Which is better: gel or acrylic?

It is quite difficult to answer this question, since both building technologies are completely different, but in terms of chemical composition they are almost identical. Both gel and acrylic contain acrylates.


Each of the technologies is based on the polymerization reaction. With acrylic technology, polymerization occurs in air by the interaction of acrylic powder and liquid monomer. With gel technology, the polymerization process occurs under the influence of UV rays, in the presence of a photoinitiator.

Now consider the advantages and disadvantages of each of the methods.

Acrylic technology


The hardness and strength of artificial nails grown with acrylic is much higher in comparison with gel. For this reason, the thickness of the free edge of an artificial nail can be made thinner.
During mechanical grinding with a saw or a mill, particles of a removed material of a sufficiently large size are formed, which excludes the presence of fine dust in the working area of ​​the master.
The lack of the need for additional electrical equipment, which expands the possibilities of building up even in places with no electricity.
Wide opportunity to perform complex detailed volumetric designs with a matte surface.
The ability to remove artificial nails by dissolving in a special liquid. Thus, mechanical grinding with a saw or a mill is not required.


The allocation of a sharp and pungent odor of the monomer, which causes discomfort to the client and the master. As a result, it is necessary to equip the workplace with efficient exhaust ventilation.
The influence of ambient temperature on the polymerization of acrylic. The higher the ambient temperature, the faster the polymerization process. For this reason, the build time may increase, and good master skills are also required.
The matte surface of the acrylic coating requires time-consuming polishing to give gloss. For this reason, to give gloss, many masters apply gel topcoat when nail extensions with acrylic.
Acrylic after polymerization dissolves in acetone. For this reason, it is not recommended to allow the contact of artificial nails, grown by acrylic technology with liquids containing acetone or its derivatives.
Gel technology.


The absence of any caustic and pungent odors during polymerization. This is the main advantage over acrylic technology.
Polymerization time is independent of ambient temperature. And almost always constantly, subject to the use of high-quality UV bulbs.
Resistance to contact with liquids containing acetone and its derivatives. In addition to the gels of the Soak-Off group.
Relatively high plastic properties of an artificial nail, grown by gel technology. This property allows an artificial nail to elastically deform without destruction with a slight impact.
The possibility of obtaining a glossy surface without laborious polishing.


The hardness and strength of artificial nails grown with gel is much lower compared to acrylic. For this reason, to ensure strength, the thickness of the free edge of the artificial nail, grown with gel, is made thicker.
During mechanical grinding with a saw or a mill, fine particles of the removed material are formed, which is the reason for the presence of fine dust in the working area of ​​the master.
The need for additional electrical equipment, the need to replace UV bulbs with a limited service life.
The fluidity of the gel, especially at high ambient temperatures. When using very thick gels, air bubbles may be present in artificial nails that impair the strength and transparency of the extended nails.

Thus, we see that a definite answer does not exist. Each client, having compared all the advantages and disadvantages of both technologies, must decide for himself what is preferable for him.

And I want to say about one feature. There is a fairly large group of people for whom, due to a number of physiological reasons, such as hormonal conditions, moisture and oily skin of the hands, condition of the nail plate, taking medications, various diseases, etc., only one of the technologies may be suitable.

In this case, you need to individually select the extension technology, and in some cases the material manufacturer. In addition, I want to note that there are rare events when artificial material is torn away from the nail plate with any extension method.

Автор Борисова Мария

Author Borisova Mariya
Founder of school of arts "Goddess of Beauty", founder of magazine "Goddess of Beauty", owner of trademark "BM Borisova Mariya", author of artificial nails SPIKE, Cinderella slipper, SOLIDOR, STAGE.