(Photo : Pexels/ Andrea Mosti )

Gel nails have surged in popularity in the past years, and understandably so. They are known for offering not just a burst of color and art to your nails but also lasting durability. Yet, the disappointment of premature chipping can overshadow the joy of a fresh gel manicure. 

It's a good thing there are ways, including easy ones, to prolong your gel manicure.

By integrating these tips into your nail care routine, you can significantly prolong the life of your gel manicure, ensuring your nails remain flawless for weeks. Remember, proper preparation and maintenance are key to enjoying long-lasting gel nails.

1. Nail prep is key

Effective preparation is paramount. Nail prep isn't just a formality; it's the foundation of a long-lasting manicure. Before applying gel polish, meticulously clean, trim, shape, and dry your nails, removing any oils or residues that could impede adhesion. 

Be sure to gently buff your nails to create a textured surface. A smooth surface may increase the risk of polish lifting. Buffing provides your nail bed with texture and grit, offering the polish a solid foundation to adhere to, as per Mylee.

2. Invest in quality

Choose reputable gel polish brands known for their durability and chip-resistant formulas. Quality products yield longer-lasting results.

3. Work with thin layers

Apply gel polish in thin, even layers. This not only ensures a smoother finish but also reduces the risk of premature chipping and peeling. 

Applying thick layers of gel polish can result in bubbling or gaps forming during the curing process. This can weaken adhesion and ultimately lead to premature peeling, according to The Nail & Beauty Link.

4. Proper curing

Follow curing instructions diligently. Ensure each layer receives adequate exposure to UV or LED light for optimal drying and durability.

5. Seal the deal

Seal the edges of your nails with both base and top coats. This additional step creates a protective barrier against water and other damaging elements.

According to The Gel Bottle, the base and top coats are vital elements, much like the bread in a sandwich, playing a key role in keeping everything intact.

6. Handle with care

While gel nails are durable, they're not invincible. Avoid using your nails as tools and be mindful of activities that could stress or damage them.

7. Moisturize regularly

Hydrated nails and cuticles are less prone to brittleness and chipping, as per Healthline. Incorporate daily moisturizing with cuticle oil or hand cream into your routine, and drink enough water. 

8. Protective measures

Wear gloves during activities like gardening or cleaning to shield your nails from potential damage.