Why Does My Gel Polish Peel Off?

Why does my gel polish peel off? You start to ask this question to yourself when you’re frustrated to see your nails begin to come off after just a few days of application. It sometimes happens, and there are several reasons why it does. There could be things you have done or didn’t do that contributed to the peeling of the gel nail polish. This is why it’s important to understand the level of precision the application of the polish requires to ensure longevity.

Today, let’s discuss the common reasons why your gel polish peels off, what you can do to prevent it, how often should you get your nails done and other vital information about the gel nail manicure.

What Is Gel Nail Polish Made Out Of?

Gel nail polish is made out of a combination of oligomers and acrylic monomers that bond together when cured under UV light. Curing is when you place your hand under UV light to let the gel nail polish dry. Once the polish is dry, it becomes hard and strong. Although the polish’s finish is hard, it also provides a glossy result that lasts for a few weeks without peeling or chipping.

What Are the Major Advantages of Gel Nail Polish Over Regular Nail Polish?

Gel nail polish has become popular for a few reasons. One is that it dries faster under UV light than regular nail polish. This prevents any denting or smudging because you don’t need to wait for hours to let it dry. Another is it lasts longer than regular polish, around 2-3 weeks.

Also, high-quality gel nail polish reinforces the natural nails as it protects and strengthens the nails. In addition, gel nail polish provides a really beautiful shine, making your hands look gorgeous. Considering these benefits, it’s not surprising why gel nail polish costs more than the regular one.

Is Gel Nail Polish Safe?

Gel nail polish is generally safe for manicures for most people. However, there are only a few concerns that you need to know:

  • UV Exposure: Curing the gel manicure requires UV light, which is known to contribute to potential skin damage. It is advised, however, to wear UV gloves or apply sunscreen to the hands for protection.
  • Nail Damage: Frequent removal of gel manicures using acetone can weaken the nails as the solvent can cause dryness to the skin and nails. An alternative product is to use a gel polish remover as it’s milder than acetone.
  • Allergies: Some people may develop allergies to various products. That’s why it’s important to check a product’s ingredients first before buying it to ensure you don’t develop allergic reactions.

Why Does My Gel Polish Peel Off | 12 Reasons

Here’s a list of reasons you need to know about gel nail polish peeling off:

1. Improperly Prepared Cuticles

Always start looking at the basics. Cuticles not pushed back properly and extra skin on the sides not trimmed can be the culprits. These activities are important in preventing any ledge on your nails that makes your polish peel off early.

2. Too Much Moisture

Too much moisture is not advisable for gel nails. Water can cause your nails to expand, which weakens the gel polish and can result in peeling or chipping. Don’t soak your hands in water before and after the polish application.

3. Improper Curing

Aside from prepping the nails and ensuring proper gel nail polish application, it’s also crucial to check your UV lamp. If the light isn’t that strong to go deep into the colour, the bottom layers won’t be cured. Make sure to check the lamp and see if it can create light that’s strong enough to penetrate the layers of your manicure before you even use it. Also, check the general condition of your lamp if it’s still at its best.

4. Picking at and Biting Your Nails

Picking at and biting your nails are never good habits. These don’t just cause chipping or peeling of your polish but also damage your natural nails. Picking at your nails removes some layers of your natural nails, causing them to become uneven and brittle. Biting your nails can damage the manicure and the surrounding tissues of the nails. Stop these habits as soon as you can if you really want to make your polish last long and avoid nail damage.

5. Fixing a Nail When It Begins to Chip

Chipping can happen when you’re at work or doing some chores. Let’s say you chip a nail accidentally, but you don’t want to go to the salon. Patch it up during your break time by filing the chip and applying a top coat to seal it. This way, you prevent the polish from peeling off at the chip.

6. Too Thick Layers

We always advise people not to apply too thick layers as this slows down the bonding process of the layers of polish. When this happens, your gel nail polish peels off much faster. Each layer also takes a much longer time to dry even when cured correctly.

