3 Reasons Why Gel Polish Peels

Gel polish manis are absolutely stunning, but not so much if it starts to peel prematurely. Whether you are doing your own nails at home, practising on friends, or working on clients, here are a few reasons why this might be happening to you.

Improper Prep

I know I sound like a broken record talking about nail prep. But trust me when I say, it is the M O S T important part of an application. It is imperative that the product is applied to a smooth, oil and moisture free surface.

Think of it like this, if you paint your bedroom walls you’ll want to remove all nails, push-pins, tape, posters, pictures, stains, patch any holes, etc. Anything that could potentially screw up your paint job, you’ll want to remove. I hope you would never paint overtop a blob of gum (ew) on the wall. You would obviously see the bump under the paint and it could potentially peel off.

The same goes for nails. You want to push back cuticles, trim hangnails, eliminate oil/moisture (especially in the side walls) and buff the surface so it’s smooth. This gets the nail plate ready for gel polish application.

Make sense?

Thick Application

I get lots of comments saying to never do 3 coats because it will peel. Thanks for your input, but that is not the case. 3 thin coats is better than 2 thick ones and let me tell you why.

When the product cures in the lamp (LED or UV) the light has to be able to travel through the product. If the gel polish is too thick, it will not cure properly. Thus, increasing the chances of early peeling.

Hand Placement in the Lamp

Hand placement is crucial in order for the light to actually have contact with the polish. Every brand of lamp is different so depending on how the bulbs inside are situated will determine hand placement.

You’ll want to make sure the hand is fully in the lamp and each finger is where it needs to be. And always remember to cure for 2 minutes in UV or 30 seconds in LED.

There are several factors that can cause premature peeling, but in my experience these are the most common ones. Make sure you read my other post with some tips to perfect your gel polish mani. Another useful blog post is 3 Ways to use Structure Gel (seen in video below).

Don’t be discouraged if your sets aren’t lasting, practise makes perfect.

Leave your comments and questions below!