You just sat down and did a gorgeous gel manicure; it's smooth, shiny, and chip-free. However, a few days later, you start to notice that your gel polish is lifting, peeling, and general wear and tear. Sound familiar? Several factors can contribute to gel polish lifting, but with the right prevention techniques, you can extend the life of your manicure and prevent peeling. In this blog, we'll explore the reasons why gel polish lifts and provide several prevention tips to keep your nails looking fabulous.
What Causes Gel Polish to Lift?
Gel polish is known for its durability and long-lasting wear. However, several factors can cause gel polish to lift, including:
1. Poor Preparation
If your nail bed isn't prepped correctly, the gel polish may not adhere to the nail correctly. Skipping this crucial step, which includes removing natural oils and dehydrating the nail plate, can cause your gel manicure to lift and peel after a few days.
2. Improper Application
Nails that weren't filed before gel polish application can also cause peeling. This is because filing helps to remove any natural debris, creating an obstacle-free surface to apply the gel polish. Thick coats of gel polish, insufficient curing times, and not capping the free edge can also lead to chipping and peeling.
3. Exposure to Moisture and Oils
Exposure to elements like water and oils can also cause gel polish to lift. Keep your hands dry as possible on the first day after your gel manicure to prevent the polish from being compromised.
How to Prevent Gel Polish Lifting
Now that we’ve reviewed the root causes of lifting gel polish, let's explore 12 prevention tips to keep your gel polish chip-free for an extended period.
1. Proper Nail Care before Application
Before applying gel polish, it's important to make sure your nails are healthy and clean. File your nails, remove any natural debris, and push back your cuticles.
2. Avoid Moisture
As soon as your gel polish is applied, avoid water and high humidity areas by wearing gloves when washing dishes and not showering for at least 24 hours. The less water nails are exposed to, the longer the polish will last.
3. Use Thin Layers of Gel Polish
When applying the gel polish, follow the manufacturer's recommended curing time and always use thin, even layers. Thick layers of gel polish can lead to peeling.
4. Cap the Free Edge
Applying the gel polish to the tip of the nail and sealing it with a base coat can help prevent polish from chipping or lifting.
5. Moisturize Regularly
Apply cuticle oil daily to keep your cuticles soft and prevent your nails from drying out.
6. Don't Use Your Nails as Tools
Your nails are not designed to be used as tools, so avoid using them to open cans or boxes, as this can cause the polish to chip or lift.
7. Wear Gloves When Cleaning and Cooking
Cleaning products contain harsh chemicals that can weaken and lift your gel polish. Keep the polish intact by wearing gloves when you're doing any household chores.
8. Take Breaks Between Gel Manicures
Give your nails a break and let them breathe between gel manicures. This break allows your nails to build up natural oils, restore their strength, and prevent lifting.
9. Apply a Top Coat
Adding a layer of high-quality topcoat to your gel polish will give it extra durability and help prevent it from lifting.
10. Don't Pick or Peel
Resist the temptation to pick or peel your gel polish. Peeling off your polish can damage your nails and weaken the structure of your nails.
11. Proper Removal Processes
When it's time to remove the gel polish, do so correctly by using a genuine acetone solution. Avoid peeling the polish.
Gel polish lifting isn't just annoying but can weaken and damage your nails. Following the above tips and taking extra care of your nails will ensure your gel polish lasts longer and your nails remain healthy. Remember, taking time off and giving your nails a break benefits not only your nails but also the longevity of your natural healthy nails.