7. Incorrect Finger Positioning Under the UV Lamp

This usually happens with the thumb finger. When you cure one hand, your thumb finger may have issues with one side as it doesn’t stay flat when you put your entire hand under the UV lamp. To avoid this problem, cure your four fingers together and then separate the curing of the thumb finger.

8. Damaged Nails

If your nails are damaged, you really can’t expect the best results for your manicure. Damaged nails are flexible and thinner, making it difficult for the gel nail polish to stick to them. Fix your nails first by taking a break from nail polishes and applying a strengthener every day until you see your nails become healthy again.

9. Using Nails as a Helpful Tool

It can be tempting to use your nails when opening something that requires stronger force, especially when you’re in a hurry. But we don’t recommend doing this as this negatively affects your manicure. Use the right tool for this and not your nails.

10. Not the Best Base Coat for You

Using the best base coat for you is equally important as using the best top coat. Although most base coats work for all types of nails, you always have your favourite product. Stick to using the best base coat for you to ensure lasting nails.

11. Using Different Brands

Different brands formulate their products differently, which can give you issues during application. A formula from one brand may not work with another formula from another brand. This may cause your layers to not bond well together. It’s always best to use one brand for all the products you use for your base coat, nail polish and top coat.

12. Not Using a Base or Top Coat

Both base and top coats have essential roles to play in the application of gel nail polish. The base coat acts like an anchor on your nail plate, while the top coat seals the gel polish. If any of these are not present, most likely, your gel nail polish won’t last long. Never skip your base or top coat.

How to Prevent Gel Nail Polish from Peeling Off

Apply Polish to the Free Edge

Capping the free edge helps prevent the polish from peeling off or chipping. Seal the edge with a base coat and make sure to take time doing this on all your nails.

Wear Protective Gloves When Doing Chores

You might have heard about people telling you to wear hand gloves when cleaning, washing the dishes and doing other household chores. Follow their advice as wearing gloves can protect your nails from chipping or peeling off, especially when you’re exposed to chemicals and water.

Remove the Gel Polish When It’s Time

Always follow the right time when the gel polish needs to be removed. You don’t have to wait for too long to get rid of your manicure because your natural nails grow fast. Ideally, you must remove the polish after two weeks. Visit a nail salon if you don’t want to do the removal of the polish or are unsure of the process.

Buy High-Quality Products

It may be tempting to buy cheap quick-drying polish, but we don’t recommend doing this. Always go for reputable brands even if they are expensive to ensure quality results. Purchasing high-quality products guarantees that these are formulated with safe and lasting ingredients.

Don’t Cut Your Nails

Trimming your nails because it’s long even though your gel nail polish is still there is tempting. We don’t encourage you to do this as cutting your nails promotes chipping and peeling off. It breaks down the seal, which is where the problem starts. Let your gel nails be.

How Often Should You Do Gel Manicures?

It is true to take a break between manicures to give your nails time to recover from the potential damage of gel polish application. Ideally, allow 2-3 weeks before you get another manicure. During this time, apply a nail strengthener every day to help with the recovery.

There are signs you can check out if your nails need to take a break from manicures:

  • The dryness of your nails and the skin around your nails is visible, and your nails seem like they are very fragile.
  • If you see any odd colour on your nails, take that as a bad sign.
  • Your nails break, peel or split more easily than normal.
  • Small white lines or spots on your nails can mean the nails are stressed or are reacting to the removal of the gel polish.
  • Your nails bend easily and are not as strong as before.

Final Thoughts

Knowing the answer to the question “Why does my gel polish peel off?” allows you to understand the importance of nail procedures or activities you should do and shouldn’t. This prevents your nails from getting brittle and weak and any potential damage to the surrounding skin. Follow our tips to keep lasting gel nails, but don’t hesitate to visit a salon for professional help!