Written by: Shannon Garcia
As someone who loves to keep my nails looking beautiful, I have done extensive research on the healthiest nail options.
From my findings, I have discovered that the healthiest nail option is to go natural and keep your nails clean, trimmed, and moisturized regularly. Furthermore, add breaks between sets and reduce artificial products whenever possible.
BUT if you need help choosing the “healthiest” nail treatment...you’ve come to the right place!
Ranking Nail Treatments (1-5, from Least Damaging ->Most Damaging)
- Press on Nails
- Regular Nail Polish
- Dip Powder
- Gel Nail Polish
- Acrylic Nails
What are Press-On Nails?
Press-on nails are a type of artificial nail that can be easily applied in the comfort of your home without the need for expensive salon equipment (DIY). Ranging in a variety of sizes and shapes, you’ll be sure to find a design that matches your unique style!
If you're looking for an affordable, simple, low maintenance nail-care option, this may be the right pick for you!
- Long-Lasting (up to 2 weeks)
- Affordable (most full sets are $15 or under)
- Variety in designs, shapes and sizes
- Convenience via easy application
Tips to prevent damage from Press-On Nails:
Press on nails leave no damage to the natural nail making them an ideal option for those who want to achieve a salon-quality manicure at home without spending a lot of time or money.
Regular nail polish a.k.a. traditional polish, is the most common nail polish. It is usually applied in several layers, with each layer needing to fully dry before the next coat is applied. Regular polish requires a base coat and a top coat to ensure longevity and to prevent chipping.
- Wide range of colors and finishes
- Cheaper than gel polish (typically under $10)
Tips to prevent damage from Nail Polish:
While traditional polish remains one of the lower maintenance nail options, it is also more smudge and chip prone since it requires multiple layers. For best results, ensure each layer is dry in between coats for longer-lasting wear.
When removing nail polish with acetone remover, be sure to limit exposure where possible to prevent your nails and skin from drying out.
While this method may be more time consuming, it may be the right fit if you’re looking for an inexpensive, simple, shorter-term look for your nails.
What is Dip Powder?:
Dip Powder Nails involve applying a colored powder onto a base coat that has been applied to the natural nail. This process is repeated until the desired thickness is achieved, followed by a top coat to seal it all in.
- Known for durability and long-lasting wear (up to 1 month)
- Little to no odor
- No UV/LED light required for curing
- Simple Application
- Very low risk of product contamination in salon
Tips to prevent damage from Dip Powder:
Unlike traditional polish and press on nails, dip powder nails can cause damage to your nail if not applied or removed properly. If your dip powder nails begin lifting, cracking, or chipping, visit a nail salon or technician for proper removal.
Ultimately, starting with a strengthening base coat before applying dip powder can better ensure a long-lasting and durable manicure.
What is Gel Nail Polish?:
Gel nail polish is similar to traditional polish but is instead made with a gel-like substance that hardens or cures when exposed to UV or LED light.
- Durable and long-lasting (up to 2-3 weeks)
- Natural-looking finish
- Higher shine factor than regular polish
Tips to prevent damage from Gel Polish:
Depending on your lifestyle, it can be challenging to keep your nails looking salon fresh long-term. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Also, be sure to give your nails a break in between applications to help your natural nail recovery.
Overall...while more expensive than regular polish, gel polish will be an ideal fit if you are looking for a quick drying, long-lasting, nail option that is easy to apply.
What are Acrylic Nails?
Acrylic nails are created by combining a liquid (monomer) and a powder (polymer), to form a hardening paste that is applied to the natural nail or a tip that has been attached to the nail.
- Long-lasting nail extensions (up to 2-3 weeks)
- Strength and durability
- Wide color variety
Tips to prevent damage from Acrylic Nails:
Following proper application and removal techniques during this nail treatment, can prevent damage to the natural nails. While it may be tempting, refrain from peeling or picking at lifting nails. Instead, visit your local salon for proper removal.
Be sure to implement a recovery period (5-7 days) in between sets to allow your natural nails to breathe.
Acrylic nails might be the right match if you’re looking for a long-lasting, nail extension option that comes in a range of colors.
Need Nail Tips? Check out Revel Gel Nail Tips in shapes: coffin, round, square or stiletto and sizes: short, medium, long and extra-long.
Ultimately, when it comes to choosing the “best” nail option, only YOU can do that. Depending on your personal preferences or sensitivities, be sure to keep these tips in minds and do your own research to decide which option works best for your particular nail care needs!