Do Press On Nails Ruin Your Real Nails?

Many women have horror stories from using fake nails. Everything is fine and dandy until you remove them and are left with ugly and brittle nails that make you want to run right back to fake nails! This is because acrylic nails and gel nails are so strong and durable that leaving them on for long periods of time and then removing them can cause your nails to become weak, bumpy, and broken. Obviously, this is not ideal but isn’t it the price we have to pay for beautiful fake nails? Not necessarily. 

Press on nails have been gaining popularity lately as an alternative to traditional acrylic nails and it’s not hard to see why.


What Are Press On Nails?

Odds are that you’ve heard of press on nails before or have even possibly used them! However, most people associate press on nails with the cheap and tacky ones that you used to buy at the drugstore in middle school. Thankfully, press on nails in 2020 are nothing like the ones from your childhood. 

These fake nails are made of an acrylic resin material that is similar to the acrylic nails applied in the salon but are less permanent, easier to apply, and better for your real nails. When produced and applied correctly, they can look just as good as acrylics without the salon price tag!


Press-On- Nails


The key to finding quality press on nails is to purchase from a reputable company that lives and breathes press on nails, like Clutch Nails. This company in particular really knows their stuff and is dedicated to creating durable, high-quality press ons that appeal to all different styles. 

If you are looking for press on nails to wear to work, you can go with a short pair of pink ombre press on nails that are totally neutral and totally professional. On the other hand, if you are looking for the perfect summer press on nails to wear to the beach, go with long colorful flame nails that will definitely help make you the center of attention no matter where you go.


Do Press On Nails Ruin Your Real Nails?

Perhaps your previous experiences with fake nails have made you wary of all types, but you definitely don’t have to worry about damaging your natural nails by wearing press on nails. 

The good news is that with press on nails, you don’t have to ruin your real nails just to rock a beautiful pair of fake ones! We understand that you might be skeptical about this, especially if you’ve been dealing with awful damage from acrylics for years. However, since press on nails just use adhesive or a bit of nail glue (if needed), they are much easier on your real nails and will not damage them so long as you apply and remove them properly. So how do you do that?


How to Properly Apply Press On Nails

The first step to protecting your nails when wearing press on nails is to apply them properly! Applying press on nails is totally a breeze when you get the hang of it. And best of all, there’s no need to spend hours at the salon exposed to tons of different chemicals in the process. You can do it all yourself at home in just a matter of minutes.


Glue on Nails


Here are some general tips to follow when you are applying press on nails:

  • Start by washing your hands, clean your nails of all remnants of polish or adhesive, and give yourself a mini-manicure by trimming your nails, buffing them, pushing back your cuticles, and trimming any excess skin around your nail beds. You can also apply a clear base coat if you want to seal off your real nails from the press ons.

  • Choose whether or not you want to use the existing adhesive on the nails or if you want to supplement that with nail glue. If you want to protect your nails at all costs, then you should just stick with the adhesive knowing that the bond might not be as strong. However, if you want a really strong bond that will last for over a week, then you should apply a bit of nail glue to the fake nail before application.

  • Go through all the nails in the nail kit and pick out which ones best fit your natural nails. Each nail will generally require a different size so make sure to pull out the ones that you wish to use and keep them in order so that you can quickly apply them without a hitch.

  • Peel off the adhesive backing of the press on nail and apply a bit of glue (if desired) to both the fake nail and your real nail. Line up the bottom of the fake nail with your cuticles and press down, moving towards the sides, then the middle, and then the top for at least 30 seconds to ensure a strong bond with the adhesive and glue.

  • Once all your press on nails have been applied, you can apply a top hardener coat to give them more seal and shine.


How to Safely Remove Press On Nails

While the application process goes a long way towards keeping your real nails safe, the removal process is even more important. If you are too rough or abrasive with the removal, you can easily damage your real nails. Thankfully, that’s not necessary and there are a few different gentle methods that you can use to remove your press on nails:

  • Acetone: Soak your fingers in acetone for a few minutes while occasionally wiggling the nails to start loosening the glue. Keep soaking them until you are easily able to pull the nails away from the glue so that you don’t damage your real nails in the process.

  • Acetone-free nail polish remover: If you aren’t a big fan of acetone, then you can try using acetone-free nail polish remover to get your fake nails off. These solutions use chemicals that are less harsh than acetone, but they are also less efficient. This means that you will have to soak your fingers for a longer period of time. However, this extra time will be well-worth it if you are looking to avoid the negative effects of using acetone on your nails.

  • Warm water: Soak your fingers in warm water with a bit of soap for 20 minutes. Like with the acetone, move the nails back and forth while you soak so that the glue starts to come up. Make sure that the water stays warm while you soak in order for this process to work properly and protect your natural nails.

  • Cuticle oil: Apply a cuticle-oil soaked cotton ball to your press on nails, especially focusing on the edges so that the oil can get underneath to the glue. You can even use tape or aluminum foil to keep the cotton ball positioned against your nails. The glue should start to loosen after about five minutes and you should be able to easily pull off the press on nails.


Nail Care Tips

Even if you have damaged nails from acrylic nails or gel nails, you aren’t permanently doomed to a life of ugly nails! There are several steps that you can take to bring your nails back to life and continue to treat them properly so that you never have to deal with breakage, unevenness, and discoloration.


Press On Nails

  • Religiously apply a moisturizer to your hands and cuticle oil to your fingers that include nourishing ingredients like jojoba oil, sunflower oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil, and Vitamin E.

  • Tame your cuticles properly and never pick at them or pull them to prevent bloody and painful areas.

  • Buff your nails instead of applying tons of polish when your nails need to breathe. When you do have to apply polish, make sure that they are free of parabens and sulfates that can cause damage to your nails.

  • Choose the right emery board that isn’t too rough on your nails and can actually exacerbate existing issues like breakage and cracking.

  • Drink plenty of water to keep your nails (and hair) healthy, strong, and nourished. Most health professionals recommend that you drink a half a gallon of water per day!

  • Avoid nail polish removers with acetone that can be stripping and drying to your natural nails. Use acetone-free nail polish removers instead that contain chemical solutions like ethyl acetate, isopropyl alcohol, and propylene carbonate.

  • Finally, never pick off regular nail polish or fake nails without soaking and removing them properly!


Final Thoughts

As you can see, press on nails do not harm your real nails. 

This is in contrast to other types of fake nails like acrylics that can cause tons of damage if they are left on long enough or not removed properly. That being said, even though press on nails are better for your nails than other fake nail alternatives, you still need to be diligent about applying them properly, removing them safely, and generally following basic nail care guidelines if you are looking to obtain (or maintain) beautiful and healthy nails!



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