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on June 1, 2008
This product definitely has helped my three year old break the thumb sucking habit, but it should be used cautiously. The first time I put it on her thumbs, I painted the entire nail. She complained all day about the "yuckies" whenever her thumb accidently touched her lips (for example when she was eating her snack using her fingers). At bedtime, she stuck her thumb in her mouth and got a full taste which caused her to gag and throw up several times. (This is the simplified version of the story! You really don't want all the details of the hour long ordeal!) Of course, this product is not designed to come off easily (the instructions say to apply every TWO DAYS!) so I had to figure out how to get her through the night. I finally used nail polish remover to try to remove the product from her thumbs. I'm not sure if it worked, or if my daughter was just too traumatized to put her thumb in her mouth after that, but she didn't gag or throw up again. Now, I do still use the product but I only apply a very small amount to the tip of her thumb nail. As a side note, while preventing her from sucking her thumb, it also has effected her eating habits. Any time she eats anything with her fingers and gets a tast of the Mavala Stop product, she decides that she no longer likes that particular food! So, if you plan to use this on a young child, you might want to start out applying a minimal amount to the tip of the thumbnail, and be aware that the effects may be more far-reaching than you intend.
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on November 11, 2005
This product is amazing. I've been biting my nails for more than 15 years (I'm almost 22), and I managed to stop completely in three weeks.

Mainly, I had to become aware of what I was physically doing so I could stop doing it. Because of the horrible, bitter, lingering taste of Mavala Stop, I gradually became aware of what I was doing and could consciously think about my actions. It forced me to be conscious of my bad habit. Secondly, the nasty taste removed any enjoyment or stress relief I got from biting my nails since it was so incredibly unpleasant. I became very wary, very quickly. This combination of factors made it possible for me to stop, which I thought I could never do.

The taste is really horrible. It's like acetone (nail polish remover), bitter, rotten wood, and some sort of fish put together. It has a very chemical taste with a sweet undertone that makes for a horrible experience. The taste is also very durable and lingering. If you licked a nail painted with Mavala Stop, it would take a few minutes to get the taste out. The taste was so bad, in my opinion, that getting it off of my teeth, lips, and tongue when I slipped up stopped whatever I was doing or thinking about. It's very, very gross. Two coats of polish will last for more than one full week before rubbing off. It can help to freshen it up during the week to keep the taste at full unpleasantness.

It ruined finger foods for me during the time I used it. My fingers periodically touched my lips while I was eating, and the nasty taste would rub off slightly. This made me lick my lips a lot to remove the taste quicker-- it's easier to get it over with quickly than to try to avoid it on your lips--which made them lose moisture and chap badly. So you should also buy some lip balm at the same time. If you touch a nail with a fingertip, it will rub off there, too, and from there can transfer to coffee cups, pencils, hors d'oeuvres, etc. Wash your hands before you eat anything that might touch them.

There were no English directions packaged with the product. I don't think this is a problem, since the directions are pretty much obvious (Shake. Paint nails. Gag at taste) but it might be a concern for some people. A great deal of other languages were represented in the instruction pamphlet, including German, Portugese, Spanish, French, and a number of Asian languages.

Mavala Stop has a shine comparable to clear nail polish, but not as shiny as premium or ultra-shine clear nail polish. Your nails will probably not look natural, but if that's a concern, you could probably lie and say it's just a nice, buffed manicure. It could easily be worn over nail polish and would probably work like an extra protective topcoat. The shiny quality rubs out over time. At the end of a week it will be duller and more matte, but also less effective.

The bottle holds roughly the same amount as a regular bottle of nail polish, but Mavala Stop seems to be of a slightly thinner consistency. I recommend carrying the bottle with you in a pocket or purse so that if you must do something to your nails, it can at least be a touch-up. Washing your hands seems to dull it out more quickly, and removes some of the taste, but not all, by far. It does not wash out with water and soap, but the power is reduced.

The only reason you would fail with this product is if you can't bring yourself to enforce it. You have to make sure you put it on and touch it up. The temptation of not putting it on or letting it wear off quickly is certainly there. I would advise getting someone else involved who will scold you or remind you about it.

