The 4 Best Products & Nail Biting Polishes to Help both Kids and Adults Stop Nail Biting are:
- Mavala Stop (A premium long-lasting nail biting polish)
- Finger Sleeves (The best product to stop nail biting)
- Onyx (An affordable nail biting polish)
- Nail Quail (A safe, soothing, non-polish anti nail biting coating)
Nail-biting is a truly terrible habit, it can damage your nails and even put you at a higher risk of picking up an infection.
And in this article, I hope to share with you some great ideas and products to help you to finally kick this bad habit.
Guide to Stop Chronic Nail Biting using Nail Biting Products
For some people simply using either a nail-biting polish or wearing finger sleeves might be enough to help them to stop biting their nails.
But in most cases, you might have to put more effort.
Now it’s imperative for you to first understand that biting your nails is caused or triggered by a stressor such as anxiety or boredom.
Nail Biting at its core is a form of coping mechanism to handle emotional stressors. Citation.
- So the first thing you need to do is to figure out and acknowledge your specific stressor.
- And then mitigate those triggers as much possible by avoiding them.
- Or what most experts advise is that you find other less destructive coping mechanisms to manage your stress.
- For example, when you feel nervous, don’t bite your nails instead use a stress ball or play with a pen or a fidget spinner.
- Now once you have developed a strategy to deal with your stressor you can use it in conjunction with an Anti Nail Biting Product.
For chronic nail biters, Polishes, and Products that are designed to stop nail biting should be used in conjunction with managing your specific trigger and with good stress and emotional management techniques.
These products are especially useful for those moments when you relapse – they kinda work like a strict parent punishing you when you stray off.
1- Mavala Stop Nail Biting Polish
Mavala Stop is the most popular brand of Nail Biting polishes on the market, this is because they are highly effective and last longer than most other brands.
These polishes are made by the Mavala Company a huge European beauty company with over 60 years of experience in the beauty industry.
The Mavala Company is based in Switzerland.
What is a Nail Biting Polish
A Nail Biting Polish is a polish that is applied to your nails to give it a terrible and bitter taste which stops you from biting your nails.
How Does a Nail Biting Polish Stop Nail Biting
Nail Biting Polishes’ extremely bitter taste is what stops you from further nail-biting.
Now in the long term what the bad taste does is that it conditions your mind to correlate a bad taste or sensation to nail-biting helping you to finally kick your nail-biting habit.
Pros Of Mavala Stop Nail Biting Polish
1- Highly Effective
The Mavala Biting Polishes are very good at deterring you from chewing at your nails this is because they have a terrible almost vomit-inducing taste.
These polishes contain one of the most bitter substances ever discovered and I am not even being subjective here. Citation.
You can see how bitter Mavala is in the reaction video below.
Why Does Biting Polish Taste so Bad
This bitterish taste comes from a chemical called Denatonium Benzoate which is measurably the most bitter substance ever discovered and is what Mavala and most other biting polish use in their mixture. Citation.
Denatonium benzoate is a commonly used bittering agent uses to deter the consumption of harmful chemicals such as liquid detergents and alcohol. And in low concentration, it appears to be safe to use. Citation.
2- Widely Used
Mavala Biting Polish is the most popular Nail Biting Polish and Anti Nail-Biting Product on the market. So you can rest assured that they have been tried and tested by tens of thousands of people.
Their popularity is also a testimony to how effective they are.
3- Long Lasting
Once applied to your nails Mavala Polish will last for 2 days and still retain its bitter taste.
This gives Mavala a huge advantage since most Nail Biting Polishes usually just last for a couple of hours and are quickly washed away.
The reason why Mavala can last so long is that they are water-resistant so even if you bathe or do the dishes they are still gonna be on your nails.
Mavala Stop Polishes are also safe to use for up to 2 years after they have been opened.
4- Easy to Apply and Remove
These polishes are super easy to use and remove.
Just apply one coat of the polish onto your nails, like how you would normally apply your nail polish and then let it dry for 1 minute.
How to Remove Nail Biting Polish
Most biting polishes will naturally wear away and should dissipate completely after two days but if you want to remove it quickly just wipe your nails with some nail polish remover.
5- Blends in With Your Nails
Mavala Stop Polish is a clear and transparent nail polish so no one would even know that you are wearing it.
6- Works With Other Nail Polish
Mavala Stop Nail Biting Polishes can be applied over regular nail polishes and wont affect any nail art or the appearance of your polish.
