I had had a manicure when she saw my nails. It didn't chip throughout the week so would really help to make a manicure last longer.

My Concerns One thing that does concern me with this product is the inclusion of formaldehyde as an ingredient. Formaldehyde is a chemical that, when used in my science experiments, I have to take great care in handling it (gloves, goggles and a lab coat have to be worn) so it concerns me to deliberately apply it to my body. The concentration in Revitanail would be much lower than what I was using in experiments but the fact that Revitanail is designed to be used daily for 25 days straight, you are exposing yourself to formaldehyde quite often.

Different people react to formaldehyde in different ways - and in my scientific work I discovered that I am quite sensitive to it - it stung my eyes and made me feel quite nauseated. I have not had this reaction to Revitanail so hopefully this indicates that the amount of formaldehyde present is quite low. The reason that I am concern with the concentration of formaldehyde is that at high concentrations it is know to be a carcinogen (cancer causing agent).


Would I buy it again? I don't think that I would buy it to use as described, that is daily for 25 days straight, and this is due to my issues with formaldehyde that I have mentioned above. However, I do think that I would keep a bottle of this on hand to use as a base and top coat as it didn't chip, so it would really help to make any nail polish that I was wearing last longer.

All opinions stated in this blog are my own. I have no affiliation with Revitanail and received no remuneration for my comments. This product was provided to me as part of Beauty Heaven's Trial Team.