Gel manicure fails? Here’s how to fix peeling polish

Welcome to our blog post on why your gel polish may be peeling off.

If you’re an avid fan of gel polish, you know how frustrating it can be when it starts to peel off too soon. 

It’s not uncommon for gel polish to last for several weeks without chipping, but if and when it starts to peel off, it can be a real nuisance. 

In this post, we’ll explore some of the possible reasons why your gel polish may be peeling off and what you can do to prevent it from happening. 

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro when it comes to gel polish, this post will provide valuable information on how to keep your gel polish looking its best. 

So, let’s get started!

How do you keep gel polish from peeling?

Here are 7 steps you can take to help prevent your gel polish from peeling:

  1. Make sure you prep your nails properly before applying the polish. This includes removing any excess oil or dirt from your nails, pushing back the cuticles, roughing up the surface, and applying a base coat that’s designed to work with gel.
  1. Use a high-quality gel polish and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application. Sadly there are some poor-quality gel polishes on the market that are far more likely to peel. It’s always best to go with a trusted well-known brand.
  1. Make sure you apply the polish in thin, even layers and cure each layer under a UV or LED lamp according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Typically a layer of gel polish should cure for either 30 seconds (under LED) or 2 minutes (under UV light).
  1. Avoid getting your nails wet or exposing them to heat or steam immediately after applying the polish. Heat and water are major causes of gel nails peeling off too soon.
  1. Avoid picking at or peeling off the polish. This can weaken the bond between the polish and your nails and cause them to peel.
  1. Keep your nails moisturized. You can do this by applying cuticle oil and/or hand cream regularly, as dry nails are more prone to peeling.
  1. Touch up any existing chips. If your polish is starting to peel or chip, touch up the affected areas as soon as possible to help prevent further peeling.

Following these steps can help keep your gel polish looking its best and prevent it from peeling prematurely.

Why does my gel polish peel off so quickly?

Here are several possible reasons why your gel polish may be peeling off quickly:

  • Improper nail prep: If you don’t properly prep your nails before applying the polish, it may not adhere properly and may peel off quickly. Make sure to remove any excess oil or dirt from your nails. You can wash them with dish soap or use an alcohol wipe to get rid of any unwanted moisture and oil. Shape and file them, push the cuticles back with a cuticle pusher or orangewood stick and apply a suitable base coat before applying the gel polish.
  • Using a low-quality gel polish: If you’re using a low-quality gel polish, it may not be as durable as a higher-quality brand and may peel off more easily.
  • Applying the polish too thickly: If you apply the polish too thickly, it may take longer to cure and may be more prone to peeling. Make sure to apply the polish in thin, even layers and cure each layer according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Not curing the polish long enough: If you don’t cure the polish long enough under the UV or LED lamp, it may not fully harden and may be more prone to peeling. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s and or lamp makers’ instructions for curing times.
  • Overcuring: Curing your gel nail polish for too long can cause the gel to crack and become brittle, which can lead to peeling.
  • Exposing your nails to water or heat shortly after applying the polish: If you get your nails wet or expose them to heat or steam shortly after applying the polish, it may cause the polish to peel off more easily.
  • Peeling or picking at the polish: If you peel or pick at the polish, it can weaken the bond between the polish and your nails and cause it to peel off more easily.
  • Skipping the base coat: This is a terrible idea and a major cause of peeling! Gel polish needs a proper base to adhere to, so always, always use a base coat that’s compatible with gel.

By addressing these possible causes, you may be able to prevent your gel polish from peeling off so quickly.

Is it OK to peel off gel nail polish?

NO! I know it’s tempting but don’t do it!

Here’s what you need to know.

It is generally not recommended to peel off gel nail polish, as it can damage your nails.

When you peel off gel polish, you are also removing the top layer of your natural nail, which can cause thinning, weakness, and sensitivity. 

In addition, peeling off gel polish can leave your nails prone to breaking, splitting, and peeling.

If you want to remove your gel polish, it is recommended to use a gel polish remover specifically designed for removing gel polish. 

This can help to safely remove the polish without damaging your nails.

To remove gel polish, you will need to follow these steps:

  1. File the top layer of the gel polish to break the seal. Use a fine-grit nail file and gently file the surface of the polish until it becomes rough and matte. Be careful not to file too deeply, as you don’t want to damage your natural nails.
  1. Apply a generous amount of gel polish remover (usually acetone based) to a cotton pad and place it over your nail. Wrap your nail in foil to hold the pad in place.
  1. Wait for the gel polish to soften. The exact amount of time will depend on the strength of the remover and the thickness of the gel polish.
  1. Wipe off the softened gel polish with a cotton pad or a cuticle pusher. If the polish is still not coming off easily, you may need to repeat the process or soak your nails for longer.
  1. Repeat the process for each nail.

