Can You Swim With Acrylic Nails?

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Discover whether it’s safe to swim with acrylic nails or not.

When it comes to acrylic nails, there are a few things to avoid to help keep them in the best condition and to avoid any damage—for example, not soaking your nails in water for too long or wearing gloves when using chemical products.

Due to this, for someone new to acrylic nails, it can be confusing what you can and cannot do with them. One popular question is, can you swim with acrylic nails?

The answer is, yes, you can swim with acrylic nails. Swimming doesn’t cause any direct damage to acrylic nails, but you do; however, you need to be careful with them as long periods of swimming can lead to your nails lifting.

In this post, I’ll be giving you more detail on whether you can swim with acrylic nails, and I’ll be answering some other questions surrounding swimming with acrylic nails. 

Can you swim with acrylic nails?

Yes, you can swim with acrylic nails; however, you need to be conscious of how much time you are planning to spend in the water, as long exposure can affect your manicure.

If you swim regularly, then acrylic nails may not be the best manicure for you, as having your nails in water for a long period can loosen your nails or lead to them chipping much easier. However, if you are just going swimming as a one-off, this shouldn’t have any effect on your nails and shouldn’t cause any lasting issues.

Does Chlorine Ruin Acrylic Nails?

Although chlorine is not beneficial to your acrylic nails, it doesn’t directly cause any damage. Acrylic nails are very durable, and it would take either a lot of force or a lot of exposure to something for it to get damaged, and that’s the same with chlorine.

If your acrylic nails are exposed to chlorine often or for long periods, it can lead to lifting or the adhesion weakening over time. That being said, if your nails have already started lifting or you’ve had them on longer than the recommended time, chlorine can have an impact and can lead to the lifting worsening.

What Happens If Water Gets Under Acrylic Nails?

Water can easily get under your nails if there is even the smallest gap, and if it isn’t dried out as soon as possible, it can lead to serious issues. If water gets under your nails, it can lead to infection; now, although infection isn’t that dangerous initially, it can lead to serious health issues if not treated with soon.

If water is detected underneath your nail, drying it with a towel is highly unlikely to remove all the moisture, so to get all of the moisture out, it is advised that you remove the nail. To prevent this from happening, if you feel as if your nails are starting to lift or you can see a visible gap, then get them infilled at the earliest point.

Four tips for swimming with acrylic nails

These four tips will help your acrylic nails last in a better condition for longer when swimming.

Apply moisturizer before and after swimming – Applying a moisturizer to your hands and nails before and after swimming can help prevent your nail polish chipping and your acrylic nails from lifting. Chlorine is also very drying for your hands and nails, so keeping them moisturised will prevent damage such as your cuticles getting hard and cracking. 

Apply thin layers of nail polish – Thinner layers of polish will help prevent the polish from chipping, whereas thick layers of polish are more likely to chip and even peel off. This is a common tip for both swimming and just every day, but it is even more important when swimming. Having thick layers of polish on top of acrylic can be very heavy and can also cause your acrylics to start lifting.

Use gel polish – Gel nail polish is much more practical for swimmers, as gel polish is water repellent. This means you can spend a lot of time in the water, and very little damage will be caused. If you can, having gel polish on your natural nails is the best option for a long-lasting manicure. However, if you want to have acrylics, then having gel polish on top will look better for longer and prevent chipping.

Apply an extra layer of topcoat before swimming – Topcoats have the purpose of protecting your polish from chipping and are a protective layer from anything thing that can damage it. Applying an extra layer before going swimming prevents any damage from happening and allows your manicure to last the duration of your swimming. It also prevents the chlorine from getting to your acrylic nails and stops them from lifting.


I hope this has been helpful and answered some questions you may have about swimming with acrylic nails on. Swimming with acrylics is not an issue, and it shouldn’t cause any issues; however, you do need to be realistic about it.

If you know you are going to swim often, then acrylic nails are probably not the best option. It is better to paint your natural nails or wear press-on nails when you’re not swimming. They may not last as long or give you the same results as acrylic, but keeping your natural nails healthy is the most important thing, and these options will help to do so. 

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