Skip to Content

Why Does My Gel Manicure Peel Off?

Gel manicures are a popular alternative to traditional nail polishes, as they provide long-lasting color and shine with no chipping – for weeks on end. 

But all too often, we find ourselves frustrated when our gel manicures don’t seem to last even half that long – peeling off in mere days after application. So, why does my gel manicure peel off so quickly? In this article, I’ll share the answer to that common question, looking into some of the most common causes behind this all-too-common problem.

What Makes Gel Nail Polish So Long Lasting?

What Makes Gel Nail Polish So Long Lasting?

Gel nail polish is one of the most popular manicure treatments in beauty salons. 

This type of polish uses synthetic polymers and acrylic monomers to create a much stronger and longer-lasting finish when compared to regular polishes. 

The key factor that makes gel nail polishes so long lasting is that it requires UV or LED light for the curing process. 

During the curing process, the gel formula bonds to the nail beds, creating an airtight seal that prevents chips and scratches from occurring.

The fine layers of gel bonding help with added strength and longevity, as any minor damage can be easily buffed off without ruining your entire manicure. 

Gel nails also tend to remain glossy for extended periods, even after additional washes or exposure to harsh cleaners. As opposed to traditional polishes, which can become dull and chalky over time due to water absorption on their non-waterproof surfaces. 

How To Prep Your Nail Surface For A Gel Nail Manicure?

Preparing your nails for a gel manicure is important to ensure the best possible result. Before you begin, make sure that you have everything ready: nail file, cuticle pusher and nail technician with all the tools needed. 

Remove any existing polish from your nails by filing it away using a nail file. Be careful not to file too hard, which can damage the surface of the nail plate. 

Use the cuticle pusher to push back your cuticles and gently buff away any dirt or debris on the surface of the nails using a very light pressure. 

Once clean, apply a base coat of polish, followed by two coats of colored polish onto each finger. Allow this to dry completely before applying a top coat to ensure an even finish and good coverage over the color underneath. 

Let it sit for several minutes before beginning the manicure with your chosen gel technique. By prepping correctly beforehand, you are ensuring that there will be no issues when doing your manicure; allowing you more time to relax and enjoy it without worrying about any mistakes or flaws in application.

How Important Is It To Use A Base Coat For A Gel Manicure?

Using a base coat is incredibly important when it comes to doing a gel manicure. A base coat acts as a protective barrier between your natural nails and the layer of polish that you apply. 

When you skip this step, the color of the nail polish can cause the surface of your nails to become discolored and can weaken the structure of your nails over time. 

The basecoat also helps create an even surface for easier application and lasting wear; without it, it’s difficult to achieve a clean look.

To ensure that you get the most out of your gel manicure, be sure to start off with clean, dry nails. 

This means using a nail file (or clipper) to file down any rough edges or shape them in whatever way you desire. 

Once that’s done, use your favorite clear basecoat before applying polish. This will help the color stay longer and make sure that your mani looks flawless afterward – no chipping.

Lastly, finish with a topcoat for added protection from everyday wear and tear on your nails, so they’ll look good for longer periods of time. 

Overall, adding a base coat is one essential step for any successful gel manicure, since it not only prevents staining.

But also strengthens natural nails against damage from frequent touch-ups and long-term exposure to contaminants, which would otherwise result in discoloration and weakening if left unprotected by a quality base coat product.

How Important Is A Gel Polish Top Coat?

How Important Is A Gel Polish Top Coat?

A gel polish top coat is a crucial step in manicures and pedicures. It provides that lasting glossy finish, seals the color and design of your nails, and makes sure they look fresh and colorful for weeks after the initial application.

The top coat protects your polished nails from chips, smudges, peels, fading colors, wear-and-tear caused by everyday activities such as dishwashing or typing on a keyboard. 

It also helps prevent yellowing, which may occur when dark nail polishes start to age due to exposure to air and sunlight.  

Using a quality top coat will also increase durability, so you can enjoy your beautiful manicure, no matter what you do during the day.