By following these steps, you can safely remove your gel polish without damaging your nails.

How long should gel nail polish last?

Gel nail polish is known for its durability and long-lasting wear. 

When applied properly, it can last for up to 3 weeks without chipping or peeling. 

That’s pretty impressive, right?

But, of course, the actual length of time that gel polish will last can vary based on a few different factors.

For example, if you’re using a lower-quality brand of gel polish, it might not be as durable as a higher-quality brand and might not last as long. 

Similarly, if you’re not careful with your application technique or don’t follow the manufacturer’s instructions for curing, your polish might not last as long as it should.

Additionally, your daily activities can affect how long your gel polish lasts. 

If you’re constantly washing dishes or using harsh chemicals, your polish might not last as long as it would if you were taking it easy on your nails.

And if your nails are dry and brittle, the polish might not adhere as well and might not last as long as it would on healthier nails.

Overall, you can expect your gel polish to last for about two to three weeks with proper care and maintenance. 

To get the most out of your gel polish, make sure to prep your nails properly before applying the polish, use a high-quality brand, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and curing. 

Avoid picking at or peeling off the polish, and keep your nails moisturized with cuticle oil and/or hand cream. 

With a little bit of TLC, your gel polish should last for weeks and weeks!

How many coats of gel polish should I use?

When it comes to applying gel polish, it’s important to remember that thin layers are key.

Thick layers of gel polish can take longer to cure and may be more prone to chipping and peeling. 

Therefore, it’s generally best to use as few coats as possible to achieve the desired coverage.

As a general rule, you should use two coats of gel polish for optimal coverage and durability. 

The first coat should be applied in a thin, even layer and cured according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

The second coat can then be applied in the same way, making sure to cover the entire nail and seal the free edge.

Of course, every person and every gel polish is different, so you may need to adjust the number of coats you use based on your specific needs and preferences.

 If you’re using a sheer or pale-colored polish, you may need to use more coats to achieve full coverage. 

On the other hand, if you’re using a bold or opaque polish, you may be able to get away with just one coat.

In short, aim for two coats of gel polish for optimal coverage and durability, but feel free to adjust the number of coats based on your specific needs and the properties of the polish you’re using.

What helps gel nails stay on?

Here are some tips for you to help keep your gel nails looking their best for longer!

  • First and foremost, I know I keep banging on about this, but proper nail prep is key

Before applying your gel polish, it’s super important to take the time to remove any excess oil or dirt from your nails.

The best way to do this is to wash your hands and nails with dish soap (make sure they are fully dry before you start applying the gel polish). 

Or alternatively, you can use a lint-free wipe or cotton pad soaked in isopropyl alcohol.

This will help the polish adhere better to your nails and last longer.

  • Using a high-quality gel polish is also important.

Higher-quality brands tend to be more durable and long-lasting, so it’s worth investing in a good-quality polish if you want your gel nails to stay on for as long as possible.

Good quality doesn’t always mean expensive. You could also go for a cheaper brand as long as the reviews are good.

  • It’s also important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and curing. 

Every brand is different, so curing times can vary quite a bit.

No matter what brand you’re using, always make sure to apply the polish in thin, even layers and cure each layer according to the instructions. 

This will help the polish fully harden and bond to your nails.

  • Avoiding activities that could potentially damage your nails can also help your gel nails stay on. 

For example, try to avoid getting your nails wet or exposing them to heat or steam shortly after applying the polish. 

It’s a good idea to wear gloves while cleaning and washing dishes and you could even wear them in the shower too!

And of course, avoid picking at or peeling off the polish, as this can weaken the bond between the polish and your nails and cause it to peel off.

  • Finally, keep your nails moisturized by applying cuticle oil and/or hand cream regularly.

Dry nails are more prone to peeling, so keeping them moisturized in between manicures can help your gel nails stay on for longer.

By following these tips, you can help your gel nails stay on longer and keep them looking their best!

How long should you wait between coats of gel polish?

When it comes to applying gel polish, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and curing. 

Different brands of gel polish may have different recommendations for how long to wait between coats, so make sure to check the instructions on your specific brand.

As a general rule, you should wait until the first coat of gel polish is fully cured before applying a second coat. 

This usually takes about two minutes under a UV lamp or 30 seconds under an LED lamp. 

