Why Does my Gel Nail Polish Peel Off? How to Fix it

Last Updated on April 23, 2022 by SulaBeauty Staff

You spend lots of time deciding which shade of gel nail polish will suit your dress. But just a few days later, you look at your manicure, expecting to admire your gorgeous fingers, and you realize something’s not quite right. 

Your gel nail polish has begun to peel off from your nails.

Gel polish is well-known for its durability and longevity. However, they are susceptible to untimely peeling and flaking in some circumstances.

The basic contents of traditional nail manicures and gel nail manicures vary. Gel, unlike normal nail polish, takes a little extra preparation before applying. The majority of the processes are identical to those of a traditional manicure. 

For a long-lasting gel manicure, meanwhile, natural oils must be removed and the nail bed must be dehydrated. Rather than air-drying following each layer of polish, the gel is dried using an LED or UV lamp, ensuring that the manicure is particularly firm and will last a few weeks or longer.

why does gel polish peel off

Certain frequent errors might cause gel nail polish to chip. During application, the majority of them are done. We’ll go over the most prevalent causes of nail polish coming off your nails in this article.

9 Reasons Why my Gel Nail Polish Peel Off so Easily and How to Fix it?


There are a variety of reasons that your gel polish starts to peel off, and most of them are comparable.

We’ll go over these factors in more detail here, as well as ways to fix your peeling gel polish and make it last more by avoiding these mishaps.

Cuticles Were Not Prepared Properly

There are a variety of mistakes that can develop during the nail care step, causing your manicure to chip off quite quickly. One of those mistakes is that your cuticles aren’t properly prepared.

If this is not done, the gel paint will attach to the cuticle skin rather than the nail bed, increasing the probability to peel and rip. So, if you’re doing it yourself or at the nail salon, keep a keen eye on these corners.

How to Fix

To avoid this, give special attention to your cuticles and ensure they’re clipped and pushed back. Hydrate your cuticles with cuticle oil and use lukewarm water. This will make them soft, then gently press them back and level them using a cuticle pusher.

This process makes the application of nail polish more efficient and less uncomfortable. You too can try exfoliating your fingernails beforehand or adding a base color later.

Both of these provide structure to your fingernails and make it easier for the nail paint to adhere to them.

Nails Were Not Filed Before Gel Polish Application

Nail filing is the most ignored step before the application of gel nail polish, yet it is critical to avoid ripping and peeling.

Polishing your nails properly before using gel polish removes unwanted grease and dead cuticle skin on the top of your fingernails, which might hinder the gel manicure from attaching to the nail bed effectively.

It also roughens up the nail bed’s base to help the gel paint adhere to the nails properly.

How to Fix

To delicately shape your nails, use a moderate gritty nail file. Make sure you smooth the whole contact area of each one of your nails; if you overlook any portion, it will certainly loosen and rip.

When preparing your fingernails for gel nail polish application, a 180 grit nail filing tool is advised. Your natural nails will be healthier if you use a glass or crystal nail file.

Nail Plate Had Too Much Moisture & Oil

If the nail plate isn’t properly treated, it can end to rapid peeling lacquer, just like how not treating your cuticles right can. If you put gel polish on a damp nail, it will break and tear earlier than need be.

Moisture and oil both inhibit gel paint from adhering correctly to your nails. It acts as a barrier between your gel manicure and your nail bed.

In addition, applying nail primer before putting polish on is a wise decision. This will ensure that the substance sticks to the fingernail effectively.

How to Fix

Try to clean your fingernails dry with diluted alcohol or acetone, then put a layer of nail dehydrating agent before putting your gel polish.

Dehydrators are great for eliminating the majority of the grease and dampness from your nail bed.

Either A Base Coat or a Top Coat Wasn’t Used

You must use a base coat and a top coat while putting in gel nail polish. Gel manicures are susceptible to flaking, ripping, and breakage if they are not used.

The gel base coat is made to adhere to your nail bed firmly and then function as a foundation for your painted gel nail polish. A topcoat protects and seals your polish by creating a firm layer on the surface of your fingernails.

How to Fix

For your gel manicures, make sure to use a gel base coat and a gel topcoat.

It is advised to go for a gel base and top coat since they are extremely great and will fit with any gel polish type.

Your Gel Nails are Not being Moisturized Regularly.

You should hydrate your gel nails and cuticles regularly. Moisturizer should be applied twice a day. You can grab a hand cream to use after you rinse your hands if you wash your hands too often.

