For true adherents to our ongoing series that reviews nail fungus treatments, we imagine that your eyebrows crept up your forehead when you realised that Nailner doesn’t have just one product that claims to fight nail fungus, but four.
We, naturally, backed up, folded our arms, and narrowed our eyes when we saw this – we’ve done our homework – and you, dear reader, are doing yours too: we know what makes a good nail fungus treatment. So we cracked our knuckles and decided that Nailner’s basic formula would be the focus for this review.
Nailner comes in four different packages, Nailner Regular, Nailner 2 in 1, Nailner Active Cover, and Nailner Treat & Cover. As far as we can tell, the basic nail fungus-fighting formula is the same across all four products, so we’ll first focus on that. After that, we’ll delve into the differences between each product and which one is likely to suit your needs best.
Pros and Cons
For those of you who have places to be, we’ve whipped up a quick pros-and-cons section right here at the beginning so you don’t have to read up on the different chemical compounds of the acids present in Nailner that we go into down below (although it sure sounds tempting, right?)
There are lots of options! Four different products built around what seems to be a central philosophy of first making the toe look normal through cover-up, and then fighting the infection at the same time. These products are good if you want to cover up the fungal infection first and foremost while still tackling the problem medicinally. The price is nice, and Nailner products should be a staple on your chemist’s shelves, if not so popular as some other products.
No active antifungal is a bit of a let-down. While the science behind Nailner makes sense, it is still just relying on run-of-the-mill acids rather than having an agent that has been proven to fight fungal infections. As a result, it may be less effective than it should be. Nailner also does not claim to actually work to fight the infection – rather it claims that it is a product to help ‘improve the look’ of an infected nail.
Feel free to see how we came to these conclusions in our more in-depth sections below, or just skip over to the overall rating to see what we think of it all in all.
How Nailner Works
In the grand tradition of all fungal nail treatments, Nailner has put up an online video. However, unlike many of the other treatments we’ve reviewed, this video is very quick and doesn’t give any useful tips (although it does have some jaunty music). As a result, we’ve had to delve into the fine print of the products themselves to see how you get it to work.
For regular Nailner, you are given a brush and a 5 ml bottle of their nail treatment solution, which immediately seems like a nail lacquer. To give a little recap, a nail lacquer is a nail fungus treatment where the medicinal properties are stored in a topical formula that is applied directly to the infected nail with a brush, like a nail polish.
Nailner’s website and directions for use recommend applying the solution to the infected nail twice daily for four weeks after washing your nail and making sure it is free from varnish. Once the initial month is over, you will then drop to one application a day to be continued indefinitely until the nail begins to look healthy.
“Nailner 2 IN 1” functions on a similar principle, but it comes with a 4ml nail fungus ‘pen’ that is used to help improve the nail’s visible appearance faster. The pen, as far as we can tell, is simply a highlighter that is there to improve the appearance of the nail – a better quick fix than an actual fix… but we’ll get into the nitty-gritty of that a little later on.
“Nailner Active Cover” once again has the same principle and uses the same formula as the original solution, but is paired with a skin-tone-coloured nail polish so that you can treat your infected nail while giving off a pleasing, natural appearance when wearing those flip-flops. They do, however, recommend that you only use this product once every 24 hours and you peel off the old layer before replacing it.
Finally, “Nailner Treat & Colour” is the regular formula paired with a coloured nail polish (we’re sensing a pattern of each subsequent product building on the last). For this one, you apply the treatment to the nail and allow to dry, then paint the nail with the breathable nail polish included in the package.
Overall, it seems very easy to use without a whole lot of fuss.
We’re not super concerned with the ingredients in the two products that include nail polish in them, so we’re going to skip those in this section. Our main concern is deconstructing the product that is purported to actually fight the fungi that have set up shop on your big toe.
In Nailner Regular Brush, they list five ingredients: ethyl lactate, aqua (water), glycerin, lactic acid, and citric acid.
Ethyl lactate and lactic acid are used as solvents in this solution, meaning they are used to break down other compounds, presumably the infected nail and the fungus. The citric acid is used in a similar vein. The glycerin seems to be there as a moisturiser and as sort of a binding agent, from what we can put together. However, eagle-eyed readers will note that there does not seem to be a specific antifungal.
To give a little recap, an antifungal is a substance that has been proven to combat and kill fungi, specifically targeting fungal infections in nails. The most commonly seen antifungal ingredients in topical treatments (which Nailner is) include ciclopirox or amorolfine (check out our handy ingredients page to learn more!)
