Gel manicures are the best; long-lasting color, high shine, durability, with results that last up to three weeks. The only downside? The painstaking acetone removal process. It’s time-consuming (most gels need at least 10 minutes of soaking), and acetone can be extremely drying to your skin and nails. Peeling off your gels may seem like the quicker, easier alternative—but beware, its damaging effects can last way longer than any dryness. When you peel off gel polish, you’re not only removing the product, but you are also removing the top layer of your nail, leaving your nails weaker and prone to breakage. Proper gel removal should be as much as a priority as the application. Make sure your tech schedules enough time for you to properly soak off your gels, and never let them drill gel polish off the natural nail. Once the gels have been removed, make sure to use tons of cuticle oil and lotion to hydrate your skin.
Now, if you happen to fall victim to peeling despite our best efforts, here are a few ways you can minimize the damaging effects:
-Buff, buff, buff.
If you have time to peel off your gel polish, you have a couple seconds to buff each nail to remove the shine and break down the top layer.
-Soak your nails, even if it’s just a couple of minutes.
Exposing your nails to acetone, even for just a minute or two, can loosen up the bond between the product and the natural nail.
-Condition your nails post-peeling.
If you do end up peeling, give your nails as much TLC as possible. Apply a nail strengthener daily for a week to improve the integrity of your nails, and take a week off from gel polish. This will help your nails regain strength and get them back in shape for your next gel mani.