Unsure of the difference between gel and acrylic nails or which one is best for you? We will explain the difference and break down the pros and cons for both in this blog.
The difference between acrylics and gels is in the product makeup: acrylic nails are made by dipping a brush into a liquid (called monomer) and then placing the wet brush in a powder (called polymer) and making a ball of product that is then placed on the nail bed and patted into place. Acrylics harden when exposed to air they are also transparent, so a nail polish is added after. Acrylics are more durable then gels and can be soaked off when removed.
Gel products are pre-mixed and are in an actual “gel” form. A brush is used to pick up a portion of gel and place it on the nail bed and then it is brushed and coaxed into position, then the finger is placed in a low-wattage UV light to cure the gel. Once it is removed from the light, it is fully cured. Gel nail application are thinner and more flexible then acrylics giving a more natural look.
pros for acrylic
•The removal process is simple and straightforward when performed by a professional. The nails can be soaked rather than filed off.
•Acrylics are very strong. When done correctly and with proper nail care, they can last a long time
•Acrylic nail application tends to cost less than gel nail application.
•They last longer
cons for acrylic
•They can damage your nail bed, and when damaged can create a breeding ground for fungus and bacteria.
•Acrylics may look less natural than gel nails, especially if applied incorrectly.
•The application process involves chemicals and fumes
pros for gel
•Gel nails may look more natural and glossy than other types of cosmetic nails.
•The curing time is faster than acrylics.
Gel nail mixtures lack the fumes associated with acrylic nails – they’re considered a safer, more eco-friendly option.
◾They are more slender than acrylic nails which adds to the realism and natural look.
cons for gel
•They don’t last as long and are less durable than acrylic, even though they tend to cost more.
•If a gel nail breaks it can sometimes be more of a shatter effect than a clean break, so fixing a break is more complex
•Gel nails often need to be filed off and if done incorrectly can damage the nail bed