Acrylic Nails Vs Gel Nails: Ultimate Decision-Making Guide

How to make the right choice between Acrylic nails vs gel nails?

If you are not the one to take your appearance and personality lightly, you must be taking good care of your nails.

Artificial nails like acrylic and gel nails offer a great way to make your hands appear more beautiful and attractive and help you create a good impression.

Being aware of what’s good and what’s not for your nails can be an added advantage for you to make the right choice of artificial nails.

Though both acrylic or gel nails can help you show off lovely nails; the question is, “acrylic or gel?”

In this article, we will discuss how to make the right choice of artificial nails and the various parameters that determine the suitability of acrylic nails vs gel nails for you.

Let’s begin with the basics….

What are acrylic nails?

acrylic nails

Acrylic nails are made of a combination of a liquid and powder monomer. These nails have been in use in the beauty industry for several years.

So, now we know that the beautiful nails flaunted by celebrities are not exactly theirs!


Coming back to understating the basics of acrylic nails, their most attractive feature is their staying power! They last for longer compared to other artificial nails, including gel nails.

Acrylics nails form a hard layer that protects your natural nails. Since Acrylic hardens when exposed to the air, it also creates a perfect canvas on which you can apply nail color.

And, What are gel nails?


Gel nails are made of the same gel that a gel polish is made of. They are not as long-lasting and strong as acrylic nails.

Also, unlike acrylic nails, gel nails harden only when exposed to the UV light.

This is the basic information about acrylic nails vs gel nails.

But, I know this much of knowledge is not sufficient for you to select the one that suits you the best.

So, let’s take a closer look at the different parameters of Acrylic and gel nails so that you can decide which one you want to opt for.

Acrylic nails vs gel nails: Which is better?

Please take a look at pros and cons of both to choose better. Let’s have a look at each of these factors one by one so that you know which one scores over the other.

Which nails are better considering their appearance and durability?

If your primary concern is how good your nails will look, then gel nails are for you!

They easily score over the acrylic nails in this department! Gel nails provide a naturally glossy appearance compared to acrylic nails.

So, if you want to keep it a secret and let all believe these are your natural nails, choose gel nails.

But, if you are concerned about their sturdiness, you will have to go in the direction of ‘A’! Acrylic nails are sturdier and when applied correctly with proper care, can last much longer than the gel nails.

Can you apply these nails at home?

Though you can apply both nails at home,  it is best to seek professional help.

Acrylic nail fumes can leave you overwhelmed at your house. And you may not get a good hardening effect if you try applying gel nails at home without a UV light.

So, whether you choose acrylic or gel nails, a professional assistance is recommended.

How To Apply Acrylic Nails?

Acrylic nails are attached to your natural nails. They are applied using a glue-like substance or a primer. An acrylic nail is later placed on the layer of the primer.

Gel nails, on the other hand, are cured under the UV-light. Sometimes, a gel activator is used for curing gel nails. A primer may or may not be used for applying these nails.

You might think how do these application processes matter to you.

Let me explain…

Here, you need to consider two scenarios…

The first one is time constraints. If time is a concern for you, go for gel nails because of shorter curing time.

So, you can get in and out of it in a short duration thus saving some of your precious time.

The second scenario involves having an allergy! Here too gel nails have an upper hand. If you have a history of allergy to cosmetics, it’s better to avoid acrylic nails.

According to a study published in the Skin Appendages Disorders, acrylic nails can result in allergic contact dermatitis in hypersensitive individuals.

Though the allergic reaction may also occur due to the gel nails, you can avoid this by ensuring that nails you choose does not contain acrylates.

How To Remove Acrylic Nails?

We Recommend going to a professional for removing acrylics. But, In case yo want to do it on your own?

We have an Ultimate Guide On How To Remove Acrylic Nails.

I am thinking about the expenses involved…

If you are looking to save a few bucks, choose Acrylic nails over gel nails because the former is usually less expensive than the later.

Do you plan to explore your creativity with nail art?

If you want to give a finishing touch to your nails with some nail art, gel nails are the right option. Though you can paint, do French tips, and even create designs on both acrylic and gel nails, the effect is much better with gel nails because of their glossy finish.

What are your professional commitments?

If you have a job that involves washing or immersing your hands in water several times a day, gel nails would be a better choice for you.

Gel has the ability to adhere to the nail like a polish and hence, the contact with water won’t affect it as much as acrylic would.

According to the Journal of Hospital Infection, acrylic nail extensions can increase the risk of Candida nail bed infection. Water can lift the acrylic away from the nail and pave way for fungus infection.

Similarly, if you are an athlete, excessive sweating can affect acrylic nails more than the gel nails as the sweat and body oils can cause the acrylic to detach from the nail bed.

How is your general health? Do you suffer from any chronic illness?

If your general health is poor or if you are suffering from a disorder that requires repeated hospitalization, it’s advisable to avoid acrylic nails.

A study published in the this Postgraduate Medical Journal has shown that acrylic nails can interfere with the reading of the pulse oximeter. This may put you at the risk of receiving an improper treatment.

I don’t want to comprise on my comfort levels

If you want to feel comfortable go with gel nails, because  gel nails are just like a gel, they are very easy on the hands.

You may not like acrylic nails as they often cause some amount of uneasiness.

These days, people are as crazy about their nails as they are with their skin and hairs. Let me tell you a secret. Nails of a person shows how disciplined he or she is about the appearance.

The reason is simple!

Everyone takes care of their face with regular facial, face masks, scrubbing, cleansing, etc. But, most women are not as much interested in taking efforts to have their nails look healthy and attractive.

So, making sure your nails support and enhance your overall personality shows your dedication.



Written by herbalfoo staff

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  1. I personally like sns it’s a powder that they dip your nails in has vitamins in it can Also last up to 3 months depending on your nail growth they make your nails very strong and you can do anything in the

  2. SNS is acrylic! Liquid dipped in powder is an acrylic nail. A Monomer(liquid) plus Polymer(powder) makes acrylic nail no matter how it is applied! It is simply easier to apply that way. And when applied correctly, Gel Nails can last as long as acrylic, if not longer. Why would you want to see a 3 month growth line? Nails are much healthier when maintenanced at least once a month.

    • I agree who wants to keep nails on for three months and see the nail growth as well as there could be nail fungus underneath and it’s not healthy to keep same nails on for three months. I personally do gel nails on me only and not on customers for years. I have tried dipping nails and does make my nails harder and don’t like it because feel restricted with that hard strength. I love gel and was hard to do at first but perfected the technique. I also do shellac nails and newest one I tried are poly gel with pop-pits and love the Acrygel which is both gel and acrylic.

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