How To Keep Nail Polish From Chipping

Nobody likes it when their freshly painted nails start to chip long before the week is up. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to keep your nail polish from chipping and make your manicure last longer.

So, I’m going to share some tips on how to keep nail polish from chipping, so you can make your manicure last for as long as possible before needing a touch-up. 

How To Keep Nail Polish From Chipping

How To Keep Nail Polish From Chipping

Keeping your nail polish from chipping can be a challenge, but with proper preparation and application techniques, your manicure will last longer.

First, ensure that your nails are clean and free of any oils or emollients before applying the base coat. Lightly wipe each nail with an acetone-free nail polish remover to create a clean surface for the polish to adhere to.

Only file your nails when they are completely dry, as wet nails are more prone to damage and peeling.

Don’t over-buff your nails, as doing this more than once a month can lead to thinning and weakening. Also, invest in a good-quality nail file to prevent peeling, flaking, and breakage.

When painting your nails, apply thin layers rather than thick ones. Start with a base coat, then apply two thin coats of polish, and finish with a top coat.

Allow enough time for each coat to dry before moving on to the next layer. Thick coats take longer to dry and are more likely to chip at the tips.

To prevent chips, avoid getting polish on your cuticles and make sure to also apply polish and top coat to the tips of your nails. Using a good base and top coat will help maximize wear and reduce chipping.

Lastly, maintain your manicure by regularly applying cuticle oil and keeping your nails healthy and hydrated. 

Let’s take a look at each of these recommendations, in a little more detail…

Wash Hands Before Applying Polish

One common mistake that many people make while painting their nails at home is not washing their hands before applying polish.

Washing your hands is crucial because nails have natural oils that can prevent the polish from adhering correctly.

A simple fix for this issue is to swipe your nails with polish remover before applying your base coat, and then washing your hands with soap and water to remove any remaining film or oil residue.

By taking the time to thoroughly clean and prep your nails before applying polish, you can greatly improve the longevity of your at-home manicure.

These tips and tricks will help ensure that your nail polish stays put for as long as possible, so you can enjoy a beautiful and chip-free look. 

File Nails in One Direction

Filing nails in one direction is a common tip shared by many to prevent nail damage and encourage strong, healthy growth.

However, recent scientific studies have debunked this myth. Examining nail plates using various abrasive grits and filing techniques, it was found that no significant difference in the condition of the nail plate when comparing one-direction filing with a see-saw filing method.

This study was conducted on normal, healthy nail plates and suggests that filing in one direction may not necessarily provide any significant benefits for natural nails.

So, it’s crucial to consider the grit of your nail file when filing your nails, as grits below 180 can cause too much damage regardless of filing motion.

Crystal files, which have a 400-600 grit depending on the brand, are highly recommended for a smooth edge finish.

The choice of filing method should be based on personal preference and comfort. If the see-saw method causes discomfort, it may be best to slow down and use single strokes in one direction.

Buff Nails to Remove Residue

Buffing your nails before applying polish is essential for a smooth, long-lasting manicure. Uneven nail surfaces can lead to cracks and chips in your polish.

To ensure you have a smooth surface, gently buff your nails before painting them. This removes any residual oil and helps the polish adhere better to the nail.

Not only does nail buffing create a smooth surface, but it also removes any residue that might prevent the polish from sticking.

After buffing, swipe your nails with polish remover to eliminate any leftover oil. This step is crucial in achieving a flawless and durable manicure, with minimal nail polish chips and peeling.

Use Cuticle Treatment to Remove Dead Skin

Use Cuticle Treatment to Remove Dead Skin

Keeping your nail polish from chipping involves proper nail care and preparation, including the use of cuticle treatments to remove dead skin.

By massaging a high-quality cuticle treatment onto your cuticles, you can gently push them back with an orange-wood stick to reveal a clean nail surface.

This process not only removes cuticles but also exfoliates dead skin cells, which can cause nail polish to chip easily.

Remember to apply a hydrating product afterward to keep your cuticles soft and moisturized.

Apply a High-Quality Base Coat

One essential tip to keep your nail polish from chipping is to apply a high-quality base coat.

This step is crucial in ensuring that your manicure stays looking fresh and beautiful for longer.

Using a good base coat not only protects your nails from stains, but it also fills ridges and strengthens them.