Cons of Mavala Nail Biting Polish
Mavala Stop Polishes are more expensive than other nail-biting polishes.
Though I think the fact that one coat of their polish can last for two days more than justifies their premium price.
2- Uses Chemicals
Nail Biting Preventing Polishes are typically made with a wide array of chemicals that aren’t intended for consumption.
And if you are a chronic nail biter you might end up consuming some of these chemicals.
Now if you are looking for more natural alternatives you can click here to read my recommended natural home remedies to stop nail biting.
3- Adds a Sheen to Your Nails
Mavala Polishes will make your nails have a glossy look, I know most women and girls won’t mind but some men and boys might have an issue with this.
Are Nail Biting Polishes Safe To Use
Yes, these polishes are safe to use on your nails they are almost identical to regular polishes with just a few additional ingredients, to give them a bitter taste.
And the main bittering agent used by most polishes is Denatonium benzoate which according to most studies is relatively safe in low quantities. Citation.
Additionally, these polishes have to be vetted and tested by various officials before they can be sold.
But it’s important to note that Biting Polishes are not safe to consume so don’t go drinking these polishes. Citation
You see most brands of biting polishes such as Mavala or Onyx contain Ethyl Acetate which is a compound found in most Nail Polishes and if you check your nail polish bottle you would see that it’s listed there.
Now Ethyl Acetate is a toxic compound that is not safe for consumption but thankfully most of the Ethyl Acetate evaporates when you apply the polish. Citation.
When you use a nail-biting polish you won’t be consuming the polish instead you will just be tasting the bittering agent.
How they are supposed to work is that as soon as you attempt to bite into your nails you taste the bitter flavor which is on the surface of the nails and you instantly stop.
But I would advocate that if you do use these biting polishes or any type of nail polish, please avoid chewing on your nails they weren’t meant to be ingested. I guess this might also help motivate you not to bite your nails.
Now if you are looking to avoid extra chemicals the next method featured in this article you won’t have to use any chemicals so keep on reading.
4- Might Affect the Taste of your Food
These polishes are so strong that you can’t touch your food with your fingers if you do you risk passing on some of the bitter taste.
If you are cooking and you are wearing any nail-biting polish please be careful or you might just ruin your meal.
And because of this I wont advocate using any nail biting polish if you work in the food industry.
5- Sensory Adaptation.
Sensory adaptation is where your senses get accustomed to stimuli after prolonged exposure and this means after a while the bitter taste of the nail biting polish will be less effective on you. Citation.
And in extreme chronic nail biters, the possibility exists that you might even learn to like the bitter taste of the nail polish regardless of how dreadful it is.
What happens is that they pair the comfort they gain from biting their nails to the taste of the polish and they associate the two.
Now kids are more likely to have this issue you see kids are now developing their taste buds and are also more susceptible to this kind of conditioning.
This is very subjective and will vary with each individual.
2- Using Anti Nail Biting Finger Sleeves
Wearing Finger Sleeves, in my opinion, is the best and safest method to prevent and stop you from biting your nails.
A finger sleeve is kinda like a mini glove just for your finger, you can see what it’s like in the image below.
Now if you don’t want to invest in finger sleeves alternatively you can just wear gloves which is just as effective but, in my opinion, gloves are a bit more cumbersome and uncomfortable.
How Does a Finger Sleeve Work To Stop Nail Biting
Finger Sleeves work by covering your nails which serves as a physical barrier to prevent you from chewing on your nails.
Once you are wearing finger sleeves as soon as you put your fingers to your mouth you are gonna end up biting into the fabric. Which should alert your conscious mind to stop yourself and if not at least serve to protect your nails.
Now to truly kick your nail biting habit in the long term whilst using finger sleeves I would advise developing a new coping mechanism like start using a stress ball or playing with a pen in conjunction with the finger sleeves.
Advantages Using Finger Sleeves
1- Very Effective
Finger sleeves work amazingly good to stop nail biting and, in my opinion, they are even better than biting polishes.
This is because they physically stop you rather than you having to bite into your nails to be deterred.
2- Protects Your Nails
If you are a chronic nail biter and you don’t work on managing or mitigating your trigger or stressor nail-biting is almost inevitable.
And finger sleeves can help protect your nails whilst you are working on the underlying cause of your habit.
