The Pros & Cons Of Solar Nails, Explained

Getting manicures or pedicures is always a fun ordeal because there are different artificial nail treatments for you to try, if you choose. From acrylics and gels to the latest option — solar nails — there are just so many ways to go about getting your nails done.


Solar nails are made of gel and higher-end acrylic materials than the acrylics you may be used to. They are similar in look to the well-recognized French manicure because they come in soft pink and white colors for a clean, simple aesthetic. If you're looking to go full-on minimalist with your nails this summer and into the fall months, solar nails are something you must try. 

Depending on your budget, how convenient you want the process to be, how they will look with your outfits, and how flexible you can be with your nails, there are pros and cons to solar nails that will help you decide if they are worth it or not.

Pro: They last longer

Solar nails are stronger and more durable than your average acrylic nails. They can last for up to 6 weeks because they are less likely to break and won't weaken or fall off. You'll still need to go in to refill your nails once they show some too much natural growth for your personal preference, but you will still notice needing fewer nail appointments.


Since solar nails are made out of both acrylic and gel, they are much thicker and therefore, stronger. If typical acrylics have kept you away from tanning beds, swimming, washing dishes, opening cans, or literally anything that requires you to use your fingernails, solar nails may be the answer for you. 

You don't have to worry about solar nails starting to look dull. They will continue to look glossy and new, without you needing to reapply nail polish or book appointments for maintenance. So, if you want to run wild with glossy, gorgeous nails without a care in the world and with significantly fewer salon visits, solar nails are the way to go.

Con: They take longer to apply

If you're in a rush, getting solar nails won't be a good choice. Since the nails are air-dried without the aid of a UV lamp, the whole application process will take up quite a bit of time — up to an hour. But if you think they are totally worth the time and if having the excuse not to use your hands for an hour sounds good to you, solar nails will work perfectly for you.


In addition to being time-consuming, solar nails restrict you in the creativity department. There are not a lot of designs or colors out there yet when it comes to solar nails. So, your nails will end up looking pretty simple, and there's nothing much you can do about it. If you want your nails to look more eye-catching, or if you really can't afford to spend so much time at your nail salon, you may want to wait on getting solar nails.

Pro: They foster better nail health

When it comes to your best nail health, acrylics can do more harm than good. Though you'll be running around with pretty-looking nails, under the surface they will be going through a lot because the process to apply acrylics involves filing down your natural nails, which weakens them. This is not the case with solar nails because a protective coat is applied to your fingernails initially, and this will protect your natural nails. Furthermore, solar nails are not glued on like acrylics; the material is applied. This means there is less damage caused to your nail bed. 


And because solar nails don't use regular nail polish, you won't have to worry about your nails turning yellow over time. They use a special cured resin that prevents yellowing. Another major plus for solar nails is that they don't require a UV lamp for drying; your nails dry naturally, lowering your risk of skin cancer.

Con: Their application uses chemicals

If you are environmentally conscious, have sensitive skin, or are very particular about chemicals, solar nails might not be for you. A bonding agent called methyl methacrylate is used in solar nails to help your nails set faster. In addition to potentially harming your nail plate and the skin around your nails, it may cause certain allergies in some individuals. If you're prone to be allergic to harsh chemicals or have sensitive skin in general, think twice before asking for a set of solar nails. 


Furthermore, avoid solar nails or other acrylic nail treatments if you are pregnant or are environmentally conscious, as acrylics — including solar nails — release damaging chemical fumes into the air.

Solar nails are a sophisticated, simple, and clean look that is desirable to many. If you can tolerate the chemicals during the application process, you may be happy to treat yourself to a set.

Pro: They are natural-looking, classy, and DIY-friendly

If bright colors are not your style when it comes to your nails, solar nails are the perfect option for you. They give off a natural, refined look that's suited for any occasion. And they will go perfectly with outfits of any color because the soft pinks and whites of solar nails won't clash. They exude a look that is glossy, healthy, and clean.


In addition to helping you achieve a classy look, solar nails are also DIY-friendly when it comes to removing them. There is no extra trip to the nail salon necessary. You can take them off in the comfort of your own home by soaking them for approximately 15-20 in acetone. Either dip your fingernails in a solution of acetone or soak a cotton ball or pad and let it rest on each of your fingernails until the solar nails soften enough to be removed easily. Be sure to follow up with a moisturizing treatment because acetone is very drying.

Con: They are more expensive

Compared to the prices of other manicures and other kinds of artificial nails, the cost of getting solar nails is much higher, depending on your geographical location and the salon you visit. Solar nails aren't just another type of manicure, they are a product created by CND (Creative Nail Design). Since they are not readily available in all locations, the prices are driven up in the places that do offer the real deal. Because of their limited availability, you must be careful about salons that charge you higher prices for knock-off or unbranded versions of solar nails. Make sure to ask them whether they will be using CND solar nails.


Even though solar nails cost more than your regular acrylic or gel manicure, they are economical in the long run. You will be saving the money you would have to spend on the maintenance and frequent salon visits that come with other artificial nail treatments. So, if you're not on a strict budget, treat yourself to some CND solar nails.