Home Beautygab Can You Put PolyGel Over Acrylic?

Can You Put PolyGel Over Acrylic?

by Gabbi

If you’re interested in starting a business in the nail care industry, then you will need to learn about the differences between different techniques and mediums.

For example, do you know what’s the difference between acrylic and gel nails, or how to use them?

When you’re new to something, like the wonderful world of nails, it can be difficult to learn the best practices, especially when every term is brand new and it seems like the experts are speaking another language!

If you’re looking to try polygel nails, which are already pretty new to the nail industry, you might wonder about your options and how best to apply them.

Can you put polygel over acrylic? Nail technicians and experts handle this differently. Because polygel and acrylic can both be nail enhancements, many will simply remove the acrylic before replacing with polygel nails on a fresh set. However, many nail techs swear by infilling polygel over acrylic and filing to adjust.

Let’s get into the details so you can learn all about polygel, acrylic, and more!

What is PolyGel?

For a long time there were gels and acrylics. Acrylics are great for building nail enhancements and gels work like super polish.

Polygel is a hybrid formula that was made to provide the benefits of both worlds. You will get the greatest benefits of acrylic and the best features of gel nails.

Overall, it’s a nail boost that can be utilized to provide the ideal nail. Polygel is an all-in-one formula that doesn’t need mixing, ratios, or monomers. It’s supposed to provide nail experts with the ultimate power when it comes to forming and overlaying your ideal nails. It’s also user-friendly.

Polygel has a gel-like consistency. It’s applied with a standard acrylic brush and can be added over your natural nails, tips, or nail shapes. Once shaped, it’s cured just like gel polish.

This product doesn’t set until it’s cured. Meaning, you can take your time accomplishing the flawless nail look you’re after. It’s available in different finishes and shades.

Can You Apply PolyGel Over Acrylic?

If you already have beautifully shaped acrylics, you should be able to put polygel over them.

While nail technicians seem to have different practices – either infilling over the acrylic and filing to balance the look or simply removing the acrylic and starting over fresh – there doesn’t seem to be a right or wrong way to go here. It likely has more to do with what each nail technician thinks is best.

Of course, unless you already have acrylics in a shape you want to keep, you probably won’t get into this situation.

Polygel is most often applied over bare, buffed, and prepped natural nails, so there may be no need for you to worry about applying over acrylic anyway.

Acrylic Vs Gel Vs PolyGel – Pros and Cons

If you’re a nail newbie, then you’re probably wondering what’s the difference between acrylic and polygel nails. Let’s talk all things acrylic, gel, and polygel nails, including their pros and cons, so you’ll be an expert in no time.

Acrylic Nails

The acrylic nail is a durable extension of your natural nail. Applying acrylic nails includes filing your actual nail bed down and then applying a combination of acrylic liquid and powder.

This combination provides an acrylic that is utilized to shape the artificial nail. Then, nail polish can be applied to the smooth surface. Acrylic manicures have been a popular option for a long time.

The benefits of acrylic nails include longevity and length. They can last for over 4 weeks. But they have a negative aspect as well.

Removing acrylic nails can be time-consuming and hard. The top layer should be buffed or sanded, then the rest should be soaked off with acetone. Acetone makes your nails brittle and dry. Thus, it can make your nails weak. This is one of the biggest downsides of acrylic nails.


  • They’re strong and damage-resistant.
  • They deliver a smooth top for applying nail art.
  • You can choose the length of your nails.


  • The application has a chemical odor.
  • They can damage your actual nail beds.
  • They don’t look as natural as gel nails.

Gel Nails

Gel nails aren’t extensions. They’re constructed by brushing three layers of gel onto the natural nails like “regular” nail polish. First, a base layer is applied, followed by nail polish. Then, a protective surface coat.

After being applied, each layer is cured under a UV or LED lamp for a couple of minutes.

The result is glossy, chip-free nails that last for over 2 weeks. The best part about this technique is that it doesn’t damage your nails as much as acrylics. Plus, gels dry faster than acrylics. However, gel still has a negative side.

This manicure is very different from an acrylic manicure. Gel nails don’t last as long as acrylic nails.

