Nail Lovers Tips

Gel Nails vs Acrylics: Which is Better to Use?

Having beautiful nails american is a dream of every woman. However, nails are easily broken due to housework or nail-biting. Thus, artificial nails enhancements are the best choice for those who either have brittle nails or do regular manicures.

If you are wondering about the differences between acrylic and gel nails, this article will help you explain it. Scroll down to know!

What are Acrylic Nails?

Acrylic nails are one of the most common types of artificial nails, not to mention that this is one of the oldest.

They are also known under the name of “liquids and powders nails” due to the combination of monomer liquid and polymer powder.

Acrylic nail is the oldest manicure

There is a belief that acrylics can cause damage to the natural nails. However, this is completely wrong provided that you take care of your nails with the proper removal process. 

What are Gel Nails?

Gel nails, which are officially called “UV gel nails”, have almost the same chemistry with acrylic nails but different configurations of the ingredients.

The nails with gel applications often look more glossy than with acrylics.

Gel nails are the new trend

Gel nails are divided into 2 types:

  • Hard gel: This is also known as “no light gel” as it does not need a nail dryer but a gel activator polished onto the nails to dry. Due to its tight structure, they are usually used for nail extensions, which are fake nails made from nail products to make your natural nails longer.
  • Soft gel: For these nails, after the nail technician has done the gel nail manicure, you must put your nails under the ultraviolet lamp (UV lamp) or UV led to cure or harden the gel nail polish.

Soft gel nails can last a minimum of 10 days while hard gel ones are even longer.

What’s the difference between Gel and Acrylic Nails

We have known some basic things about Gel and Acrylic Nails. Still, there is a question “What’s the difference between Gel and Acrylic Nails?”. Let’s go into details to find out!

Acrylic Nails

Acrylic manicure includes the application of primer and then an artificial acrylic nail onto the existing nail.

If they are applied with high-quality products and by experienced manicurists, the nails will look strong and healthy.

Here are some pros and cons of them we have collected:


  • More money-saving in general, although whether acrylics are cheap or expensive depends mostly on nail products.
  • Longer-lasting with proper nail technology.
  • Easy to at home.
  • Easy to make acrylic nails at home as long as you have manicure kits.


  • Less natural-looking and can cause discomfort.
  • Less durable and can chip under the right amount of pressure.
  • Slower curing time.
  • Causing mild infections and skin allergy, which can damage the nail when not applied properly.
  • Not advised for pregnant women due to strong chemicals.

Acrylic family nails are solid, more durable and longer-lasting than Gel nails. Therefore, it is advised that you are dipping nail in acetone in 30 minutes before removing so that your natural nail bed would not be harmed.

Gel Nails

How long do Gel nails last compared to Acrylic nails? This is a common question when choosing between gels.

In fact, unlike acrylic nails, no powder polymers are needed to mix in with to create an adhesive bond with natural nails.


  • Looking more vivid and glossy and bringing a feeling of comfort.
  • Flexible and can stand higher pressure thanks to the tight bond created by UV light.
  • Faster curing time when using UV led, about 5 – 10 seconds with 48w UV led nail dryer.
  • Less maintenance required – only about 3 weeks before doing needing work on your gel-based nails.
  • Producing no odor.


  • Quite costly as you have to go to the nail shops to fix when nails are broken.
  • Unable to be made at home without UV led nail dryer.
  • Advised to remove by professional nail tech.
  • Requiring filing off for the extensions of the hard gel nails as acetone alone is not strong enough.

When doing the gel nail manicure, you should apply a base coat first, then two coats of polish colors, and finally the topcoat. This helps your nail plate will not be damaged.

Which is Better?

Having known all the pros and cons of acrylic nails and gel nails, you are still uncertain about gel or acrylic. Here are some pieces of advice.

Gel nails can only be kept for a maximum of 14 days, while acrylic nails can be used for a longer time. During that time, acrylic nails need regular fill-ins, at least about once a month. 

For those who usually have regular contact with water, acrylic nails are not advisable as they are easily soaked off in the water. Under this circumstance, your fake nails can lift away from your natural ones, enhancing the risk of a nail fungus.

In contrast, if you are interested in nail shapes, acrylic nails are the better option as they can create many nail shapes.

SNS nails: A great solution!

If you are having a job where your hands are in water most of the time and you love doing nail shapes, then SNS nails are such an ideal solution for you!

SNS nails are also known as “dip powder nails”, which are actually a brand of dip powder. They are used in full-sets nails or fill-ins.

It is different and great because it does not have the strong smell of acrylic gel and does not require a nail lamp to cure. The most fantastic thing is that they come in all nail polish colors.

Basically, dip powder nails are done in 5 main steps:

  • Filing and shaping the nail and cleansing with a primer.
  • Applying the gel base coat on the nail plate.
  • Dipping in powder.
  • Brushing an activator, twice or three times depending on the quality of the products.
  • Applying the top gel coat.

The lifespan of these nails can be up to 3 weeks, much longer than gel nails. Whenever you want to take them off, all you need to do is to soak off in acetone for 15 to 20 minutes.

Whichever types of nails you choose, either acrylic nails or gel nails or dip powder nails, it is essential that you take care of your nails on a daily basis. One of the easiest ways recommended by professionals is using natural oils to strengthen the nails and cuticles.


Acrylic nails are not suitable for everyone due to skin allergy, but gel nails and dip powder nails are good choices for those who wear nails only for special occasions.

We hope that this article and some information we have collected can help to explain the differences between gels and acrylics.

If you have any questions or comments on this post, do not be afraid to get in touch with me. I am always here to help.

And now, thanks for reading!

1 Comment

  1. Gel Nails vs Acrylics: Which is Better to Use? it is very useful, I also shared it
    on my facebook.
    I also want to help you to make money online
    Many thanks! 🙂

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