I would recommend this product to anyone. The price is worth it as it works very well. I am very pleased with the result.
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on September 6, 2008
Let me start by saying this product is wonderful for my 6 year old and my 3 year old. My 6 year old has sucked her thumb for years and nothing has stopped her from sucking her thumb until we tried this. She does not like the taste so it stops her from sucking her thumb even at night. I know that I need to reapply it when she starts sucking her thumb again. My 3 year old sucked his thumb and bit his nails until they bled. He stopped biting his nails and sucking his thumb if we applied it every other day like instructed. If I see him biting his nails, that usually means that I forgot to reapply it.
The reason that I only gave it 4 stars was because I tried it with my 2 year old twins who suck their fingers. As soon as I applied it and it dried, they put their fingers in their mouth. Once they tasted it they both started crying and vomited. It took us a long time to calm them down and they kept putting their fingers back in their mouth and it started all over again.
My advice is to wait until they are 3 and they can make the connection that when I put my fingers in my mouth it will taste bad, so I need to stop putting my fingers in my mouth. My 3 year old understood and it was wonderful for him.
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on October 24, 2013
Okay, so I am giving this product five stars because it DEFINITELY works! The only issue some may have with it is that it works a little too well. Every time I put my fingers near my mouth, even when eating, I got this nasty taste for a good 5 minutes that I couldn't get rid of. To say the least, it kept me from snacking too much so I think I lost a little weight using this product as well. Lol. That being said, I'm going to post a pic in the photos above of my nails after less than a month of growth. I removed the Mavala once because I got sick of it messing with my snack food flavors and I immediately bit a nail... so I put it right back on. :) I haven't used it the past two weeks because I've lost the urge to bite. Should it ever come back, though, I'll have this stuff ready! It's very thin and goes on like water, so you won't go through a lot of it. I can't imagine you'll ever have to buy a second bottle of it. Best of luck in quitting your habit, be it nail biting or your little one's sucking their thumbs!
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on April 2, 2015
I am 33 years old and I have had a severe nail biting problem for my entire life, literally. To give you an idea of how bad my nail biting is, two months ago I only had about 5 1/2 nails out of ten. I am showing you a 'before picture' below. The other 4.5 nails were bitten half way down or less. I've never met anyone in my life with nails as short as I am. To make matters worse, I am a minister and I would find myself regularly feeling insecure or embarrassed if someone noticed my nails... Over the course of the last 15 years I have bought one other product again and again to help me stop biting my nails (I didn't know about Mavala or other products). While this product helped for a little bit, I found that it was very easy for me to chip off my fingernails and start biting again.... About a month ago, after two days or REAL bad biting, I decided I needed to find a way to stop biting again. I came on Amazon and stumbled across Mavala and decided to order it because of the good reviews. Let me tell you, IT IS HELPING ME! Here are two major reasons I like this product over the other product I tried. One, I can't pick it off. It goes on clear and it STAYS on my nail, even if I pick at my nails. TWO, the taste is 2x worse than the previous product I used. Even if I don't apply it for a day, the taste is still terrible. Right now I am going on about 2 weeks straight of nail growth. While I still have months to go for my nails to regrow, I am taking one picture a day to document my success story with Mavala. Thank you for making such a quality product.
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on February 22, 2011
I have been biting my nails since I was 7. I've tried bite, acrylic nails, etc. and I've never been able to stop. Nails would grow after acrylics but I would quickly start biting after a few days of them being off.

So, I ordered Mavala just to "try one more thing" and could not believe it...I stopped bitting my nails on day 1. I don't know what is in it but it tastes utterly disgusting. Awful chemical taste that lingered in my mouth for at least half an hour and lasts on the fingers for days. Completely ruined finger foods.

But here we are, 5 weeks later, and my nails are longer than I've seen them in years. I stopped using Mavala about 2 weeks ago and have not wanted to bite my nails since. that is big! But as a safety, I keep the bottle in my purse just in case I get an inkling to bite.

