Does Nail Polish Come Off In A Pool? (Checked)

It can take hours to get our nails done, including cleaning, applying the nail polish, and waiting for it to dry completely. This is why it can be annoying when our nail polish chips get ruined.

Swimming is fun, especially during the summer, but swimming in the pool can create havoc on our perfectly manicured nails.

Why Swimming in the Pool Can Affect Nail Polish:

Your nails absorb water, and the water absorbed by your nails can lift the nail polish off of your nail. Staying in the water for a prolonged time can cause your nail polish to chip and eventually get ruined. Avoid submerging nails in water for a long time to prevent damage to your manicure.

Can Nail Polish Come Off In The Pool?

Nail polish can come off in the pool.

Even if your nail polish is completely dry, the water can still affect it, more so if you stay in the pool where your nails get prolonged exposure to water.

Nails naturally absorb water, and when it does, the water causes the nail polish to lift and it will stop adhering to the nails.

When the nail polish loses its adhesion, it will chip and eventually come off. This is why our manicures and pedicures get ruined whenever we swim in the pool or the ocean.

Is Nail Polish Generally Water-Resistant?

In general, nail polish is water-resistant. This is also why nail polish is used for more practical functions than painting nails.

You can use nail polish for postage labels and do-it-yourself food labels because its water-resistant properties can prevent ink from running. 

Clear nail polish also has many uses for quick fixes around the house. One of nail polish’s main components is nitrocellulose, a polymer or a form of plastic. 

This component is dissolved in a solvent, usually either ethyl acetate or butyl acetate. When nail polish is applied, the solvent evaporates, and the nitrocellulose forms a film on the nail.

Does Chlorine Wear Away Nail Polish?

Chlorine is an element that is commonly found in household products, usually in those used for cleaning, and it is commonly applied to swimming pools to keep them clean.

When applied to clothes, chlorine can cause the colors to fade out. However, nail polish is pretty resistant to chlorine, according to most sources.

It is actually the water in the pool that can ruin your nail polish and cause it to chip or come off. Furthermore, sunscreen has been known to break down nail polish and ruin the color or cause chipping and flaking.

So no, it is unlikely that the chlorine itself is ruining your nails. Rather, water and sunscreen are.

Can You Go Swimming After A Manicure Or Pedicure?

After a manicure or pedicure, it is not recommended to go swimming, especially if you do not want to risk ruining your nails.

When getting a manicure or pedicure, it only takes a few minutes to dry the top coat, but it generally takes about an hour for all the nail polish to truly dry.

Just because the top coat has dried up does not mean that the layers under it are dry. You can go about your usual activities once the top coat is dry to the touch, but you still have to be very careful with your nails.

Too much pressure when the nail is bumped can still ruin a manicure or pedicure, and letting your nails stay underwater when you just had them done would ruin them completely.

What Nail Polish Works Best For Swimming?

Not all types of nail polish are the same. Some types of nail polish generally stay on longer and are less prone to chipping and cracking, even when swimming.

The types of nail polish that do not easily come off when swimming is glitter nail polish and gel nail polish:

Glitter Nail Polish

Even with acetone or nail polish remover, glitter nail polish is generally difficult to remove. This means that even when you go swimming, it is less likely to chip and come off.

So if you have an upcoming swimming trip and want to get your nails done, glitter nail polish is a good option. It is very easy to apply, and you can do it yourself.

Plus, this nail polish looks cute and comes in many fun colors.

Gel Nail Polish

Overall, gel nail polish is the best option for swimming.

The gel nail polish stays the longest compared to other types of nail polish. You cannot remove it by just rubbing it off with acetone.

Gel nail polish is great for swimming in the pool and the ocean. You can also do different water activities with it, like surfing, snorkeling, or scuba diving.

The cons to gel nail polish are that it can be expensive. Plus, they have to be applied perfectly; it is recommended that you do it by a professional rather than doing it yourself.

How To Protect Nail Polish from Coming Off In The Pool:

You already know that swimming in the pool can ruin your manicure or pedicure by causing it to chip and come off. This does not mean you cannot have fun and swim, especially in the summer.

You can follow some tips to protect your nail polish from coming off in the pool. Here is how:

File and Buff your Nails Before Applying Nail Polish

Before applying your nail polish, you must ensure that your nails are well-prepped. By prepping them, you can be sure that the nail polish adheres very well to your nails.

This will also make your nails less prone to chipping.

File and buff your nails before applying nail polish, and make sure there are no irregular bumps for a smooth and seamless application of the nail polish. Irregular bumps are usually traces of old nail polish that was not completely removed.

When prepping your nails, run the nail file gently across them in one direction, starting at the edge and pulling towards the center of the nail. Keep filing and buffing until your nails are smooth.

Do Not Shake the Bottle of Nail Polish

Shaking the nail polish bottle is an unnecessary step and causes more harm than good to your manicure and pedicure.

Shaking the bottle causes air bubbles, which makes the nail polish more prone to cracking and peeling once applied to your nails.

So before applying nail polish, avoid shaking the bottle.

Apply a Base Coat Before Applying the Nail Polish

A base coat is a product applied to the nails before applying the nail polish itself. This extra step of applying a base coat has so many benefits. It is made primarily to ensure that the application of nail polish is smooth.

The base coat helps fill any ridges on your nails. By ensuring a smooth application of nail polish, the base coat helps make your nail polish less prone to chipping or cracking.

The base coat also protects your nails from getting stained or damaged.

It also strengthens your nails since nail polish can generally cause your nails to become brittle.

When applying a base coat, do so thinly and evenly. Then wait for it to dry before applying the nail polish completely.

Take Your Time When Applying Nail Polish.

When you are applying your nail polish, do not rush it. Make sure to allow each layer to dry completely before applying another one.

Once you apply one layer, wait for at least two minutes before applying the next one.

This helps make your nail polish sturdy, so it does not easily chip or crack when you go swimming. This also helps prevent streaking.

Apply a Top Coat

While applying nail polish can be a long and tedious task, there are simply some steps that we have to do so that it lasts longer – like applying a top coat.

Applying a top coat may not be necessary, but it is important. A top coat seals in your nail polish. It also provides an additional protection layer so that your nail polish does not chip or crack easily.

Once your nail polish is dry, apply a top coat to finish it. Apply it to your nails thinly so that it dries fast.

Don’t let the fear of nail polish coming off stop you from enjoying swimming in the pool. Just make sure to follow the tips above so you can prevent your nail polish from getting ruined in the pool.

And if all else fails, it also helps to bring a bottle of nail polish during your swimming trip in case you need a touch-up.


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