Can I Swim With Acrylic Nails?

Have you ever worried about going swimming in a chlorinated pool or saltwater after a manicure? If you’ve ever had your drug-store nail polish chip or peel at the beach or city pool, then you may be wondering if your acrylic nails would suffer the same kind of damage.


Can I Swim With My Acrylic Nails?

Yes, you can. If your acrylic nails are in good condition, there is no reason not to go for a swim! The expected damage from the chemicals in the swimming pool is too minimal to worry about.

But if your acrylics are already lifting or popping off, it’s better to avoid swimming until they are fixed by a professional. Exposing your nails for too long in the water can cause nails to soak water and damage the acrylics. Well, this isn’t connected to swimming though, apply equally when you’re in the bathtub!


What is Lifting?

nail lifting

Lifting is when your acrylic nail is lifted off of your nail plate. It may not be the best idea to swim if your nails are lifting.

If the acrylics are popping-off before you get into the water, you will need to be very careful. Water getting under the nail can cause the lifting to get worse and cause the nail to come entirely off.

Even if your nail is not lifting at all before swimming, it’s a good idea to check on any gaps you have periodically. Dry them off as quickly as possible as soon as you are finished swimming to stop your acrylic nails from lifting.


What Are Acrylic Nails Made of?

acrylic nails

According to the FDA, acrylic nails are mostly made of acrylic polymers, which are durable and transparent plastics. Due to this, acrylic nails are long-lasting and resilient.

These types of acrylic nails can stay beautiful for weeks at a time, which explains why they are such a popular choice. Some acrylic lovers may worry that chlorine, saltwater, or overexposure to water could harm their nails despite their tough reputation.


Will Chlorine or Salt Water Damage My Nails?

effects of chlorine on nail

If saltwater can damage hair, then surely it can damage my acrylic nails as well? What about chlorine? Surely a pool teeming with chemicals can’t be good for a manicure.

In truth, it depends. Saltwater and chlorine are unlikely to cause problems for acrylic nails. As stated, acrylic nails are challenging and need to be soaked in acetone to be removed. It would take more than a bit of exposure to some saltwater or chlorine to damage them.


When Can Water Damage Acrylic Nails?

Whether it’s at the beach or poolside, too much time spent soaking in the water is what can actually damage your acrylic nails.

However, whether or not your nails get damaged depends on a couple of things: how long you spend in the water and the quality of your nails.

The longer you spend in the water, the more likely your acrylic nails will lift from the nail bed. It doesn’t have to be while you are swimming either; this could just as quickly happen in the bathtub.


Quality Matters

Just as important as the amount of time you spend soaking, if not more important, is the caliber of your manicure.

Sometimes you get what you pay for. High-quality acrylic nails done by a professional are usually going to be more durable and last longer than a manicure done at home or with cheaper products.

Make sure the nail salon you frequent is giving you quality service. Salons that cut corners on safety or cleanliness may result in lower-quality acrylics. What’s worse, they may not be safe, considering that salons with unclean pedicure tubs were found to cause infection.

Below is a list of nail-salon red flags that should send you running.

  • Bottles of nail polish that are all separated
  • Dusty, unsanitary waiting area
  • Dirty, grimy drawers and work surfaces
  • Clogged-up or unclean pedicure tubs
  • Not using new or clean utensils in-between clients
  • Not sanitizing manicure bowls
  • Unsanitary bathrooms

So, next time you go to your nail salon, make sure you check for the above nail salon red flags.


Tips to Protect Your Acrylics

moisturizer for nail

What can you do to save your nails while going for a soak? There are a few ways to take care of your nails:

While getting in the water:

  • Get high-quality acrylic nails
  • Apply baby oil to the nails
  • Apply lotion or nail moisturizer, and reapply as needed
  • Don’t skip fill appointments. Any gaps where water can get into the nail are bad


After swimming:

  • Wash hands thoroughly
  • Make sure your hands are completely dry
  • Moisturize well


In Summary

So, if you’re still asking yourself “can I swim with acrylic nails?”, the answer is: yes, you can. It is unlikely that saltwater or chlorine will damage the nails, although prolonged soaking in water may cause lifting.

It is a good idea to take precautions such as checking for gaps and lifting before going swimming and applying cuticle oil or moisturizer to protect your nails.

Even more important is ensuring that you have a high-quality acrylic manicure in the first place so that it can last as long as possible, both in and out of the water.

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