This is the most horrible thing I've ever tasted and yet the best thing that has ever happened to my nails.
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on July 24, 2011
Mavala® Stop (0.3 oz)
My three year old daughter has been suffering from severe trichotillomania (hair pulling), trichophagia (hair eating) and thumb sucking. The habits seem to go hand-in-hand in her case. Her pediatrician was concerned because she was eating the hair as she sucked her thumb which could cause a blockage in her intestines which could be fatal if not discovered and removed surgically. We've been seeing a psychologist and trying everything to stop these habits (such as using other polish that claims to do the same thing as Mavala, we also tried having her wear gloves, we tried distraction, tried putting bandaids on her thumbs, tried stress relievers like squishy toys for her to squeeze and bracelets for her to fiddle with, we tried a reward program where she would get surprises if she didn't suck her thumb or pull her hair, we tried disciplining her when she would do these things, we had her pediatrician and her dentist talk to her about it, we tried everything). It has been a source of constant worry for me because I didn't know what to do and I was so fearful that she would be teased about this one day and that would make it even worse, not to mention the effect on her self esteem and the potential health hazards.
We started using Mavala a few weeks ago (after having tried other similar products with no luck). I must say I was hoping for the best, but not expecting much due to the strong attachment my daughter had with her thumb. But after reading many reviews and seeing other people having positive results, I figured we had nothing to lose. Our next step was going to be medicating our daughter based on advice from a psychiatrist and we really didn't want to go down that road.
I was worried that my daughter would not let me apply the Mavala to her nails because we had tried similar products and she would try to prevent us from putting them on her because she said they tasted yucky (but obviously not yucky enough to stop her from sucking her thumb). So I explained to her that now that she was three years old, she was big enough to use a "special polish" on her nails. The special polish was Mavala. I made a big deal about it and she became excited about trying it. I told her it would make her nails shiny. So she sat in my lap and allowed me to put it on her nails without a fuss. That first night was difficult because she kept saying she wanted her "thumbkin", and she wanted the polish off. She went to bed in tears. That is so hard for a mom to see. But I kept reminding myself why I was doing this. We put the Mavala polish on her nails every night before bed for several weeks. She continued to allow me to put it on her because she felt so special being able to use this polish (it's like she would forget every night that she didn't like the taste of it). For a few nights she would cry herself to sleep because she would try to suck her thumb and then when she would get a taste of it she would be so upset. It probably took about a week before she stopped trying to suck her thumb. We continued to use the Mavala every night for about 6-8 weeks just to be sure the habit was broken. Sometimes I would just put it on her thumbs and not her other fingers since that was really my only concern.
I'm extremely happy to report that this product was a miracle for us. It worked. It actually worked. It saved my sanity, but more importantly, it saved my daughter's life. I truly believe that. Her trichotillomania (hair pulling) and trichophagia (hair eating) also stopped when she stopped sucking her thumb. That is life saving. This product works!!!!! I can't even begin to say how much this product means to me and my family. It's absolutely what we needed and I'm so thankful for everyone who posted positive reviews. Without those reviews I probably never would have tried this product. So that's why I felt so strongly about posting this review. I've never posted a review about anything I've purchased before. But if I'm able to help one other person out there it is worth me taking the time to write a review to let people know that this product worked for my daughter. Give it a try. It's amazing!
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on August 14, 2012
Our 4 year old daughter desperately wanted to stop sucking her thumb---and we also were of the same mindset. We tried *everything*....but nothing worked. It broke our hearts that she wanted to stop but just couldn't. I bought this product as sort of a last-ditch attempt before buying one of those contraptions that the child wears.

All that said, we put it on her and she stopped. Literally. Put the thumb in her mouth once. Made a face. Took a drink of water. AND NEVER SUCKED HER THUMB AGAIN.

We applied one additional day just to make sure---and that is it. Two applications. The habit is completely gone.
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on July 26, 2010
Based on all the other positive reviews for this product, I decided to give it a go (nail biter for the best part of 30 years). I have chewed through some foul tasting products in my time, but this stuff is persistent! It doesn't easily wash off which is why I think it is so effective, so not only do you get the reality slap when you forget and put your fingers in your mouth, but you are further punished for the next 5-10 minutes by trying to get the god awful taste out of your mouth. Suffice to say, you change your habit pretty quickly.

The general consensus is you only need 1 bottle. I am now on my second since I am scared to not use it - the first bottle will last you the first 30+ days, but I found it helpful to have a fresh bottle to now use every second or third day... just to be sure. 90 and going strong though - NEVER been this long without chewing my stubs until now, and I owe it all to the completely disgusting Mavala!
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on July 12, 2007
After one day my 3 1/2 year old completely stopped sucking her fingers. I wish I would have tried this sooner! Was not traumatic for her at all. I told her that there is a magic fairy who decides when you are a "big girl" and when that time comes she makes your fingers taste bad so you won't suck them anymore and you can be a big girl. I painted the stuff on her nails while she slept and she was so excited when she woke up and realized that the fairy had come and now she was a big girl! Sounds kind of crazy but it worked and she hasn't even attempted to suck her fingers for over a month now.
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