When applying a top coat it is important to get all areas of the nail covered, but not too thickly, before painting your nails.

A single layer should provide great protection, but two layers will enhance the shine even further and make sure everything looks perfect for weeks afterward. 

The beauty of a good quality gel polish top coat is that it has UV inhibitors which protect against fading in direct natural light too – a great choice if you’re frequently outdoors or live in sunny climates.

What Are The Common Causes For Gel Polish Chipping?

Gel polish chipping is an unfortunate reality that many of us experience after a manicure. It’s always frustrating when you chip your nails, and nails are peeling prematurely.

The most common causes of gel polish chipping are due to lack of proper prep work before the gel is applied, not applying a good quality topcoat, and improper application techniques.

Before applying any type of nail polish, you should always make sure your nails are properly filed and shaped so that the polish will stay on for longer.

If you don’t apply a good quality topcoat such as a gel top coat between each layer of color and again after finishing, chances are high that the polish won’t last very long.

If you skip this step, it can cause peeling and lifting within just a few days after application, as well as nail chips. Some people may push their cuticles back too hard or cut too much skin away, which then results in the layers of nail polish to peel away.

This can also increase the chances of premature chipping as well as infection. Lastly, when removing old nail polish from your nails, be sure to do it in a gentle manner – otherwise you might be inadvertently damaging your nails, which will reduce the longevity of new polishes. 

Why Does My Gel Manicure Peel Off?

A gel manicure can be a great way to keep your nails looking beautiful and long-lasting, but sometimes the gel polish starts to peel off prematurely. 

When your gel polish is peeling or polish to lift, it is usually due to several factors that contribute to the premature peeling of your gel polish.

The first reason your gel polish might be peeling is, cause your nail polish has not been applied correctly by your nail technician, causing your nail polish to peel off in chunks.

If there are large gaps in between coats or the coats were applied too thick, then this will cause the polish to peel quickly.

To avoid this gel polish lifting issue, always make sure you go to a reputable nail tech who knows how to apply gel polish properly with thin coats of nail polish.

Another common cause of premature peeling is if you do not file your nails correctly before applying the gel polish, which causes your gel nail polish to snag.

Make sure all ridges and bumps on the surface are filed down so that there are no areas where air bubbles can form beneath the surface of your nails when you apply the glue for attaching false tips or sculptured nails, or when buffing and filing them before or after adding color or top coat.

It’s also essential that you remove any dust from the filing, so it doesn’t interfere with adhesion of gels, which could then lead to premature peeling down the line.

It’s also important that you use proper products when removing old cuticles and skin around fingernail beds before applying new layers of product.

Certain removers may react differently with different polishes, resulting in them starting to peel off after only a few days instead of lasting weeks as they should do; using a brand-specific remover for use on gels is best practice here, as this should help avoid such disasters occurring.

One last factor could be if an incorrect curing lamp was used – LED cured polishes tend to have better longevity compared to UV cured ones because LED lamps emit less heat, which helps prevent discoloration and premature peeling over time.

Whereas UV lamps generate more heat which can cause bubbling/wrinkling in some cases (especially if up against glass).

While many technicians use both types interchangeably depending on their preferences/brand requirements, it pays off big time if you know beforehand what type of lamp they’re using so as not encounter any surprises down the line (such as having your freshly done mani start peeling right away).

Why Does Gel Nail Polish Peel Off Quickly?

Why Does Gel Nail Polish Peel Off Quickly?

Gel nail polishes are notorious for peeling off quickly, which can be incredibly irritating to anyone who has put in the effort to ensure their nails look perfect.

 There are a variety of reasons why your gel polish may peel before you expect it to. Firstly, it could be because you didn’t apply a gel base coat first – this helps create an extra layer between your nails and the polish and prevents them from chipping more easily.

Another reason could be that your Polish won’t cure properly or at all due to exposure to oils or moisture while doing DIY manicures – make sure you’re using LED/UV lamps that are suitable for curing gel nail polish each time.