If you don’t, your gel nails will dry out and peel. In the long term, hydrating your manicure maintains your skin and natural nail health.

How to Fix

Cuticle oil, applied once each day to your fingernails and the area around nails, is the finest method of keeping your gel manicure hydrated.

A cuticle oil spray is recommended because it allows you to maintain your nails nourished even when you’re on the run.

The Gel Polish Wasn’t Cured Completely

Tearing and pulling can occur if your gel manicure was not entirely cured. When you have uneven curing, you’ll notice that the top portion has dried but the base portion is still mushy and uncured.

The manicure can flake apart if your nails aren’t completely dried. If you have bubbling gel nail polish while using the UV light, that is one of the accurate signs that it hasn’t dried correctly.

When the gel nail polish is spread too thick or the lamps need to be replaced, improper drying occurs.

How to Fix

Update to a UV led nail lamp with extra power. Check to see if your nail lamp is running smoothly; if it is dimmer than it was when you purchased it, it may need to be replaced.

Dry your gel polish for the amount of time specified by the manufacturer’s instructions. You’ll notice that each kind has a distinct curing period; often, the package or container will specify how long you should dry it.

You can also treat your gel nails for a little longer if you are unsure about the power of your nail lamp.

How to Interpret the Directions of the Nail Lamp

UV nail curing lights are small desktop devices that are used to harden or dry acrylics and gel manicures, as well as gel nail polish.

If your gel polish’s directions state to condition it for 1 minute with a 48-watt lamp, but you only have a 36-watt lamp, you’ll have to condition it for 1 minute and 25 seconds.

On average, the less the contact, the lower the danger.

If labeled directions are provided, always obey them. In general, these gadgets should not be used for more than 10 to 15 minutes per hand, every session.

The Gel Polish Was Applied in Thick Layers

There are numerous coats to gel manicures.

If these coats are excessively thick, the polish will not cure or bind properly. It will start peeling significantly quicker than it does if this occurs.

Avoiding thick layers is the easiest approach to prevent this. Don’t overdo it with the polish.

Slow down and work in small sections. You may believe that employing thick layers saves time, however, that’s not the scenario. Your coats take far longer to cure, and you’ll almost certainly apply a new coat when the last one has even dried.

How to Fix

Your gel polish will look smoother and last longer if you apply it in numerous thin layers and cure each one afterward.

The Free Edges Weren’t Capped

The gel coating can be damaged if you do not cap the edges of your nail while applying the base coat.

When this coating is disrupted, the air is allowed in, which can cause the polish to peel off.

How to Fix

Capping your nails entails applying the gel to the ends of your fingernails to seal the space between both the gel polish and your natural nails.

The Nails are Being Exposed to Harsh Conditions

Ripping off of gel polish is more prone to developing if your manicure is continuously subjected to severe environments and harsh solvents. Temperature from making food, extreme cold from freezers, and harsh chemicals like detergent and dishwasher will disintegrate the gel polish.

How To Fix

While doing tasks that you think may ruin your gel nails, wear gloves.

Additionally, you must maintain your nails moisturized and nourished to avoid the gel nail polish wearing out and peeling.

As a result, you should hydrate your fingers at least 2 times a day with cuticle oils or a decent moisturizer.

How to Fix Gel Polish That Is Already Peeling & Lifting


It’s annoying to have a beautiful gel manicure just to get the nail polish flake off after a few hours.

It could be due to just too much hydration on your fingernails or your nails being too greasy. Let’s have a look at a few options for repairing peeled gel nail paint.

Apply an Additional Layer of Top Coat

When you find your manicure ripping off or on the verge of peeling, apply a top coat to protect it.

The topcoat will tend to slow down the ripping and extend the life of your gel manicure by a few days. Make sure the free edges are covered with the topcoat.

Moisturize More Often

Make it a regular practice but if you find your polish peeling, definitely apply cuticle oil to your nails as often as possible.

This will add moisture to your gel manicure and help them last longer.’

Why do my gel nails look dull?


Several factors can contribute to the appearance of dull MANICURE. Ensure to resist the urge to feel your nails throughout the gel application process, since the oil from your fingertips might damage the quality of your polish.

If the polish is not dried completely for the prescribed time, your nails may seem dull. Always stick to the recommended time on the package. Before your manicure, make sure there’s no dirt or oil residual on your nails after filing, and use a top coat for a glossy finish.

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