However, we’re not seeing either of these antifungals, so it looks like the product is relying on the acids present in the solution to create a caustic environment for the fungus, making it more difficult to thrive.
Fungi, naturally, thrive in dark, damp, and unclean environments – a dirty shoe you keep wearing, for example, is a fantastic place for the fungi to latch on to your nail from. However, once those fungi have infected the nail, they are very difficult to shake off. Fungi are hardy organisms, and it may take a little more than an acidic toenail to convince them to move.
We’re a little uncertain… we’ve put on our detective hats and have noticed some discrepancies in the copy they have used to market their product: they don’t actually say that this product removes your infection. They say that the product’s purpose is “changing the nail’s environment to the disadvantage of the fungus”. That certainly doesn’t sound like it is openly saying that their product is antifungal in nature or kills fungus.
Similarly, we noticed that the directions instruct the user to keep applying the product until the nail “looks healthy”… this is a small difference, but important. Nowhere in their marketing does Nailner say that their products actually get rid of nail fungus – only phrases like “fights against”, “brighter looking nails” or “visible results”.
However, we won’t get too caught up in their cleverly-worded advertising – we want to know the results! In many ways, even though the treatment doesn’t have an active antifungal ingredient, the science behind Nailner is solid. If you aren’t fighting the fungus itself, the next best thing is to cut off its food supply and make the environment uninhabitable for the creatures. So what do the people with their (breathable and clean) boots on the ground think?
There seems to be some debate in online reviews – some people find that it is a fantastic product that they recommend heartily to anyone they meet. Others find that it barely helped them at all.
In our opinion (since it is our business to check out products like this), we think that it is probably a solid choice if you catch your nail fungus early enough. While their packaging insert does not say it, we think it’s probably going to be most effective if you’ve just noticed some slight discolouration, maybe some distortion, and the infection is only affecting a small portion of the nail. Once the infection looks like it’s taking over 30% or more of the nail, this product is probably going to dip in efficacy.
However, if you’ve noticed your infection early on, we think it’s worth a shot – it may very well work wonders for your nails!
Where to Get It
It looks like most of Nailner’s products are readily available. We saw product listings for Nailner at Boots, SuperDrug, as well as online delivery retailers like Chemist 4 U, Amazon, and eBay. While it may not be quite as ubiquitously available as some of the other more popular brand-names, we don’t think you’ll have any problem finding it.
The real selling point, however, is the price. We found Nailner available for just £10, although some sites have products listed (particularly the 2 IN 1) as high as £23. However, most are in the lower teens in terms of pricing, so if you’re thinking of trying out this product, at least it’s not going to dent your wallet as much as some other products will.
So what’s the final word? Nailner seems alright. We don’t necessarily think that this is the most effective treatment on the market – but as we pointed out above, it really doesn’t claim to be. It claims to be a cosmetic fix for your discoloured nail while providing an unpleasant environment for the fungal infection.
Nailner is good for making sure your toes look good. Maybe these products aren’t quite as effective as others at fighting the fungi that are actually doing the damage, but it may well work for you if you catch your fungus early enough in the process.
If you use Nailner to create an environment that doesn’t allow the fungi to thrive, you can kill the fungus and look good doing it. What’s not to like? We hope that this review has proven useful to you (congratulations on reading all the way to the end!) If you have tried out any of the Nailner treatments before, please let us know your story of success (or failure). Feel free to let us know in the comments below, or send us an email if you’ve got a lengthier story on your hands.
How does Nailner work?
Nailner works like any other nail lacquer treatment for fungal nails – you apply it to your nail in the stipulated manner that the company recommends, and continue to apply it until you begin to see results (which should happen a few months in, despite their claim of improvements after seven days!)
What is Nailner used for?
Nailner is used to treat fungal nail infections, but focuses mainly on the cosmetic looks of the fungal nail. Most of their products are geared towards covering up the discolouration that is a side-effect of the fungal nail while still fighting the infection by creating an inhospitable environment for the fungi.
Where can I find Nailner?
Nailner is available in most bigger pharmacies and chemists nationwide – but if you really live out in the sticks, you can find it on Amazon, eBay, or Chemist 4 U.
Can I use Nailner twice a week?
More than that! Nailner’s products are to be used daily (some are even recommended to be used twice a day in the initial period). We recommend thoroughly reading the packaging insert to see the directions for use if our breakdown above wasn’t thorough enough.
Can I use Nailner when pregnant?
We haven’t seen any reason not to – without an active antifungal ingredient in Nailner, this should be about as harmful as a vaguely potent nail polish. However, as with any medicinal decision, we recommend that you consult your doctor before committing to anything.