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gel nails vs acrylic nails

Gel Nails Vs Acrylic Nails: Which Is The Best?

Gel Nails Vs Acrylic Nails

The gel nails vs acrylic nails discussion is one of the most popular conversations around nails, especially as it pertains to getting a manicure that lasts longer than nail polish. Another key perspective to the comparison of gel nails and acrylic nails borders on the safety of these nail extensions.

Both gel nails and acrylic nails are great nail trends. However, it is key to get the right style and use the proper technique to avoid risks of chipped nail polish, broken nails, and other associated problems. More than 90 percent of our clients ask to know the difference between gel nails and acrylic mails; we, therefore, put this content together for all nail enthusiasts to make your next visit to the nail salon an easier and definite one.

Let’s start by seeing the details of both gel nails and acrylic nails:

Gel Nails

Gel nails are typically very durable and look like natural nails. These are two of their most outstanding features; in fact, most of our clients choose gel nails because of these. Diverse fears surround the use of traditional gel because of some harsh ingredients usually used as parts of the formula as well as the need for harsh chemicals to remove them but the story has changed with the advent of gel polishes which have removed as many as possible toxic ingredients from the formula. One of such is Deborah Lippman Gel Lab Pro.

Wearing gel nails involves three steps; application of a base coat followed by the use of the chosen color of nail polish and finished with a top coat. In between each coat, exposure to UV light for at least 30 seconds is required for proper healing. If done properly, you will end up with a glossy and cool manicure that will last more than regular nail polish.

Acrylic nails


Acrylic nails involve the combination of powder and liquid. Once applied with a brush, nails are then shaped and filed to create an outlook of natural nails. Sequel to the shaping, nails are then painted using a base coat, chosen nail polish color, and a top coat. For proper and quick curing, place nails under a fan to dry. When done properly, acrylic nails give a tough, protective layer owing to the hybrid mixture of powder and liquid. They are very durable hence cracking, breaking, or chipping of nails is not a concern with acrylic nails.

Difference Between Gel And Acrylic Nails

  • Natural look

Gel nails tend to look more natural than acrylic nails. They easily give natural nails appearance without filing or shaping.

  • Ease of application

They are both easy to apply but acrylic nails require more effort and time than gel nails. With acrylic nails, there is the need to file and shape after applying the hybrid mixture of liquid and powder before applying a base coat and others. On the other hand, gel nails are applied after the usual nail preparation.

  • Curing

Gel nails require UV light to cure while acrylic nails will heal perfectly in normal atmospheric conditions. However, the curing process can be hastened by placing the nails under a fan.

  • Durability

Both gel and acrylic nails are durable but the latter is generally more durable. Gel nails will usually give two weeks of glossy wear without chipping. Around the 14th day, gel nails will usually start peeling or lifting at the corners. Acrylic nails typically last upward of 14 days without cracking, breaking, peeling, or lifting.

  • Removal

The removal of gel nails is easier than that of acrylic nails. Soak the nails in acetone with the use of a cotton ball. Place cotton soaked in acetone on the nails and wrap each in aluminum foil for 10 minutes or more. Afterward, gel nails will come off easily. If it seems difficult, you may need to soak the nails longer. Though they are more prone to peeling, they are more flexible and come off easily without damaging your natural nails.

On the other hand, acrylic nails are quite challenging to remove without causing any harm to the nail bed. Usually, the removal of acrylic nails requires visitation to the nail salon so that a nail technician will see to the removal hence reducing the chances of damage to the nail bed. When acrylic nails are removed, it often takes a while for nails to get back in shape.

Gel Nails Vs Acrylic Nails Which One Do You Then Choose?

This is more often than not the next question we get. The answer is very simple; your preference. Several factors have been highlighted; it is now left to you to choose what you want. For example, if you want a more natural-looking manicure as well as less damaging, then gel nails are the answer. But if you want something that won’t crack or peel, then acrylic nails are the answer.

Note: both gel and acrylic nails can cause significant damage to nails when applied incorrectly. Therefore, it is important to enlist the service of a licensed tail technician except you are sure you know your way around it.

Finally, we tell all our clients this fact and remind them each time they visit – it is important to pay attention to the health of your nails regardless of the choice of nails you are making. Give interest to proper nail hygiene including leaving nails without polish for a while to allow them to breathe like any other body parts. Failure to do these things may result in diverse nail problems including nail fungus with symptoms such as nail discoloration, thickening, and cracking.