What to Do When Your Gel Polish Chips or Peels
We’ve all been there: You spend ages working out exactly which gel nail polish color will go with your summer wardrobe, but then just a few days later, you take a look down at your keyboard ready to marvel at your fine fingertips and notice that something isn’t right. Right there, at the tip of your forefinger on your hand, your gel has started to peel. Nightmare.
First, you’ll go through a phase of denial, pretending that everything is fine, but then a huge wave of utter disappointment comes crashing over you when you realize it won’t be long before the rest of your nails follow suit and start flaking. And if you’re anything like us, stage three is full of temptation to pick, peel, and bite the polish back down to the bare nail. And if you didn’t know already, that isn’t a great idea. Keep scrolling to find out exactly how to fix peeling gel polish!
What Makes Gel Nails Different?
While regular nail polish can just be painted on, gel requires a little more care before application. Most of the steps are similar to a regular manicure. However, removing natural oils and dehydrating the nail plate is required for a long-lasting gel manicure. After each coat of polish, the gel is cured with an LED/UV light instead of just air-drying, making the manicure extra strong and sure to last at least two weeks. Here’s how to make sure your gel nails don’t chip:
- Whatever You Do, Don’t Pick
If you like nothing more than picking at a two-week-old manicure, let this be a warning to you. Our nails are made up of about 25 layers of keratinized skin cells, and peeling off gels will take off those top protective layers, causing the nail to become thinner, weaker, and uneven.
Let me reiterate how bad picking is for your nails. When you peel off any nail enhancement you rip off layers of your nail plate and make your nail weaker and cause your nails to chip more. It’s a vicious cycle.
Do not pick or peel nail polish. Jeopardizing the strength of your nails in this way can lead to white spots and stress breaks.
2. Put a Layer of Topcoat on Chipped Nails
So in short, if you do notice your manicure has started to peel, do not start picking. A good three-step method to remember when this happens: File the nail where the chip happened, don’t pick nails, and seal with a topcoat. It’s as easy as that!
After filing near the chip, apply a thin layer over the top of the polish, and seal in the edge by painting over the tip of the nail. This will help your manicure hold out until you can get to the salon to have the gels removed.
3. Prevent Chipping When You Can
As with many things, prevention is far better than attempting a cure. We recommend wearing gloves when washing up and cleaning, as well as avoiding opening boxes or cans (ask your hubby or co-worker if you’re a soda/Zevia addict) to increase the longevity of your gel manicure.
Just don’t use your nails as tools! Also, avoid super-hot water when washing hands and showering. If you haven’t gotten a chip yet, apply a quick topcoat, just in case.
4. Keep Hands Moisturized
Apply hand cream after EVERY hand wash, and regularly massage cuticle oil over the gelled nail to encourage flexibility and prevent chipping. It’s also worth considering the brand of gel, as it may not be up the standard for your type of nails.
If you do end up picking at your nails, make sure you still keep your hands and nails moisturized!
5. Have Professionals Remove Your Gel
Although it’s tempting to just rip off the rest of your polish, it’s better to leave gel removal to the pros. The removal at a salon/spa will probably go quicker and presumably more safely. Tools and techniques that quality nail technicians use will remove the top coat more thoroughly allowing acetone to soak color gel quicker.
6. Take Care of Your Nails After
To help your nails recover after peeling gel off, moisturizing is still key. Try to stop picking at your nails and the skin around them while they both heal. Since picking off gel weakens the nail, it’ll take a while for your nails to grow back to their regular strength. To prevent more breakage and weakness, keep your nails short while they grow back and give them some extra TLC, too. (Like a hand massage or full body massage!)
Gel Manicures at Botanica Day Spa
So, if you do pick, it’s not the end of the world. Just remember to hold off if you can, and always take time to moisturize and protect your hands to keep your nails looking fresh. If you keep having chipped gel polish, try a different salon! Botanica Day Spa has a spectacular nail service with top-quality gel polishes and even more luxurious additions than your regular nail salon!
Call us today at 727-441-1771 to book your nail appointment! I think we can all do with some TLC now, right?