Why You Shouldn't Peel Off Your Gel Manicure

by Sienna Fantozzi
Stefania Pelfini, La Waziya Photography/Moment/Getty Images

I bite my nails, so getting gel manicures are always problematic for me. If I'm not biting them, I'm at least picking at them when they start to chip, and even though cracked polish might not look cute, it's better than picking them off, which is a big no-no. If you're like me and are considering peeling off your gel manicure, then there are a few truths you need to know. Trust me, you'll be glad you do.

I know it's hard not to pick at something that's less than perfect. I mean, telling you not to pick your chipped or cracked gel manicure is basically akin to saying don't pop that zit. Once you see it, you can't forget about it. The struggle is real. But you should really try to resist, because gel polish is not your run of the mill polish, and it needs to be removed in a certain way (read: not by peeling it off yourself). Picking them off can be seriously harmful to your nails, so it's better to follow the proper procedure rather than DIY'ing a disaster on your own.

If you're bored of your color, have chips in your polish, or just don't feel like having gel on anymore, then consider these truths before you peel off your gel manicure yourself.

1. You Might Get White Spots

Picking off polish seems harmless enough, but you could end up causing some seriously lasting and harmful side effects. "By peeling off a gel manicure, you are not only removing the gel, but also the top layers of these delicate cells. This can result in white patches and textural irregularities throughout the nails,"dermatologist Dana Stern told Allure.

2. Your Nails Will Be Weaker

Repeated picking of gel polish can cause your nails to thin over time, making them more brittle and susceptible to breaking.

3. Your Nails Could Crack

Improper removal can cause cracks or scrapes on your nails. Think you don't like the way your natural nails look now? Wait until they're all dented up.

4. You Might Have To Give Gel Manicures A Break

Rushay Booysen / 500px/500Px Plus/Getty Images

If your nails are weakened and thin, you may have to wait for a new, healthy and strong nail to grow in before you get another manicure. And that could take months.

5. Your Nails Might Become Dry & Flaky

OK, so you're willing to give up gel manicures, but even regular polish might not work after peeling. Peeling could cause dry and flaky nails, which will show through regular polish, so be prepared to rock natural and ragged nails for a while.

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Images: Getty Images (2); Caroline Wurtzel