With cracked or brittle natural nails, many women use artificial nails. They promise a neat appearance for a long time.

But what should be considered when using artificial nails and what are the differences between the different types of artificial nails?

Difference between acrylic and gel nails

Acrylic and gel nails are the most common form of artificial nails. Both offer different advantages and disadvantages, which you should evaluate individually in advance.

Acrylic nails are created using a powder-liquid system. The prepared mass is then hardened by a chemical reaction. This creates heat and harmful vapours that must not be inhaled. The result is very thin and firm artificial nails.

Gel nails (often also called Shellac nails), on the other hand, are hardened by means of UV light or LED light. However, the amount of potentially harmful UV radiation is negligible. No harmful vapours are generated with this method. Unlike the other method, gel nails are relatively thick and elastic. What both types of artificial nails have in common is that they are relatively complex to remove or take a certain amount of time to grow (you should allow up to six months for this).

A third, relatively new alternative is the so-called fiberglass nails.

Fibreglass nails

Because of their increased strength, fiberglass nails, unlike the other two types, are particularly suitable for women, where other types of artificial nails would break quickly due to their activities. At the same time, they are thinner than acrylic nails and are also ideal “only” for strengthening the natural nail.

Another advantage: the nails can be completely removed with an acetone bath. However, this could be a problem for particularly dry skin and sensitive nails. In addition, users have to calculate a higher price.

Durability of artificial nails

The lifespan of artificial nails is independent of the type used. The bottom line is that it always depends on the growth of the natural nails. As soon as these are visible under the artificial nails, a visit to the manicure studio is pending.

Experience has shown that it takes about three to six weeks before filling or renewal becomes necessary.

How strong are artificial nails? Can you break?

Artificial nails can and must break. If they don’t, there is a risk that your natural nails or the nail bed could be damaged in the worst case scenario.

Nevertheless, artificial nails are about 60 times more stable than natural nails. However, this does not mean that you have to treat them differently from your normal nails. They are also subject to cleaning agents. It is therefore preferable to wear gloves when doing.

Artificial nail painting

Of course, you can also paint artificial nails. Please note the following:

  • The hairspray must not contain acetone as it softens the nails.
  • Use a base coat.
  • Do not paint in direct sunlight.
  • Do not paint after bathing or showering.
  • Do not dry nail polish.

The same applies to nail polish remover: use acetone-free products and those suitable for artificial nails.

Keep an eye on the natural quality of the nails.

As beautiful as artificial nails: don’t forget your natural nails underneath. To stay strong and protect the nail bed, you need oxygen. However, it cannot penetrate if you wear artificial nails for a long period of time.

After a long period of time, this can lead to soft, discoloured or brittle nails. Pathogens such as fungi or viruses can then easily penetrate the skin – especially if there are other injuries, perhaps only microscopic ones.


Artificial nails are elegant and last a long time if you treat them properly. Each type – whether acrylic, gel or fiberglass nails – has its own advantages and disadvantages. Some manicure studios offer the possibility to test them for a certain period of time. This is especially recommended before wearing it for the first time.

However, also think about your natural nails and do not neglect them or observe their condition. Because even experts such as dermatologists with the appropriate cosmetic knowledge do not give direct recommendations on how long or how often artificial nails should be worn without affecting normal nails.