People who suffer from severe cases of nail-biting, which is a condition known as Onychophagia, use nail-biting as a mechanism to deal with anxiety or stress.
And when an event happens to trigger your nail biting habit even if you are using a biting polish, the relief that biting your nails gives you might offset the bitter taste of the polish.
Now if you are wearing gloves or finger sleeves they would protect your nails even if you give into your habit.
Severe cases of Onychophagia can be classified as an actual mental disorder and there may be a genetic link to it, with some people actually being predisposed to having it. Citation.
2- Uses No Chemicals
One of the best things about using gloves or finger sleeves is that you won’t have to apply foreign chemicals to your nails.
And this means that you reduce the chance of your body having a negative or an allergic reaction towards it.
3- Recommended for Kids
I would advocate that you first try using finger sleeves to help your kids stop biting their nails and only if it doesn’t work then try the polish.
This is because I personally avoid exposing my kids to too many chemicals.
The key part here is how you sell the idea of the finger sleeve or gloves.
Sell the idea that the gloves or finger sleeves are to make them more like a superhero or a character that they admire and who also wears gloves.
Also, enforce the idea that this hero doesn’t bite their nails. By doing this your kids would be less likely to take off their finger sleeves or gloves.
4- Easy to Put on and Take Off
You can easily take off your gloves or finger sleeves when cooking, eating or maybe if you are going into an important meeting and then put it back on when it’s needed.
5- Very Affordable
Finger sleeves and gloves are super affordable and if you are on a budget you can just use one of your gloves in your closet.
Though most conventional gloves tend to make your hands feel hot and sweaty quickly, keep reading I found two great options that were made to keep your hands nice and cool and at the same time protect your nails.
6- Harder to Acclimatize or Adapt
As discussed earlier people have been known to get accustomed to or even like the taste of those biting polishes especially kids who are now developing their taste buds.
Now if you are wearing a glove this is less likely to happen and even if it does occur the gloves serve as a physical barrier to protect your nails.
The worst that can happen is that you or your little one might end up liking the taste of the fabric. But to prevent this I would advise using a stress ball or a fidget spinner.
Cons of Using Finger Sleeves
1- More Visible
The main drawback of wearing finger sleeves is that they can be easily seen and might make your hands look out of place especially at work or school.
Thankfully when you are in a social setting you can always just take them off, and most people are less likely to chew their nails in public.
2- Might be a little Uncomfortable at First
Wearing finger sleeves might feel at first a bit awkward, but after a while, you should get accustomed to it.
In my opinion, gloves are a bit more uncomfortable this is because they make your entire hands feel more hot and sweaty whilst finger sleeves only cover your fingers so they won’t make your entire hand feel hot.
How to Properly use Finger Sleeves to Make You Stop Nail Biting
For finger sleeves to work in the long term you need to pair it with building a different less destructive habit.
Some people recommend using a fidget spinner, I would recommend using a simple pen to click on.
You see most people bite their nails either out of boredom or stress and you need to find an outlet to channel this like clicking on a pen.
What to look for when Buying a Finger Sleeve for Nail Biting
Finger sleeves need to be:
- Full Coverage, for finger sleeves to stop nail biting they need to cover your nails completely, they are some that only offer partial coverage.
- Breathable this helps to keep your hands and fingers nice and cool and allows you to wear your sleeves longer.
- Anti Sweat this prevents your fingers and hands from being extra sweaty and potentially becoming smelly.
- Adjustable they must be able to fit various finger sizes.
- Compatible with Touchscreens great finger sleeves and gloves need to be able to work with your devices especially your phone or you might end up taking it off too much.
- Fit snugly your finger sleeve or gloves can’t be too loose or they might fall off easily and they can’t be too tight or they would feel too uncomfortable.
Now by having all these features in your gloves or finger sleeves makes it easier to wear and thus increases the length of time you can wear them.
And being able to wear them for a long time greatly increases your chances to stop biting your nails.
It’s also advisable to wear them in your sleep this because some people have been known to bite their nails whilst sleeping and also this allows you to get more accustomed to them. Citation.
Where to Get Finger Sleeves
I found two great options on Amazon for you to consider. You can click on the links down below to see them.
Finger Sleeves: An adjustable, breathable, anti-sweat, touchscreen-friendly, washable set of Finger Sleeves. This finger sleeve is full coverage and its adjustable so it should fit most finger sizes.
