Gel Nails vs Acrylic Nails in 2018

The Difference Between Gel and Acrylic nails

Last updated 1st of October 2018
So what is the difference between gel and acrylic nails? In this article we will go over the pros and cons of each artificial nail type in order to discover the true winner. Here is what you need to know in the debate of gel nails vs acrylic nails.

Gel Nails vs Acrylic Nails

Acrylic Nails

Acrylic nails are the most popular of artificial nails and have held that place since the 1970’s. The general process of having acrylic nails done goes like this. An artificial nail is applied to your nail bed (usually sculpted beforehand to suit your nails) before being glued to it with liquid acrylic and powder. Usually it is glued to the tips of nails instead the whole nail bed. The result is a hard protective layer that can be used as a canvas if you wish to color your nails. They are pros and cons with this process as we will discover below as well as the difference between gel and acrylic nails.

difference between gel and acrylic nails

Pros of Acrylic Nails:

  • Acrylic Nails are very strong and long-lasting.

  • They are easier to repair at home due to their strength where they crack rather than shatter. As always it is advised that you visit a professional nail technician for the nail related issues instead of tackling them by yourself.

  • They are generally cheaper than gel nails which is important in these times.

  • There is a higher availability of them in america, meaning you will find more nail salons offering acrylic nails. Gel nails are only starting to pick up in popularity in america. This is not the case in Europe.

  • They have a matte finish to them, this is up to personal taste and preference

Cons of Acrylic Nails:

  • If done poorly there is a high risk of damage towards the natural nail. This can lead to nasty things such as fungus and infection. This can be a problem if you wish to apply them by yourself at home If this ever happens immediately get in touch with your doctor. When it comes to nails it is no joking matter.

  • A strong odor is emitted when applying the acrylic over the acrylic nail. The fumes can be potentially hazardous if you are not in a well-ventilated area.

  • The acrylic is also toxic and is advised that pregnant women do not get acrylic nails during pregnancy.

  • Their strength can be a drawback sometimes. They are more prone to damage since they are more inflexible.

  • Don’t look as realistic as gel nails and can be bulky and clearly fake.

  • Require more fillings than gel nails.

For More Information On Acrylic Nails Click Here!

Gel Nails

Gel nails are applied by having 2 – 3 coats of gel nail polish applied. Every layer must be cured with a UV gel nail dryer before applying the next layer. This process can be  generally quicker than having acrylic nails applied. There is a reason why gel nails are serious competition for acrylic nails as we will discover below.

gel nails vs acrylic nails

Pros of Gel Nails:

  • When having gel nails applied the process is odorless unlike acrylic nails.

  • They are non-toxic so that pregnant women are not sidelined and are able to enjoy them as well.

  • They are more realistic and natural looking.

  • Have a glossy finish to them, again this falls under personal taste and preference.

  • They are more slender than acrylic nails which adds to the realism and natural look.

  • Generally the process of applying gel nails can be easier and less hazardous. They dry quicker as well.

  • Less filing and shaping is required during the process which I know can be a big plus for some people.

  • They generally last longer than acrylic nails and require less fillings.

  • Are more flexible which makes them less prone to damage.

Cons of Gel Nails:

  • They are more expensive which can be big minus point in these economic times.

  • Are less available in america. It is harder to find nail salons that offer them.

  • The UV dryer can cause cancer. UV rays are damaging to the skin and are known to lead to cancer. There is protection available for this though. ROYAL NAILS ANTI UV GLOVES FOR UV LIGHT/LAMP NAIL DRYER ONLY NAIL EXPOSED

  • They are less durable and weaker. This means they tend to shatter rather than crack. This can make repair extremely difficult or even impossible.

For More Information On Gel Nails Click Here!


There you have it, the difference between gel and acrylic nails. Armed with this information I hope you will have an easier time choosing the between the two as well as discerning between them in the debate of gel nails vs acrylic nails. I personally prefer gel nails but this can vary from time to time. Let us know in the comments section below which out of the two you prefer.

For more information on gel or acrylic nails click here.

I hope you found this article helpful. Let us know what you think in the comments section below. Don’t forget to share and like this page. Thank you!

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