What Causes Gel Nails to Lift?

I find it baffling that gel nails can last 4 weeks or more on some clients whilst on others I have them calling me in panic after a week because nails have lifted off. And i take it personally, I want to deliver the best results and I feel responsible for each of my lovely Sweet Cheeks clients nails, so I have been doing my research firstly because I need to know I’m consistently doing my job properly and also so I can answer these types of questions when my clients ask, so below is what I found out….

There are 3 main causes to Nails lifting; observable, hidden, and chemical below explains factors of each that are to be considered by both the therapist and the client.


Preperation – The natural oil must be removed so that the nail has a dull finish prior to the application. Moisture on the nails at the time the primer is applied prevents bonding in much the same manner that natural oils do.

Full cuticle preparation must be carried out making sure there is none remaining on the nail plate, I there is that being under the gel will cause lifting straight away.

Nervous Habits, picking, taping and biting nails can cause lifting.

Occupational Hazards. Typing and similar activities that can cause pressure on the nails just relax a little and don’t hit the keyboard so angrily hehe.


Heart Medications,
Diuretics and too much Vitamin B-6,
Medication for sugar diabetes (Insulin), Thryoid Medications,
Allergies and sensitivity to the product itself.
Bacteria in the client’s system or disease to the nail plate


Poor condition gel products or contaminated products.
Household cleaning products
Lemons and Limes and other Acidic Juices.

With all that to consider its worth remembering all the wonderful benefits of gel nails including the high shine, longevity (up to 4 weeks!) the protection to your natural nail which helps prevent breakages making them longer & stronger and simply beautiful!





3 responses

  1. Hi Stefani. Thanks for the info and tips.

    I was told recently by an opi technician that sun tan lotion is really bad for gels. As well as lifting it also affects the colour of the polish. So get someone else to rub your suncream in! X

    • Hi Katherine thanks for commenting its alway lovely to know people are reading! Im OPI trained 🙂

      It’s normally products that include lanolin or particular oils that can cause lifting with particular gel systems.

      It’s not always suntan lotions its that we leave excess on around the nails and cuticle rather than wiping it off and mixed with high heats can cause lifting xoxo

  2. Very interesting indeed stef, good research! Now I’ve got lovely nails (thanks to you) I do keep tapping!!! Must stop doing that hehe xxx

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