Gloves I found a great set of Anti-sweat and touch screen compatible gloves on Amazon click here to see it, these gloves are not washable but they keep your hands nice and cool.
3- Onyx Pro Stop Nail Biting Polish
Onyx Nail Biting Polish is very similar to Mavala Polishes, they use the same bittering agent which is Denatonium Benzoate so they have a roughly identical bitterish taste.
Added to that Onyx Polishes are also applied and used in the same way as Mavala Biting Polishes, but these polishes have a clear difference.
Pros Onyx Nail Biting Polishes
1- Onyx Polishes are cheaper than Mavala Polishes and they also come in larger bottles.
2- Added to that they have a similar disgusting taste as Mavala, meaning that they have the same effect to stop nail biting.
Drawbacks of Onyx Nail Biting Polishes
1- Onyx Polishes aren’t as durable and long-lasting as Mavala Polishes.
They need to be reapplied at least twice daily, this is because they aren’t very water-resistant and their bitterish taste is quickly washed away.
2- They are More easily transferred to Your Food or other body parts
If you are wearing these polishes you need to avoid using your hands to handle food or you might seriously affect the taste.
Onyx Polishes have this taste transfer more than Mavala Polishes.
I suspect this comes from the fact that their polish is more easily washed away and doesn’t bond as strong with your nails like Mavala.
3- More Costly in the Long Term.
Now because you have to keep applying the polish two or three times a day you end up using up more polish which means you have to constantly buy more.
Whilst a coating of Mavala polish should last you two whole days.
So, in the long run, Mavala Polishes will be more cost-effective, that’s why I would recommend Mavala over Onyx.
But if you are still interested you can click here to see the price of Onyx on Amazon.
4- Nail Quail Anti Nail Biting Pen.
Nail Quail is the most soothing and safest anti nail biting nail coating on the market.
It is a thick viscous mixture that is applied to your nails to give them a bitter taste. Nail Quail is not a nail polish it doesn’t use the ingredients found in lacquer such as ethyl acetate or alcohol. Citation.
Pros of Nail Quail
1- Has an Unpleasant Taste
Nail Quail Mixture gives your nails an incredibly bitter taste which deters you from biting your nails.
The bitter taste primarily comes from a small amount denatonium benzoate the same bittering agent used by Mavala and Onyx.
2- Uses a lot of Natural Ingredients
It primarily contains mostly natural, organic and safer ingredients such as:
- Eucalyptus oil,
- Ginger Root extract,
- Wintergreen Leaf extract, and
- Oat Kernel.
3- Promotes Healthy Nail Growth
These natural ingredients like aloe and eucalyptus leaf help to regenerate and regrow your nails.
So Nail Quail will not only help you stop biting your nails but at the same time regrow your damaged nails.
4- Doesn’t Add a Sheen to Your Nails
Nail Quail is not a nail polish so it won’t add any sheen or glossy effect to your nails, which I am sure a lot of men and boys will appreciate.
5- Portable and Easy to Apply
Nail Quail comes in a portable and easy to use click-able pen design.
How to Apply Nail Quail
- The first thing you need to do is click on the top of the pen.
- Clicking the pen releases the mixture onto the brush of the pen.
- Now, two clicks should release enough mixture to cover one nail.
- Next, use the brush part of the pen to apply the coating onto your nail.
- And then after applying, let it let dry completely for 30 seconds.
Cons of Nail Quail
1- Not as Durable
For me, the main issue with Nail Quail is that they are easily washed off and they quickly lose its bitterish taste in a couple of hours.
This means that you have to apply it two or three times a day.
Thankfully Nail Quail design makes them easy to apply and very portable allowing them to be easily reapplied whether you are on the go or at work.
2- Taste can be Easily Transferred to Your Food
Nail Quail Coating won’t bond to your nails as strong as nail polish. So they are more likely to transfer some of their bitterish taste to things that you touch like your food.
3- Very Expensive
Nail Quails are more expensive than Mavala, or Onyx this is because they contain more premium and costly ingredients such as Aloe and Eucalyptus Oil.
And sadly they sold in much smaller quantities so they finish a lot faster.
Where to Get Nail Quail
Nail Quail is ideal if you want a more natural and safer nail biting polish.
They are also great if your nails are all damaged and chewed up since they can help to heal your nails.
You can get Nail Quail on Amazon, click here to see the current price.
Citations and References Used