A third possibility is applying too many polish coats, as this not only increases drying time but also makes it harder for the Polish to stick effectively. If you’re leaving your nails too long without reapplying top coats, then this could also cause problems with the bond of the polish on your nails.

 Lastly, if you use nail polish remover frequently, then this could alter the pH of your nail bed which will prevent adhesion of new layers; try using cuticle oil regularly instead.

Understanding why your gel nail polish keeps peeling off quickly comes down to knowing how best to prep and care for your nails before application, and what pitfalls exist when applying the polish itself.

Make sure you give yourself enough time between coats, so everything can dry properly, and avoid excessive use of nail removers! Doing so will help you keep those glossy veneers on longer and leave your nails looking beautiful.

How To Fix Gel Polish Peeling Off?

Fixing peeling gel polish is a relatively simple process. First, to prevent the polish from peeling further, you’ll want to use your nail or an orange stick to gently lift and peel away the existing polish from the tip of the nail. Peel off as much of it as possible, ensuring that you don’t break the natural nail. 

Once all of the gel polish has been removed, file away any remaining pieces and then use rubbing alcohol or remover pads to cleanse your nails and remove any oils. Then let your nails dry completely before applying a new coat of polish.

To make sure that your manicure will last longer this time around, be sure to apply thin coats of polish and cure in between each layer according to manufacturer instructions. 

If you’ve used hard gel types of gels for artificial nails, wear gloves when doing chores such as household cleaning or washing dishes to reduce chipping or peeling.

Also, make sure that you’re taking care of your hands and using lotion after washing them, as this will help with moisturizing and nourishing them (including hydration). 

In summary, if your gel polish is starting to peel off, gently lift it away from the tip of each nail with either an orange stick or a manicure tool such as a cuticle pusher.

Use rubbing alcohol or remover pads on each nail afterward to get rid of excess oil build up, which can cause poor adhesion for an upcoming manicure session.

 Apply thin coats of polish followed by curing in between each layer according to directions given by the manufacturer in order for best results – this should increase longevity significantly.

Taking care not only externally but internally is important too, so be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and use lotion after washing hands for better results overall.

Why Does My Gel Manicure Peel Off?

Why Is It Important To Cap The Tips Of Your Nails When Gel Polish Was Applied?

When you apply nail polish, whether at home or in a nail salon, it is important to cap the tips of your nails. This prevents the gel polish from lifting and chipping off prematurely.

Gel polishes are designed with ingredients that bond with the natural protein of the nails, making them more durable than traditional polishes.

However, if you don’t take precautions and cap the tips of your nails when applying any type of polish, it can lead to premature peeling and chipping due to water absorption or contact with other surfaces.

Capping prevents those issues by providing a barrier between the natural nail bed and any external elements such as water or air.

The process also helps promote adhesion of the color so that it lasts even longer without having to be reapplied as quickly as regular polishes would need too. 

Capping is simple too – all you have to do is apply an additional layer of polish just on the tip of each nail after finishing up with your base coat and two layers of color coats.

As long as you make sure that no gap exists between each layer – this should provide enough protection for your manicure.

Capping adds extra glossy shine, which makes for a super professional look every time! All in all, capping is an essential step when applying gel polish if you want superior results that last long enough for multiple weeks without having to come back into a salon for frequent removal or re-polishing processes.



Gel nail polishes are an increasingly popular choice in the world of manicures. They provide a beautiful, glossy finish that lasts several weeks longer than traditional polish applications. 

However, gel nails can sometimes peel too soon for various reasons, including lack of proper prep work or because polishes have been applied incorrectly. 

To get the most out of your gel manicure and prevent premature peeling or chipping, it is important to ensure all layers are properly applied and cured correctly using LED/UV lamps, use thin coats of individual colors instead of one thick layer.

Apply a good quality topcoat between layers and after finishing the mani, add an extra coat to cap the tips off, and keep up with basic hand care by moisturizing regularly to help maintain strength and flexibility in your nails over time. 

*This post contains affiliate links