Does Water Affect Polygel Nails?

a gorgeous slim girl with polygel nails relaxing in a swimming pool on a hot summer day

Does water affect Polygel nails? No, most of the time water will have little to no effect on Polygel nails. As they are cured beneath an LED light akin to the gel enhancements of old, Polygel nails are notoriously hardy. This nail enhancement can certainly withstand casual exposure to bodies of water, from the shimmering pool to the rugged sea.

That being said, there are some things to be aware of whenever you expose your fantastic new manicure to water. Lifting and minor chipping remains a risk whenever there are long or repetitive instances of submerging Polygel nails.

Otherwise, the only time you should really have to worry about Polygel interacting with water is during the application and curing time. So, in case you were curious, no, water doesn’t make for a good slip solution (the evaporation takes way too long)!

When done from home, make sure your nails are completely dry and oil free prior to applying the putty-like Polygel mixture. Any sort of liquid on the nail can prevent the hybrid gel from fully adhering, thus making room for errant chipping and peeling. Don’t worry, though: This can be avoided by using a dehydrating nail primer before application.

For the low-down on Polygel nail enhancements and water, then continue reading below. This article will also cover gel nails and their interactions with various types of water as well, so if you’re a more avid fan of traditional gel nails, you’ll be able to get some useful information out of this quick read as well. Without further ado, let’s dive on in.

Can Polygel Nails Go In Water?

Yes, Polygel nails can safely go in water. However, note that continuous exposure to water can cause your hybrid gel nails to lift, and that further submerging your nails to water can hasten the effect. Lifting caused by water can be easily bypassed by applying a topcoat prior to extensive periods of swimming to seal off the nail.

Likewise, Polygel nails can soften and become tacky when exposed to high heat and hot water. In fact, soaking Polygel in very warm water has proven to be a vital step in removing the hybrid gel when you are lacking a nail drill and/or acetone.

Polygel should not begin to melt in the shower, and you should not have to take any sort of precautions when it comes to bathing of any kind. In the case that your Polygel set does begin to show any signs of melting or peeling when you are bathing, it is likely an issue with the curing time or a mishap in the application technique.

Keep in mind that there are tons of successful at-home nail artists out there that have had gorgeous self-applied Polygel nails last up to 4 weeks while showing minor wear. If you fancy yourself the adventurous beauty type, there are Polygel nail kits available on most online markets.

The instructions are more often than not straightforward and make for an easy application, although mishaps can occur. While lifting, as mentioned above, is a looming issue with gel-type nails, Polygel has been a fan favorite of avid swimmers for their durability.

Those who have reported issues note that the error was likely based in too short of a curing time. Hybrid nail enhancements are renowned for being long-lasting and nearly impenetrable, so they are a great option for those of you looking for water resistant options.

Can You Shower With Polygel Nails?

Absolutely! If the Polygel nails have been applied properly every step of the way, there should be no issues with taking a shower. However, it’s best to wait at least 5 hours after you had them applied to make sure they are able to fully dry. After that, you can shower as normal.

Problems that have been reported with showering—like a melting effect, or the entire nail enhancement just popping off—have been narrowed down to common mistakes such as excessive use of slip solution, neglect of a nail dehydrator or primer, and an unfinished cure. Usually, these missteps are caused by inexperience.

They tend to crop up when the person applying the Polygel is still trying to get the hang of it. Polygel and other hybrid gels come with a learning curve, so don’t get discouraged if one of these miscalculations occur. Instead, learn from the situation and try to avoid making the same mistake again.

Can You Go In A Hot Tub With Gel Nails?

I would recommend against going into a hot tub with gel nails. Whereas chlorine can be staved off with a reliable topcoat, the added heat of the hot tub can possibly cause gel discoloration and lifting over time. Try not to linger too long in the hot tub, if you can’t avoid it, wash your hands afterwards for extra measure.

By discontinuing use of a hot tub or jacuzzi, the lifting of your gel nails can be stopped. As a final note on this, the chlorine levels and overall temperature of the hot tub in use can definitely change the ways your nails interact with the water. Too much of anything is certainly a recipe for disaster, so avoid any excessively hot or overly chlorinated spas.

Does Washing Dishes Ruin Gel Nails?

While dishwashing won’t completely ruin your gel nails, it can make them prone to chipping. Dishwashing soaps and detergents can further exacerbate this frequently found issue. As a result, experts recommend wearing cleaning gloves when washing the dishes so that your gel manicure lasts as long as possible.

Does Water Ruin Gel Nails?

No, water won’t ruin gel nails. Water can have adverse effects, though, if there is some natural nail exposed (most commonly around the cuticle). During this time, the water can get it’s way onto the natural nail and encourage lifting.

Once lifted, the gel can absorb further water and the lifting will only get worse as time goes on. In an effort to keep this from happening, applying your favorite topcoat before swimming can seal away the nail, as well as regular upkeep on your manicure.

How Do I Protect My Nails From Water?

The answer to this question depends entirely on what type of submergence level will be expected. Generally, a topcoat can protect most manicures from the effects of water. If you are participating in an activity like washing the dishes, standard cleaning gloves will do the trick.

A quick online search will yield a range of prices for standard gloves that are under $10. Honestly, if you are worried about your nails in the shower, you can even wear reusable gloves that are tied off with elastics or medical tape (if you have ever had a cast, this may be all-too familiar).

Protecting your nails from water may be an inconvenient task for some, and that is why finding nail enhancements that can withstand moisture is so important. Polygel really shows up here, as it has proven its durability time and time again.

Final Thoughts: Does Water Affect Polygel Nails?

The big takeaway of this article is that Polygel is generally viewed as water safe. Frequent swimmers and swim instructors have had their hybrid gel manicure last well into the 4 week timeframe that others report with Polygel.

Only high temperature waters with an exposure of more than 15 minutes seem to have a great effect on Polygel. Additionally, gel nails can get messed up by certain types of waters like chlorinated ones found in pools and—especially—hot tubs.

Discoloration and lifting can occur, so it would be best to avoid these or limit your exposure time if possible. So, then, protecting nails from water becomes a huge thing of importance. As they are, topcoats can save the day. Also, gloves when cleaning or showering can help ease any adverse effects that may take place.

Remember that nail enhancements aren’t a “one-size fits all” type of commitment. Different enhancements will require different care routines. Always do your research before deciding which type of enhancement you would like to make sure it fits in with your lifestyle and routine.

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By Cierra Tolentino

Cierra Tolentino is a beauty writer at Kintegra Research. She loves keeping people up-to-date with the latest beauty trends in skincare, hair care, and makeup. Finding answers to tough questions is her thing. When she has free time you can find her chasing down a clumsy toddler and obsessively drinking tea.