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Are Press-on Nails Safe? Do They Ruin Your Real Nails?

Last Updated on October 19, 2022 by SulaBeauty Staff

Press-on nails are pretty famous among fashionistas. They are much preferred over salon-based manicures as these are less time-consuming, more economical, and relatively easy to use at the convenience of your home.

But, press-on nails are also criticized for damaging the nails. Now, is that really the truth? Do fake nails actually ruin your real nails? Are they not safe to use?

You probably have the same question on your mind. And that is why you’re here. So, without further ado, let’s get to the Are Press-on Nails Safe or not and help you clear your doubts.

Do Press-On Nails Ruin Your Nails?

Press-on nails are basically fake nails made up of acrylic resin. And these are supposed to be pressed onto your natural nails. These can never cause damage to your natural nails.

The acrylic nails you see in the market these days are of improved quality. These are available in different shapes and sizes, suiting every client’s requirements.

The press-on nail kits are also available in the market these days. The kits are inclusive of suitable quality glue. However, the problem arises if you substitute it with a low-quality one.

Let’s discuss some common issues and how you can protect your nails.

Damage from Adhesives

While applying press on nails, an adhesive is of great significance. As the nails need to be glued to your natural nails, you need to apply an adhesive to your nails. However, the damage caused to your nails depends upon the adhesive you apply.

Generic glues such as Superglue and Krazy glue are available in the market. And then there are nail glues. Both will serve the purpose. However, the former will cause damage to your real nails, whereas the latter will not.

The nail glues are manufactured explicitly for applying press-on nails. However, the generic glues are not. And the glues available in the nail kits are the ones that are safe to use.

So, if you’re running out of your nail glue, make sure you look for good quality nail glue in the market to avoid ruining your nails.

Damage from Removal

Now, apart from the glue you use, the damage may also be caused due to the way you remove press-on nails.

The glue is supposed to form a strong bond between natural and fake nails. So, if you directly try to peel the false nails off, multiple layers of your natural nails will also come off. And you will end up damaging your nails.

So, to avoid any damage, you must soak your fingers in warm and soapy water for 10-15 minutes. This allows the glue to moisten, and you may try removing the fake nails. This removal process will allow the press-on nails to come off in a gentle way.

Proper Way To Apply Press On Nails so that it won’t Ruin Your Real Nails

To avoid ruining your nails and for the press-on nails to last long, you may want to follow the instructions and thank us later. These are the best way to apply press on nails.

Clean Your Nails

Before applying press on nails, we want to ensure that our nails are clean and free from dirt. To begin with, remove any layers of nail polish left or nail glue from your last manicure. Trim your nails short, buff, and file them.

Also, push the cuticles back using a cuticle pusher and apply cuticle oil to them. This ensures the nails and glue are gentle on the skin.

Rubbing alcohol or acetone-based nail polish remover with a cotton ball will help remove oil present over natural nail beds. Once done, apply a layer of base coat. Now, your nails are ready to apply press-on nails.

Pick The Right Size

Now, you must pick the right size of press-on nails for each nail bed before applying and gluing them. While deciding, make sure the nails are neither more significant nor of precisely the same size as your natural nails.

You may also file them a bit to give them a more natural look.

Choose Your Adhesive

Now lastly, you must choose the adhesive you’re going to use. You may either go by adhesive tabs or nail glue.

The former can be used if you need the acrylics to stay for a shorter duration than a week. However, the latter can be used if you wish the press on nails to last long periods. Now, choose the adhesive based on your requirement.


Are press-on nails better than gel?

Press-on nails are a much preferred and safer option over gel nails. The gel nail polish starts to cause damage to your nails right after wearing them for a few weeks. They consist of chemicals and hence ruin the quality of your nails.

However, press-on nails simply need to be applied over your natural nails. And they prove to be the safest if used with good quality nail glue and removed as instructed.

Are press-on nails less toxic?

Press-on nails are a safe, non-toxic option to change your nail styles. These are just an additional layer of nails to apply to your natural nails. All you need to do is apply and remove them very carefully and use a good quality nail glue or adhesive. And you’re good to go.

Are press-on nails worth it?

Press-on nails are definitely worth a shot. These are durable, economical, easy to use, and help your nails look more put together. They won’t damage your nails as a manicure does.

There is no requirement for any tools, while every product you need is already included in the nail kit. And, we’re sure that if you start to use it once, there’s no going back.

Are press-on nails safe for pregnancy?

Press-on nails are safe to use before and post-pregnancy. However, it is good to review the product and the brand before you make the purchase. You need to use a high-quality product that is non-toxic and safe for your use during pregnancy.

Are press-on nails safer than acrylic?

Press-on nails are a ready-made set of nails that you have to apply to your actual nails. These can be done on your own, are less expensive, and are less time-consuming. And you may file the edges and change the size.

Using acetone, you may remove and change the color of the nails and try nail art based on your requirements or the occasion.

However, acrylic nails are designed on your nails only. This makes them fit comparatively better than press-on nails, and you can shape them as you like. However, it would need a professional to do so, pay high charges and spend some time in salons.

So, based on the given criteria, press-ons are a more convenient and hassle-free alternative to maintaining stylish nails.


Press-on nails are a very convenient and economical method of keeping your nails up-to-date. They do not damage or ruin your nails.

Before applying press-on nails, you must trim, file, and push your cuticles back and apply cuticle oil. And clean them with acetone, then apply a layer of base coat. Also, you must select suitable sizes of fake nails beforehand.

Another crucial factor is to use high-quality nail glue, sticky tabs, or adhesive. These are durable to stick fake nails to your real nail and offer a strong adhesive backing. And most importantly, these won’t damage your natural nail.

To protect your nails, you must also be careful with the removal process. You must soak your fingers in warm water with soap and oil. And then, you may try peeling them off as the nail glue softens.

Moreover, press-on nails are a safer alternative over a manicure, gel, and even acrylics. So, go wear your favorite press-ons and rock those special occasions!

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