However, some brands may require a longer curing time, so it’s important to follow the instructions on the package.

Waiting until the first coat is fully cured before applying the second coat helps to ensure that the polish adheres properly to your nails and fully hardens.

If you apply the second coat too soon, the polish may not bond as well and may be more prone to chipping and peeling.

In short, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for how long to wait between coats of gel polish.

This will help to ensure that your polish adheres properly and lasts as long as possible.

Do you wipe gel polish between coats?

When applying gel polish, it is generally not necessary to wipe the nails between coats.

However, there is always a very thin layer (known as the inhibition layer) that does not fully cure.

This sticky, super thin layer is perfectly normal and does not usually need to be removed in between coats.

You may need to remove the sticky inhibition layer of the gel after you apply your gel topcoat, but this depends on the topcoat you are using.

If you do need to remove the inhibition layer, this is easily done by wiping gently over the nail with a cotton pad or lint-free wipe soaked in rubbing alcohol.

Some gel polish brands may recommend wiping the nails with a lint-free wipe or a cleanser between coats to remove the sticky layer. If this is the case, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Is 4 coats of gel nail polish too much?

It depends.

In general, you won’t need more than two coats of gel nail polish for optimal coverage and durability. 

Applying too many coats can increase the curing time and may make the polish more prone to chipping and peeling. 

However, if you’re using a sheer or pale-colored polish, you may need to apply more coats to achieve full coverage. 

In this case, it’s okay to use up to three or four coats of polish, as long as you’re applying them in thin, even layers and curing each layer according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

In short, aim for two coats of gel nail polish for full coverage and long-lasting nails. 

If you need to use more coats for any reason, make sure to apply them in thin, even layers and cure each layer well.

Do you shake gel nail polish?

No, most gel nail polish brands do not require shaking before use. 

Shaking the bottle may be a very bad idea because it can actually cause air bubbles to form in the polish.

No one wants bubbles in their manicure, so resist the urge to shake!

If you really want to mix up the contents of your gel polish bottle, use a small wooden stick.

Or gently move the bottle around in your hands slowly without shaking.

Should I rough up my nails before gel polish?

It’s always a good idea to buff the surface of your nails a little before applying gel polish.

Doing this creates a rough surface that allows the base coat to stick better.

This also helps combat peeling.

Roughing up your nails before applying gel polish can help the polish adhere better to your nails and last longer. 

This is because the rough surface provides more surface area for the polish to grip onto, which can help to improve the bond between the polish and your nails.

However, it’s important to be gentle when roughing up your nails. 

Use a fine-grit nail file or buffer and gently file the surface of your nails until they are slightly rough and matte. 

Be careful not to file too deeply, as you don’t want to damage your natural nails.

It’s also important to remember that roughing up your nails is not necessary for all types of gel polish. 

Some gel polishes are formulated to adhere well to smooth nails, so roughing up your nails may be unnecessary.

If you’re not sure whether to rough up your nails before applying your gel polish, check the manufacturer’s instructions or ask your nail technician for guidance.

FAQ’S

Can you use a peel-off base coat with gel polish?

Yes, it is possible to use a peel-off base coat with gel polish. 

Peel-off base coats are specifically designed to allow for the easy removal of gel polish without the need for acetone or nail polish remover. 

They are applied in the same way as regular base coats, but they create a barrier between the gel polish and your natural nails.

This means that your manicure can be easily peeled off when you’re ready to remove the polish.

Using a peel-off base coat with gel polish can be a convenient option if you want to avoid using acetone or nail polish remover to remove the polish. 

However, it’s important to keep in mind that peel-off base coats may not be as effective at adhering the polish to your nails as regular base coats. 

As a result, your gel polish may not last as long when using a peel-off base coat.

If you want to use a peel-off base coat with gel polish, make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application and removal. 

It’s also a good idea to test the base coat on one nail before applying it to your whole hand to make sure it works well with your specific gel polish.

How long does gel polish last with peel-off base coat?

Gel polish applied with a peel-off base coat may not last as long as gel polish applied with a regular base coat. 

This is because peel-off base coats are specifically designed to allow for easy removal of the polish, and they may not provide the same level of adhesion as regular base coats.

The actual length of time that gel polish will last with a peel-off base coat can vary based on a few things, including the quality of the polish, the condition of your natural nails, and your daily activities.

In general, you can expect gel polish applied with a peel-off base coat to last for about one to two weeks with proper care and maintenance. 

It’s also worth noting that some peel-off base coats may be more effective at adhering the polish to your nails than others, so it’s a good idea to test out different brands and see which works best for you.