Reasons Why Nail Polish Peels Off And How To Fix It

Nail polish peels off

Just imagine: You spent more than three hours in a spa for a manicure and nail care, but the nail polish and design got peeled off within a few days. What will be your reaction at that moment? 

Yes, we can understand your emotions here. It is really difficult to handle this situation. Especially if you have an important event or a wedding party to attend. Again, rushing to the spa to take the same manicure work is impossible and unimaginable.

Did you ever think about why this happened? There are many reasons for this. It varies from the strength of your nail to the quality of the nail polish you use.

If you ever encounter this frustrating situation, read this to find the actual cause and avoid it in the future.

Table Of Contents

Why Does Nail Polish Peel Off?

There are more reasons here. Some may have happened from your spa side, and others may be from your side during your nail care routine. Let’s discuss them in depth.

  • Failiure In Surface Preparation

What do we do while painting a wall or furniture? We clean the wall with sandpaper to make the surface smooth. 

Apply the same rule to your nails. Clean your nails with the proper nail remover solution and create a smooth nail body without any traces of your previous polish. It helps your new nail polish to adhere to your nail better.

Also, maintain your cuticles well. Sometimes ledges on the cuticle may create an imperfect surface for your nail polish application. Cut or move it well to avoid the chances of this peeling.

Applying anything to a wet surface remains only for a short time. In the same way, if you apply nail polish on your wet nail, the moisture reduces the durability of your nail polish.

  • Too Much Layering

Some people may have the habit of applying five to six layers of coating on a single nail. It can be a reason why your nail peels off. But how are these both connected?

To interpret that, first, know the correct procedure to apply nail polish. First, apply the base layer; give some time to dry; apply the second layer; again give some time to dry; finally, apply the third layer if it really needs. This is the exact procedure to apply nail polish. 

But what do we do? We apply the first layer without proper cleaning. We continuously apply the second, third, and fourth layers without giving a proper time to dry. As a result, nail polish starts to peel off the next day itself.

  • Quality Plays A Vital Role

Quality always matters. Quality doesn’t depend on the brand or cost value of the product. The chemical formulation is the real hero here.

You should not use thick or old nail polishes. Thick nail polishes cannot give you a fine finish. Old polishes may peel off easily. So, avoiding these both can help you to avoid this peeling.

Do you want to reuse your thick nail polish? Just pour some nail polish remover into the bottle and shake well for some time. It will dilute the solution and make it suitable for reuse.

Whatever color you choose, pink, red, orange, black, or green, spend some money on good quality products. It will be helpful for a long time.

  • Your Spa Setup

If the UV lamps used in your spa to cure or dry the polish are not working well, it may create a bubbly look on your result. It may end in nail polish cracking and peeling. Ask your salon members to change their tools and setup if you notice this issue. It can be helpful for you and others too.

  • Nail Cracks

You cannot expect a perfect nail polish look if you have minute cracks or breakages on your nail. It is essential to treat these imperfections before you apply the first coating. Building a big castle in a weak basement is really useless.

  • Improper Handling Of Gel Nails

You have to be more careful while cutting or shaping your gel nails. If you do it without proper precautions, there are more chances of peeling off. Apply the gel polish when your nails are short; if you feel annoyed with the grown nail, go to your spa to cut them. Thus, you can avoid the possibility of peeling off.

How To Prevent Your Nail Polish From Peeling Off Easily: Some Tips

You can prevent the occurrence by avoiding the possible causes. Here are some simple tips.

  • Create a smooth nail base with the help of nail polish remover.
  • Use a dehydrator to clear the moisture from your nail body.
  • Apply a base coat that helps your nail polish to adhere better to your nail.
  • Cross-check your spa instruments and tools before your nail technician uses them on your nails.
  • Before applying nail polish, check your nails and fix them if they are broken. 
  • Avoid hot water showers after painting your nails. Hot water may expand your nail bed and increase the chances of nail breakages and peeling.
  • Do not apply more coatings. Do it if you really need that.
  • If you are applying two to three coatings, give some reasonable time for each to dry. 
  • Before painting your nail, soften your cuticle by soaking your nails in soapy water. They slightly push it upwards for the right alignment. It can help you reduce the chances of peeling.
  • If you have any plan to use gel nails, file your nails well using appropriate tools. The imperfections may result in nail lift and peel.
  • Moisturize your gel nails regularly. At least two times a day.
  • When using gel nails, follow all the instructions from your brand or nail technician. It can help you improve the life of nail coating.
  • Cap your gel nail edges appropriately. It will fill the gap between your natural nail and painted layer, thus reducing the possibilities of nail lift and peel.
  • Do not expose your manicure work to harsh chemicals. Protect it using needed measures.

Way To Long-Lasting Results

Some people are crazy about trying different colors, styles, designs, and artworks. Yes, it is good to experiment with your nails but what we really need is better nail care and proper maintenance. Those are the keys that help you achieve long-lasting results and an excellent finish.


Q: Why do you need a moisturizer for your nails?

A: Leaving nail polish on for a long time may make your nail dry, brittle, and pigmented. It may create cracks in your nails and break them. To avoid all these, moisturizing your nails is more important.

Q: How long can you expect a perfectly painted nail polish result?

A: A normal nail polish of good quality can give you a better result for one week without chips or cracks. If you use advanced formulations or gel nail polish, the results stay for at least one month.


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