Can you go swimming with acrylic nails? (or fake nails)

Yes, you can swim with acrylic nails. But no, you can’t swim as long or as often as you want. The thing with acrylic nails is that they don’t go very well with water.
Nghi Dinh
October 19, 2022

Having fabulous nails is a luxury, which is why some people go to great lengths to acrylic nails. Acrylic nails, also known as fake nails, have become popular again recently, thanks to the celebrities who never missed an opportunity to flaunt their wonderfully designed fingernails. 

But as beautiful and sturdy as acrylic nails are, they have downsides, too. One of the disadvantages of having acrylic nails is that you need to provide extra care for them. 

Here comes the million-dollar question: Can you go swimming with acrylic nails? Well, that’s what you’re about to find out today. Read on. 

Can You Swim with Acrylic Nails? And For How Long?

Yes, you can swim with acrylic nails. But no, you can’t swim as long or as often as you want. The thing with acrylic nails is that they don’t go very well with water. As a matter of fact, you are supposed to keep your nails dry as much as possible. Exposure to water is forgivable if you do it for only a short period of time. 

Acrylic nails are waterproof after all - but you should, in no way, abuse it. That means you can go ahead and jump into the pool for a quick swim. Going on a few laps wouldn’t hurt, but ensure you wipe your nails dry after swimming. 

Things you should do before and after swimming with acrylic nails

If you’re all set to go to the beach or have agreed to go to a pool party with friends, go ahead and have as much fun as you want. You don’t have to worry about your acrylic nails at all if you follow these simple rules: 

Before swimming

1. Always check the condition of your acrylic nails before taking a dip. 

If your nails are lifting, you must be extra careful with them as they may pop off anytime. Nail lifting means the acrylic is starting to go off the nail plate. If this is the case, try not to stay underwater for too long. 

2. Get your nails filled. 

It is a good idea to visit the nail salon and get your nails filled a day before you go out swimming. This way, there won’t be any gaps in the acrylic where water can penetrate, so your nails are safe. 

3. Apply nail moisturiser, cuticle oil, or lotion on your nails. 

Since oil and water don’t mix, applying cuticle oil or even baby oil can give your nails an extra layer of protection against water. The same is true with nail moisturisers and lotions. You can use these in case you don’t have any oil handy. 

After swimming: 

1. Wash your hands thoroughly. 

Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly while in the shower. This way, the chlorine or salt from the water are rinsed off from your acrylic nails.

2. Dry your hands completely

You shouldn't let water linger on your acrylic nails for too long. In fact, you must always dry your hands whenever you touch the water. Don't forget to use gloves when washing the dishes or do the laundry. 

3. Moisturise

Lotions are not only good for your hands, but for your nails too. Make sure to moisturize after swimming to keep your hands and nails healthy. 

Does Chlorine Ruin Acrylic Nails?

Technically, chlorine doesn't ruin your acrylic nails. It should also not cause your nail to lift unless you get overexposed to it. If you dip in the pool for less than an hour, then you should be good. But swimming for an extended period regularly and you may have a problem. 

Chlorine, in general, is not good for the body. As for your acrylic nail, it will eventually cause lifting. Chlorine also weakens the adhesion of acrylic nails when exposed for an extended period. Just think of it this way: if chlorine starts to irritate your skin and eye, it’s probably creating the same effect for your acrylic nails. 

Tips for swimming with acrylic nails

Here are some tips to follow so you can still enjoy swimming while having fabulous nails. 

1. Protect your nails. 

Don’t jump into the water without nail protection. Be sure to apply cuticle oil before swimming, as this will help repel water. Do this if you intend to stay in the water for a bit.

2. Rinse and dry your nails after swimming.

Take extra time in making sure that your hands and nails are completely dry after swimming. It’s one way to make sure that chlorine doesn’t linger on your nails longer than it should. 

3. Don’t swim if your nails are freshly done.

You must make sure that your acrylic nails have completely dried before swimming. As a rule of thumb, the minimum drying time for manicures is 12 hours. If your acrylic nails are fresh off the salon, it’s very likely that they will get damaged after an hour in the pool. 

4. Touch up

Don’t forget to visit the salon the day after your swim. The nail technician will inspect your nails and do some touch-ups as needed. They may also put on a topcoat, so your nail designs remain intact. 

Why is it important to go to a good technician?

Not all nail technicians are the same, and not all of them are experts in acrylic nails either. It’s important that you choose a good nail technician, so you can have full confidence that you’re getting the best possible service. You’ll also very likely get the results you want, not just design but also quality and durability.

About 1999 House of Nails

1999 House of Nails is one of the top nail salons in Christchurch, New Zealand. We offer an exotic comfortable space and highly talented nail technicians who are always committed to ensuring that every client is 100% satisfied. If you're looking for long-lasting & beautiful nails, book an appointment with us.
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