As many of us know, Shellac nail polish is the way to go when looking for one of the more durable options of nail polish around. On average, they last up to 2 weeks, with some lucky few getting a good 3 weeks in! However, it isn’t uncommon to experience issues with how long these nails actually last, and there have been cases where Shellac nails start to peel after only a few days. In this article, we explore what factors can shorten a Shellac polish lifespan, and what you can do to prolong it!

Shellac nails, when applied, are coated with several layers of UV light which hardens the polish at a much faster rate than if you were to just traditionally “air dry” them, saving you a ton of time. The strengthening process doesn’t stop in the salon though, even the UV rays emitted by the sun continue to harden your Shellac. So in sunnier climates, the polish can last longer.

This on the other hand, also means that in weather conditions where the sun isn’t as predominant, such as winter and autumn in Europe, there aren’t as many UV rays to provide that extra factor of reinforcement, which can cause the polish to peel off quite prematurely. It is also noted that our skin and cuticles tend to be much drier in colder conditions, and dry cuticles can affect how long Shellac stays on.

It’s not the end of the world, however. Here’s what can be done to help prevent the unwanted ‘premature peel’ of your new Shellac nails.

Shellac Application

1. Expose your nails to natural UV rays

Just because the sun isn’t visible doesn’t mean that it’s UV rays aren’t present. It’s important to strengthen your nails as much as you can, and this can be done by going out during the day as much as you can, preferably in places with high levels of UV. If the weather isn’t great then a trip to sunny Spain works too!

2. Use CND Solar Oil

CND Solar Oil has a synergistic blend of naturally light oils and Vitamin E, which is specifically designed to deeply penetrate and protect your nails. It keeps your nails and shellac polish tough and flexible, and repeated use drives oils much deeper into your natural nails, which maximises the benefits and reduces any chance of peeling. Using this product also helps moisturize the skin, nails, and cuticles, so our nail experts recommend that you use Solar oil approximately two times a day to help prevent dryness and keep your Shellac nails in crisp condition.

3. Stop peeling off your nail polish

When you peel off polish from previous applications, it continuously removes the stronger layers of your nail’s surface, which reside on the top of your nails. This then exposes the weaker layers of nail, which can cause the shellac nail polish to peel off with the weaker layers of your nails when applied.

4. Make sure nails are properly prepped before application 

The duration for which your shellac nail polish may last can actually be improved by how you prepare your nails before application. Make sure that your nails aren’t wet or lubricated in any way immediately before your polish is applied. This includes any products that add moisture or oils to the nails.

5. Wear gloves when doing any household activities

Wearing rubber gloves when doing household chores can help you get more time out for your Shellac nails than most. Washing up liquids and bleach all contain chemicals that may weaken, corrode or dissolve your nails which will make them much easier to come off. Simply wearing rubber gloves provides you with an effective extra layer that eliminates exposure to these chemicals.

6. Re-shellac

You can file your nails when you have a layer of Shellac on them, but just remember that when you file them you remove the seal on the edge, which increases the likelihood of water getting beneath the Shellac. So whenever you file your nails, it is advised to have a ‘re-polish’ in order to prevent this. Plan ahead and book your professional Shellac removal and next manicure here.

Shellac application

It’s not a common occurrence to experience issues with Shellac nails, as they are normally quite low maintenance, but use the tips given above to avoid having any unwanted drama, and to also extend the length of your Shellac’s life. Your nails say a lot about you, so it is important to have them looking as great as you deserve them to be.

For more information on nail care and our treatments, head to our Expert Advice section.