Sunscreen Can Ruin Your Manicure

Shannon R., SELF magazine

Sunscreens: Great at protecting your skin from the sun, not so great at keeping your mani in tip top shape. They can actually soften or even dissolve acrylic nails and nail polish! Let's see why this happens and what you can do to protect both your manicure and your skin.

Sunscreen ingredients can be tough to dissolve. So tough, in fact, that some of the ingredients used to dissolve sunscreen are also in acetone free nail polish removers!

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The result: The ingredient in sunscreen could actually start removing your nail polish. This problem is likely to get worse as high SPF, broad spectrum sunscreens become increasingly popular.

Not all sunscreens and polishes have this problem. Here's how to figure out if they will:

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Smear a little of your favorite nail polish on a piece of glass (you can use an empty nail polish bottle or even an old compact mirror) and let dry completely. Now squeeze or spray a little of your sunscreen onto your polish smear and see if it softens the film (it will be become a little sticky).

Wear a mitt or gloves (like the ones used to apply self-tanner) to apply your sunscreen.

Finally, make sure your nails are completely dry before applying sunscreen. If your polish is still a little soft, they'll be easier to dissolve.

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Bottom Line

Your sunscreen could start to dissolve your nail polish. Do try the fixes above, and don't skip the sunscreen just to save your nails!


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