Investing in a nourishing and high-quality base coat, you can provide a solid foundation for your nail polish, prolonging its wear and durability.

Many professionals recommend starting every manicure with this step to enhance the overall health of your nails, and nail beds.

Keep Nails Oil-Free Before Applying Polish

Keeping your nails oil-free before applying polish is essential for a long-lasting manicure.

Start by thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water, focusing on the nails to remove any dirt or oils.

Be sure to dry your hands completely before proceeding to the next step.

Next, swipe your nails with a gentle nail polish remover to further eliminate any residue or oils.

This will ensure that your nail polish adheres properly to your nails, reducing the likelihood of chipping.

Finally, apply your base coat and nail polish in thin, even layers, allowing each coat to dry fully before applying the next one.

You can then finish off your manicure with a layer of cuticle oil.

Apply Thin Layers of Polish

One of the best ways to prevent nail polish from chipping is by applying thin layers of polish. This technique not only helps in creating a smooth and even finish, but also allows the polish to dry properly.

When applying nail polish, start with a high-quality base coat to protect your nails from stains and ensure a longer-lasting manicure.

Then, apply your chosen nail color in two thin coats, allowing each coat to dry for a few minutes before applying the next one.

Be patient and give yourself enough time for each layer to dry.

After applying the color coats, finish your manicure with a top coat that seals in the color and protects it from chipping.

Using thin coats of nail polish can help prevent bubbling and streaking, which are common causes of chipping, and the same applies for gel manicures, when applying gel nail polishes.

Use a Top Coat to Protect Color and Prevent Chipping

Seal the Tips to Prevent Chipping

One effective way to prevent nail polish from chipping is sealing the tips of the nails, just like they do at the nail salon, to make nail polish last longer.

This is because chipping usually starts at the tips, where your nails come in contact with various surfaces.

To seal the tips, simply apply a thin coat of both your chosen polish and a topcoat on the edges of your nails.

Doing this creates a protective barrier that keeps your nail polish from chipping and prolongs the life of your manicure.

You will likely notice that your nail color stays intact for longer periods compared to when you don’t seal the tips.

Use a Top Coat to Protect Color and Prevent Chipping

One of the best ways to prevent your nail polish from chipping is to apply a top coat over the colored polish, to give you a lasting manicure.

A top coat creates a protective barrier, ensuring that the color stays put and doesn’t chip or peel off easily.

It also adds an extra layer of shine, making your manicure look polished and professionally done.

When using a top coat, make sure to apply it evenly around the edges of your nails as well as the tips.

This will provide extra protection against chipping, especially in those areas that are more prone to wear and tear.

For best results, opt for a high-quality top coat from a trusted brand, such as Seche Vite or Essie.

To extend the lifespan of your manicure even further, consider reapplying the top coat every other day.

This will help refresh the protective barrier and keep your nail polish looking fresh and chip-free for longer periods of time.

 

Avoid Dipping Your Hands In Hot Water

When trying to prevent your nail polish from chipping, it is important to avoid dipping your hands in hot water.

The heat and moisture can cause the layers of nail polish to separate and chip away.

To ensure that your nail polish stays in place, try using lukewarm or cold water instead.

You may want to apply a top coat every few days to further protect the color and shine of the polish.

Lastly, make sure not to use too much pressure when washing dishes or other objects with your hands; gentle is better, if you want to keep your nail polish or gel polish in place for longer.

Summary

Keeping your nail polish from chipping can be a challenge, but with proper preparation and application techniques, you can make your manicure last for as long as possible.

Start by ensuring that your nails are clean and free of oils or emollients before applying the base coat. Buff lightly to create a smooth surface, then apply thin layers of color and topcoat.

Use cuticle treatment to remove dead skin, seal the tips of your nails to prevent chipping, avoid dipping them in hot water, and reapply topcoat every few days for optimum performance.

With these simple tips, you should have no problem creating beautiful salon-quality manicures that last much longer than those done at home.



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Gemma Etc.
Gemma Etc.

Hi, my name is Gemma, and I’m the writer behind GemmaEtc.com. I’m a true beauty obsessive, and love writing about anything to do with beauty. In addition to Gemma Etc., I also own MakeupMuddle.com, and love sharing my thoughts and feelings about beauty and lifestyle products.

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