It’s hard to remove and the removal includes soaking your gel nails in acetone and buffing off the polish. This can still make your nails dry and weak.


  • Gels provide a fresh and shiny look.
  • They don’t damage your nails as much as acrylics.
  • The drying time is much faster than a normal manicure.
  • Gel nails provide greater flexibility than acrylic nails.
  • There’s no unpleasant chemical odor.


  • Gels don’t last very long.
  • The UV rays can be dangerous to your skin.
  • The UV rays can also evoke heat spikes which causes pain to the nails.
  • If wrongly applied, the gel can easily peel off.
  • The removal is damaging.

PolyGel Nails

Polygel was made to mix the positive features of both gel and acrylic nails. It is often called the ‘lovechild of gel and acrylic manicures‘. Polygel was created for nail experts and provides impressive results.

It’s a combination of acrylic powder in a gel base. The product is applied like gel, starting with a base coat, followed by nail polish, and then a surface coat. It’s a relative newcomer to the nail care industry.

It’s also considered a nail enhancement which can be applied as a single layer on your real nails. However, it’s still cured under a LED light. Polygel is lighter than gel and acrylic and lasts much longer.

The best part? It doesn’t have a strong chemical odor which is perfect for individuals who like the look of acrylic manicure but can’t cope with their strong chemical smell. It’s also easier to remove.

Polygel is buffed off instead of soaked off, although you may need to soak any last remnants to get a clean nail bed. Available in a wide selection of colors, this technique provides flexibility and durability. Polygel smells lovely and provides a natural-looking finish.


  • Polygel is flexible and strong.
  • The formula has a lovely scented odor.
  • Polygel nails cure fast under a less harmful LED light.
  • They can be filled off with a nail file easily.
  • They’re comfortable to wear.


  • More expensive than other techniques.

Is PolyGel Better than Acrylic?

They’re both cured under an LED light. However, polygel is a lot better than acrylic because it’s lighter than acrylic and gel nails. It also has a lighter odor.

This is perfect for individuals that like the appearance of acrylics but can’t cope with the strong odor. It’s also better than acrylic because it’s buffed out instead of soaked off.

Polygel is more expensive than a gel manicure. However, it lasts almost twice as long. If you go for a pink or light nude color, it’s even hard to notice when the manicure has grown out a little.Therefore, you will get the most out of your manicure.

But here’s the kicker. Polygel doesn’t damage your nail like acrylic. With the right application and removal, you don’t have to stress about damage. Polygel won’t harm or ruin your natural nails. The removal process is very easy and straightforward. The nail technical will file your polygel from your nails.

Related Questions

Which Lasts Longer Acrylic or Gel?

Acrylic nails typically last longer than gel nails, about 4 weeks. Usually, gel nails last two, maybe three weeks, tops. Polygel nails, on the other hand, can last up to 21 days with the proper care and application.

Is it Better to Use Gel or Regular Polish on Acrylic Nails?

If you prefer natural-looking nails, a gel is a great choice for you. It’s also a nice way to prevent your nails from getting ruined or damaged. However, you can also use regular nail polish.

Is Gel or Acrylic More Expensive?

Acrylic manicures are more widely available and typically less expensive than a gel manicure. The only issue with acrylics is their terrible odor. Also, if applied wrong, they can be uncomfortably thick.

What Can I Use As a Slip Solution for PolyGel?

If you don’t have a slip solution, you can use 70% isopropyl alcohol or higher. You shouldn’t use acetone to take off the sticky layer on the gel, as it breaks down the gel underneath it.

Final Thoughts

Can you put polygel over acrylic? You can, and many will, but some professionals prefer a clean canvas to work with. If you put polygel over acrylic, you should be fine as long as you file to balance the look.

Polygel doesn’t harden until it’s curated under a UV or LED light. Therefore, it’s superior to acrylic! Your nail technician won’t be rushed when working on your nails.

Also, polygel nails offer greater durability and longevity than a gel manicure. They combine the greatest benefits of both acrylic and gel nails. This is why we love polygel nails.

Hopefully this primer to polygels, acrylics, and more has introduced you firmly to the world of nails!

Up Next: Polygel Nails Keep Popping Off? – Here’s What To Do

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