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What’s the difference between gel nails and acrylics?

One of the main differences between gel and acrylic nails lies within the application. Acrylics require a mix of monomer liquid and polymer which creates the resin that forms the acrylic. Meanwhile, gel nails can be applied with a base gel which can be used without removing moisture from the nail.

Which type of nail is more durable?

While acrylic nails are usually harder than gels, they’re not necessarily as durable. Despite being robust, the right amount of pressure can easily break or chip the nail away. Curing gel nails with a UV lamp creates a tight, adhesive bond while also ensuring they remain flexible enough to withstand more force than acrylics.

How are gel nails and acrylics cured?

The entire curing process tends to be quicker when applying gel nails too. Due to the use of UV lamps, each layer only takes around 2 minutes. On the other hand, acrylic nails will air dry. This means the application must be done quickly, or else nail technicians risk the nails drying and setting before they are properly shaped.

Which nail type is easier to shape and file?

The differences between the two products become more obvious when shaping. Due to the flexibility of gel nails, they’re much easier to file along with the natural nail underneath. In comparison, the rigid nature of acrylics means they can be much tougher to shape and require a lot of heavy-handed filing and buffing to get the desired shape.

However, for gel or acrylic nails it is advisable to get a professional nail technician to do the filing and shaping. As, while there is minimum filing involved with gel nails, doing it incorrectly can break the gel seal, making it less resistant to chips and flaking.

How do gel nails and acrylics affect natural nails?

Unfortunately, the constant application of acrylics can cause damage to the natural nail bed from the necessary filing which thins the nails and leaves a lasting impression. In some cases, exposing them to water for a prolonged period could lead to fungal nail infections, this is typically caused when the cuticle is filed away too far, leaving nothing to protect your nails from bacteria.

Meanwhile, gel nail brands such as Bio Sculpture actively promote healthy natural nails with bespoke treatments and products dedicated to encouraging nail growth. Alongside this, those who are looking for an environmentally responsible brand can rest assured as Bio Sculpture’s range of gel nails are 100% vegan and cruelty-free.


At RE:NEW, we only use Bio Sculpture’s wide range of gel nails over acrylics and are the UK’s exclusive distributor of their luxury products, from the 200+ gorgeous colours to the treatment gels which keep natural nails and cuticles healthy.

We also provide Bio Sculpture training courses for everyone from beginners to experts. This allows us to ensure everyone buying the premium Bio Sculpture gels are fully trained and able to deliver a flawless manicure lasting over 3 weeks.

© 2024 RE:NEW Beauty.

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