nail care
nail polish
BY: LBL Team

10 Ways To Keep Polish From Chipping

How To Prevent Nail Polish From Chipping

Nothing is more annoying than nail polish chipping or cracking right after you’ve just painted your nails. But rest assured  you can easily prevent it. Here are ten ways to prevent cracks and chips:

1. Wash your hands before applying nail polish

If you want salon-results, you should wash your hands prior to painting your nails. Why? Because natural oils from your fingers easily get transferred onto your nails, preventing nail polish from adhering properly. Take it one step further to achieve even more professional-looking results by wiping your nails with polish remover before washing your hands and applying the base coat. You’ll find your nail polish lasts longer.

2. Exfoliate your cuticles

Before painting your nails, exfoliate your cuticles using a cuticle remover product. To exfoliate your cuticles, massage a cuticle remover product into your cuticles, and then push them back using a wood stick. An expert from Glamour says, “Not only does this help get the cuticle off the nail plate, but it also helps get rid of dead skin cells safely and effectively.” Follow up with cuticle oil to rehydrate. The result? Nail polish is less prone to chips and cracks.

3. File your nails the right way

If you’re not filing your nails correctly, they’re more likely to break and peel. This means, too, that your polish will chip or crack. To file your nails correctly, you should gently run the file across your nail, starting with the outside edge, working your way to the center. Make sure to file nails in one direction as well.

4. Always use a base coat

This is the number one mistake women make that leads to chipped or cracked nail polish. Prior to applying a topcoat, apply a high-quality base coat. This helps to strengthen nails and make their surface more uniform. As a result, the nail polish adheres better to your nails.

5. Buff, buff, buff away

Buffing your nails prior to applying a base coat is essential for achieving lasting results. This is because buffing your nails makes them more uniform, preventing polish from cracking. What’s more, it gets rid of any build-up of natural oils that might be on your nails.

6. Use the right amount of nail polish

The key to keeping your manicure in tip-top shape is to use the right amount of nail polish. Most of us use too much, causing nail polish to chip easily. You should apply nail polish twice down the middle and on the sides. Allow the nail polish to dry between coats. In fact, you should wait at least a few minutes in between coats before applying another coat of polish.

7. Always use a top coat

Much like always needing to apply a base coat, you should always finish your nails with a topcoat. This helps your polish to last longer, preventing chips and cracks.

8. Seal off the edge of your nails

Ever notice how nail polish tends to chip at the edge of your nails? This is because we tend to neglect to seal off the edges of our nails. You can seal the edges by applying a top coat twice to the bottom edges of your nails once you’re finished with your final coat.

9. Moisturize your nails

If you notice that your nails are flaky and brittle, you should apply lotion to your hands every night. Look for a formula containing coconut oil. This will help to prevent chipped and cracked nail polish. Why? Because the surface of your nails will be smoother and easier for nail polish to adhere to.

10. Use the right formula

Nails, like people, are unique. As such, they respond differently to nail polish formulas. You should experiment with the brand of base coat, nail polish, and topcoat you use until you find the ones that work best for you. Try consulting with a beauty expert to determine the right brands and formulas for you.

Salon-quality nails at your fingertips

You may have thought your nail polish was forever doomed to chip or crack. But, by following a few simple tips, you can easily prevent that. Who needs to visit a salon when you can achieve professional-looking results that last right in the comfort of your own home?


  1. “21 Things You Absolutely Must Know about Painting Your Nails,” Cosmopolitan, September 4, 2016.
  2. “16 Ways You’re Doing Your Nails Wrong,” Glamour, n.d.
  3. “How to Keep Your Nail Polish from Chipping,” Harpers Bazaar, February 16, 2015.
  4. “If Your Nail Polish Keeps Chipping, These 3 Surprising Factors Could be to Blame,” Women’s Health, July 13, 2017.
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