How To Protect Your Nails From Swimming This Summer

Posted by Ren Wu

How To Protect Nails When Swimming

Are you planning to frequent your local pool this summer? We can all agree that the best way to savor sunny days is by going swimming. 🌊

If you've been holding back on getting into the water for fear of ruining your masterpiece of a manicure, we understand. You don't want all your hard work to be washed away! However, we have a few tips that can help keep your polish protected and your nails nourished while you go swimming.

At a Glance

  1. Use a Fortifying Base Coat
  2. Use Durable Nail Polish
  3. Apply a Top Coat Before Going for a Swim
  4. Apply Cuticle Oil After Chlorine Exposure

Keep reading!

See Related: How To Remove Nail Polish Stains From Clothes

Why Should You Pool-Proof Your Manicure?

You just spent an entire afternoon carefully DIY-ing a gorgeous French tip. But as soon as your fingertips touch water, your freshly finished manicure immediately chips. We've all experienced that gut-wrenching moment, and it can be so frustrating! 😡

You deserve to spend the summer months soaking in the sun and splashing in the pool. Don't be afraid to live life to the fullest! Properly pool-proofing your nails is the best way to preserve and protect your manicure.

Pool-proofing your nails helps your manicure last a long time. That means no more premature chipping! It will also help to protect your natural nails from chlorine damage. After all, pools are often filled to the brim with chemicals that can harm your nail beds.

Does Swimming Pool Water Damage Nails?

Though chlorine keeps pool water safe and bacteria-free, this chemical can weaken your nails and cause them to peel, split, and break. Even the saltwater in the sea can be damaging to your nails.

Your nails actually absorb water and any chemicals dissolved in it. So it's a good idea to always wear a protective base coat and non-breathable nail polish.

Prolonged exposure to water is just bad for nail health in general. Even taking a hot, steamy shower every day can also damage your nails and make them brittle. In general, just try to keep your nails dry as much as possible. If you'll be washing dishes this evening, wear gloves to keep your hands completely dry.

Can You Swim With Acrylic Nails?

neon pink nails
Photo Credit: @pegi_nails

Short nails are the look for the summer. But it's hard to resist the lengthy allure of acrylic nails! One great thing about acrylics is that they are waterproof - but you still shouldn't overexpose them to water. Even though they are technically waterproof, prolonged exposure to water can ruin their integrity and vibrancy.

It's a good idea to keep acrylic nails dry as much as possible. This is one of the most well-known rules in nail care. And before taking a dip, always check the condition of your acrylic nails.

Bonus: 13 Vacation Nail Ideas That Are Perfect For Fun And Sun

How Do You Protect Your Nails From Water Damage?

It's time to pool-proof your nails! That way, your at-home manicure can easily survive the summer and every single pool party you attend. So, how exactly can you make your mani pool-proof?

#1. Use a Fortifying Base Coat

someone's hand with a milky polish covered lotion cuticles lifting lounging night soften

A base coat is an essential step in any DIY manicure. It protects your nails from peeling and staining and seals your natural nail bed. Our Calcium-Rich Milky Base Coat should be the foundation of your nail art and can even be worn as a stand-alone opaque polish.

This nutrient-rich formula is designed to brighten, repair, and strengthen your nails, giving them a noticeably healthier appearance. One thin layer is enough to protect your nails from permanent damage from chlorinated water!

#2. Wear Durable Nail Polish

someone's hand with red glitter nail polish amazing treat manicures prone salon hair oils hair

There are certain nail polishes that are more protective than others. You can get by wearing regular nail polish, but if you'll be hitting the pool every day, you might need to opt for something a bit more long-lasting. That's the only way to keep your summer pedicure alive for longer than a day or two!

Though gel polish is known for its durability, your gel manicure might get discolored after frequent exposure to chlorine. However, gel is ideal if you're going for longevity.

On the other hand, many pool-goers use glitter nail polish as it is thicker than regular lacquer (though removal might be a pain in the butt!) This helps prevent nail damage from pool chemicals. Plus, glittery polish is so shimmery and shiny underwater!

#3. Apply a Top Coat Before Going for a Swim

a clear bottle of topcoat nail polish wash body extra careful long nails swim rinse smell fresh

The best way to protect your pedicure or manicure from chlorine, salt, and moisture is to use a top coat. This helps seal your nails and prolong the lifespan of your nail art, resulting in chip-free nail designs.

There are a few different types of top coats to choose from. Most likely, you're safe picking any formula. If you are short on time, use our Speed-Dry Top Coat. If you'll be practicing your nail art stamping, use this Smudge-Free Top Coat instead.

#4. Apply Cuticle Oil After Chlorine Exposure

someone applying cuticle oil to their nails nail plate other nail polish nails healthy long periods

Chlorinated water can dehydrate your skin, hair, and nails, stripping them of their natural oils. So, the best way to moisturize your dried-out nail beds is with a nourishing cuticle oil.

For some added hydration, apply a hand cream that contains moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, or shea butter. This will save your skin and nails in the long run!

Does Vaseline Protect Skin From Chlorine?

If your nails are dry, brittle, or damaged, try applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly like Vaseline to your hands before going for a dip. This will add a nice protective barrier between the pool water and your skin. If you don't have any Vaseline on hand, you can use a natural oil like avocado, jojoba, or coconut oil instead.

Final Thoughts

You don't need to worry about what a couple of pool parties might do to your nails. With these tips in mind, it'll be easy to enjoy beautiful nails and healthy hands regardless of where the warmer weather takes you!

Keep Reading: 10 New Hobbies To Try Out This Summer


At Maniology, we believe your nails are opportunities for adventure, fun, and unrestrained artistic expression. Our nail stamping plates and nail accessories are here to help foster your self-expression in the hopes of building a community of individuality. For more nail tutorials, subscription box updates, and designs, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

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