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Vertical nail ridges, also known as onychorrhexis, are not typically something to worry about and some people’s are naturally deeper than others. However, but the best nail ridge fillers can provide a smooth, flat base for manicures and even out the surface of the nail temporarily, so long as you keep up with applications. These ridge fillers have the added benefit of protecting the nails, too. As with any topical treatment, the ingredients are the most important factor here.
Most best-selling ridge fillers use natural silk proteins or other reinforcing fibers, which aim to fill and seal the surface of the nail. Some formulas also contain hydrating ingredients, and since those with nail ridges often experience brittleness, this strengthens the nail to prevent peeling and future chipping — especially after manicures, which can be hard on the fingernails. Keep in mind, though, that for some, what’s not in the formula is as important as what is. Whether you’re sensitive to certain smells or ingredients, or you just like to keep your beauty products as clean as possible, the best nontoxic nail products may be worth the (usually) added cost.
According to Amazon reviewers and their top-selling statuses, these are the best nail ridge fillers the internet has to offer.
1. The Overall Best Nail Ridge Filler
Since it’s filled with natural silk protein fibers, BARIELLE hydrating ridge filler smooths and restores your nails — but it also hydrates and protects. This formula is best used as a base coat prior to nail polish, so in addition to smoothing ridges, it can reduce brittleness. Most importantly, while it’s loaded with nourishment, it skips a lot of the not-so-great stuff like formaldehyde, toulene, camphor, and parabens. It’s even vegan.
One reviewer wrote: “Barielle Hydrating Ridge Filler is without a doubt the best nail ridge filler ever to be invented. I had soft nails that would peel and they never got long until I purchased Barielle...it is the best nail product I've ever used and I will continue to buy this!”
2. The Fan-Favorite Brand
If you’re looking for a brand that’s well-known and trusted, opt for OPI’s ridge filler treatment. Like many other top-selling options, this one contains silk to smooth out uneven ridges while also preventing yellowing and damage. It leaves a milky white color behind, which helps make your color application pop more. However, the sheer color also means it might not be the best choice if you’re not looking to paint your nails.
One reviewer wrote: “I have used the OPI Base Coat product for years, and I cannot express enough how wonderful it is. It's a complete necessity for anyone doing their own manis and pedis at home. Better than any other base coat product I've ever used.”
3. The PETA-Certified Base Coat
For a 100% vegan, cruelty-free base coat that’s backed certified by PETA and is also free of common ingredients like formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP, ella+mila’s All About The Base is the way to go. And in terms of performance, this formula evens out the nail bed for smoother and longer-lasting polish application with a 4.5 star overall rating on Amazon backing it.
One reviewer wrote: “I love this product. My nails already seem stronger. This fills in the ridges of the nails perfectly. The layer is not too thin nor too thick. Spreads evenly on the nails. VEGAN and CRUELTY FREE !! I'm so glad I switched to this brand.”
4. The Best Value Set
For not much more than the average ridge filler polish alone, this Nail Tek kit gives you one of the top-selling formulas on the market — plus two other formulas that help repair damage from acrylic tips and gel or powder manicures. The filler (which definitely deserves an honorable mention and can be purchased on its own here) contains vitamins and oils to smooth, heal, and hydrate. With this three-in-one kit, however, you also get an intensive therapy strengthener that further seals the ridges and an oil that nourishes and conditions the cuticles. The result? Just the strongest, healthiest looking nails some reviewers have ever experienced.
One reviewer wrote: “After using this set for over a month, my nails are the strongest, healthiest, and longest they have even been in my 27 years of existence. I apply this stuff once a week, and apply the cuticle oil about every other day.”
Singal A, Arora R. Nail as a window of systemic diseases. Indian Dermatol Online J. 2015;6(2):67-74. doi:10.4103/2229-5178.153002