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Why Does My Nail Polish Peel Off Instantly? 5 Secret Reasons

Have you ever painted your nails, just for your nail polish to peel the next day? Well, premature peeling is a very frustrating problem that some of my clients run into. Once I help them identify the unique cause of their polish peeling, they can address it. So if you ever wondered why does my nail polish peel off, then keep reading to find out the 5 most common reasons so that you can avoid it.

Note: This blog post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase. 

why does my nail polish peel off

1.The Natural Nail is Peeling

So before you did your nails, did you notice that some of your nails were peeling in layers? Maybe your nails were really dry and splitting? Well while having a peeling nail plate may not seem like a big deal, it is. Your nail surface is the foundation of your nails. If your nail bed is peeling, everything on top of it( top coat or gel nails) will peel right with it. Think of it like building a skyscraper on a weak foundation. Once the foundation cracks, all the floors will fall with it. 

That is why before you keep switching between nail polish products, it’s a good idea to assess the health of your nails. If your natural nail is peeling and splitting, so will the nail polish.

2.Nails Thinned out at Salon

Did you go to the salon to get a nice manicure? But are now facing constant nail breakage, peeling, and thinness? Do you also struggle to get regular polish to stick to your nails like it used to? Well one thing I can tell you is that nail polish has a very hard time sticking to thinned-out nails. The best way to get healthy nails again is to focus on restoring the health of your nail bed.

Unsure if the nail salon is the cause of your nail woes? Then take the 2 minute nail health quiz now.

why does my nail polish peel off

3.Nail Prep Gone Wrong

A crucial step to getting your nail polish to stick is having a smooth surface. If the surface of your nails has a lot of dry dead skin or is covered in hand cream or natural oils, that is going to affect how well the polish is going to stick. If you want a long-lasting manicure, make sure to apply polish on dry and clean nails. 

Curious how you can remove the dead skin, then check out this post that walks you through proper cuticle prep.

4.Harsh Chemicals from Household Chores

So remember the other day you were doing household chores with harsh cleaning products and you weren’t wearing any gloves? Well while those products were giving your counters a clean surface, they took a tool on your nails. Products with bleach and harsh soaps can dry out and cause your polish to peel. The best way to improve the life of your manicure is to wear gloves. This will protect your polish and your skin from getting into contact with these harsh chemicals.

5. Nail Polish Drying Out

A common question I get from my clients is can you use cuticle oil while wearing nail polish? The answer is absolutely and here is why. The longer nail polish stays on your nails, the drier it gets. When things get dry, they are more likely to break and this applies to your nail polish as well. That is why it’s important to apply cuticle oil to your nails because it keeps your nails healthy and the polish flexible so it does not peel.

Cuticle Oil I Recommend: Bliss Kiss on Amazon

How do I keep my Nail Polish from Peeling Off?

1. Proper Prep

Proper nail prep is key to getting your polish to stick. If there is too much moisture or dry dead skin on your nails, the nail polish will not stick properly. So make sure you give yourself enough time to prep your nails before applying any nail polish.

2.Protect Your Nails

Cleaning products and harsh soaps can strip your nails and your skin. The last thing you want is for these harsh chemicals to get directly on your nails. That is why I highly recommend that you wear gloves while washing dishes or doing any cleaning activity. This will give you a longer-lasting manicure and protect your nail health in the long run. 

3.Improve Your Nail Health

Your nail bed is the foundation of your nails. If it is thin and peeling in layers constantly, everything that you put on it will peel with it. That is why the best solution to fixing this is to use the right products to get your nails healthy again. Once you have a smooth and strong nail foundation, your polish lasts longer and goes on more smoothly. This is why I focus so heavily on making sure my members improve the health of their nails in the 1st month of my Nail Grow and Glow club.

Not Sure Where to Start?

If your nails are weak and peeling especially after going to the salon, then I invite you to take the 2 minute nail health quiz. It will tell you what is happening to your nails and steps to focus on to fix it.


Does this apply to gel polish peeling as well?

The reasons mentioned in this post do apply to gel, however gel polish application is more involved and has more variables. Other reasons your gel polish manicure peels are having a weak nail lamp, improper curing times, applying gel layers too thickly, etc.

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