How To Take Care Of Acrylic Nails: The Complete Acrylics Care Guide

How To Take Care Of Acrylic Nails: The Complete Acrylics Care Guide

Thomas Bittel

If you are familiar with acrylic nails, then you know they are a lot of work to maintain. And even though a set can easily last three to eight weeks, you still have to go every two to three weeks to have the nails filled in. This means you will be spending a lot of time and money on the nails. The good thing is, if you love the nails, the investment is worth it. Acrylics are long-lasting and durable, and they stay on the nails for longer than any other type of polish can (such as gel polish or regular polish). 

If you go to a professional salon, then you should be able to get high-quality acrylics that are applied properly. This is essential because if acrylics are not applied properly, they can cause damage to your natural nails. Damage can include breaking, cracking, and peeling on the nails, which is neither fun nor a comfortable experience. Plus, it might affect your nail’s ability to grow out and be strong on its own. The more experience your nail tech has, the better your acrylics will turn out, and the less damage it will cause your natural nails. 

When it comes to taking care of your acrylic nails, there are a few things you should (and shouldn’t) do to keep them looking their best. Proper maintenance after you get them done will help to prevent breaks, cracks, and chips in the acrylics. Remember, a nail tech can give someone the best acrylics in the world, but it’s up to them to keep the nails in good condition. You want to make it worth your time and money to get them done in the first place. Keep reading to check out Valentino Beauty Pure’s complete guide to taking care of acrylic nails! 

Dos and Don’ts of Acrylics

Thankfully, there’s not a lot you need to worry about when it comes to taking care of your acrylics, but there are some things you should be aware of that can help to maintain them. Check out our list of suggested dos and don’ts when it comes to taking care of your acrylic nails. This is a starting point with some of the basic things you should do and the things you should avoid doing with acrylics. You can always talk to your nail tech for more advice and recommendations.  

The Dos of Acrylic Nails

  • Moisturize your hands and apply cuticle oil- This will prevent cracks and breaks in your acrylics while keeping your skin and nails hydrated.
  • Take nail-boosting supplements (collagen and biotin)- These supplements strengthen your natural nail to lessen your chance of damage to the nails and your acrylics. 
  • Keep up with your nail appointments- Regular fills will help keep your acrylics in tip-top shape.  
  • Avoid putting pressure on the acrylics- Acrylic are not pliable. Be careful to not use them in a way that can cause them to try to bend. Extreme pressure can cause them to break.   

The Don’ts of Acrylic Nails

  • Don’t type using the nails- Type using your fingers instead. Repeated typing can cause wear on the nail causing shape distortion. 
  • Don’t pick at the nails- Even if you have a crack, chipped polish, or hangnail, leave them alone!  
  • Don’t do activities that involve holding heavy objects- Don’t put anything heavy on your acrylic nails, or they could break.  
  • Don’t leave your acrylics without proper maintenance - Acrylics can last three to four  weeks, but they should be properly maintained during wear.  

Should I Take a Break From Acrylics?

It’s a myth that your nails need to “breathe” in between polishes or acrylics—your nails get oxygen from blood, not from the air. You can wear acrylics for as long as you’d like while still maintaining oxygen and nutrient flow to your nails. Still, you might notice your nails yellowing after a long period of acrylic treatments and wonder whether your nails need a break. 

Discoloration on its own isn’t a sign that you need to take a step back from acrylic nails, but there are a handful of telltale signs that it’s time to go au naturale. Peeling, ridges and splits, discoloration, keratin granulation, and cuticle dehydration are the most common indications that it’s time to skip your next manicure, but these symptoms aren’t unique to acrylic nail usage. Nail damage can occur regardless of whether you prefer acrylics, gel, or regular polish, and it’s primarily caused by improper nail preparation and polish removal, not the materials themselves. 

The exception to this rule of thumb is keratin granulation, which appears as rough white patches on the surface of your nail. This is sometimes caused by long-term polish wear as polish or adhesive dries out your nail and allows fungus to take root. Essentially, keratin granulation is just extreme nail dehydration, and it can also be caused by using a dehydrating polish remover or exposing your nails to drying cleaning chemicals too often. 

If your manicurist buffs your nails so aggressively that they’re hot or painful, ask them to ease off (or find a new nail technician!). Nail buffing is perfectly healthy, but overly abrasive buffing during nail prep and acrylic removal can dislodge cells, which causes peeling, splitting, and thinning. Surface damage is also why you should never peel off or pick off your polish yourself, and you should never soak your nails in acetone for too long. Properly caring for your nails in between acrylics or polishes can help strengthen and hydrate your nails to avoid developing any of the symptoms of nail damage.

There’s no defined time frame for how frequently or rarely you need to take a break from manicures and acrylic nails; whether you prefer months or weeks is up to you. You know your body better than anyone else. If you notice any of the above symptoms of nail damage, take a break from acrylics until your nails have the opportunity to grow out completely.

Are There Supplements That Can Strengthen My Nails?

Yes, you can strengthen your natural nail using supplements like biotin, which in turn will help with the maintenance of your acrylics. Having a stronger nail bed, cuticles, and nails will help to build a stronger foundation for your acrylics, and it means that you’ll have to take breaks from manicures less frequently. Proper cuticle and nail care also means a lower risk of breaking or cracking the acrylics, along with your natural nail. 

Plus, having strong and healthy nails means there will be minimal risk of any damage caused by the acrylics. So if you are looking to boost your natural nails in order to protect your acrylics, you should consider taking biotin supplements. 

Biotin

Biotin is a supplement that people take to improve their nail and hair strength. It may help your body utilize fats, carbohydrates, and amino acids. Amino acids come into play with your nail growth, hence why it is such a good supplement to take. It is also a B-complex vitamin that helps with cell growth and uses amino acids to build protein (in this case, the nails). When people have biotin deficiencies (rare, but it does happen), they have brittle nails and lose hair. 

You can take biotin in the form of supplements, most commonly as gel capsules. There is no recommended daily allowance, but typically people aim to take around 30mcg daily. If you prefer to get your biotin through your food sources, there are a few things you can eat. Biotin is largely found in organ meats such as liver. It is also in egg yolks, salmon, avocado, and various nuts and seeds. Taking a supplement and adding these foods to your diet may help strengthen the nails and decrease brittleness. 

Conclusion

As you can see from our guide to taking care of your acrylic nails, there isn’t too much work that needs to be done. However, there are definitely some things you can do to improve their durability and prevent damages. 

One of the best things you can do for your acrylics is taking care of your natural nail first and foremost. Having a strong foundation will prevent breaks in your acrylics! Don’t forget that the type of acrylics you use is important. Our acrylic powders are some of the best available and will provide you with strong and beautiful acrylics.

Sources:

  1. Top 8 Vitamins and Nutrients for Healthy, Strong Nails | Healthline 
  2. Do Nails Need to "Breathe" Between Manicures? | Allure   
  3. What Removing My Acrylic Nails Taught Me About Self Care | Bustle