Nail Polish for Swimmers

If you’re holding back on getting into the water for a swim because you don’t want your manicure to get ruined, we completely understand. That’s why we’re going to guide you on the best nail polish for swimmers.

Whether your reason for swimming is sport or exercise, or perhaps just a well-deserved vacation, there’s no need to be missing out. With some tips from us, we’ll have you in that water in no time.

With our guide, you can protect your painted nails while swimming. We’ll tell you just how to protect them from chips and becoming brittle. The nail damage will usually occur if they’re in the water for long periods. So, let’s have a closer look at how you can save your gorgeous nail polish while swimming.

What This Article Covers

The Best Types of Nail Polish for Swimmers

Gel Nail polish

Gel manicures work well for swimming. This is not only true because they look amazing, but also because they offer better protection. Better than regular nail polish. The application process is the same. The drying process is different though.

can swimmers wear nail polish

Regular polish is air-dried after each coat. Gel manicures are dried under a UV or LED lamp. The polymers transmitted via the lamp react with the polish and make it hard. This is what makes the gel manicure more durable. This is what protects your manicure when swimming.

A gel manicure always looks fresh. It’s the best manicure to have if you want longevity. It's also great protection if your nails are thin and prone to breaking or peeling. Once applied and cured properly, the nail polish is set. This application can then last for up to 4 weeks. 

Chlorine or salt in ocean or pool water is prone to chipping and dismantling nail lacquer. But what’s great about the gel application is that it’s a lot more difficult. It's the curing process that makes it possible. It will not get between the layers. This will only happen if the manicure has not been done properly.

While gel manicures may work well for swimmers, they do not work for everyone. It's a lot trickier with healthcare facilities as the rules vary. That’s why it's best to check if gel manicures are the best nail polish for nurses.

For good protection use a base coat and top coat to protect your manicured nails. This would be beneficial because the base coat protects your natural nail. It keeps it healthy and protects it from damaging the nail. It is also a very good foundation for your manicure.

A top coat of course keeps your manicure looking beautiful with high shine. It also plays an important role in holding the layers together. 

You’ll find using our Top 2 Bottom nail lacquer great for this. It's a base coat and top coat in one, a convenient formula for longer-lasting manicures and pedicures.

which Nail Polish is for Swimmers

Acrylic Nail Polish

Swimming with acrylic nails might appear to be a no-go area. This however is only true if they are overexposed to water for hours on end. If you’re in and out of the water regularly, take the necessary care. This way your manicured nails won’t damage.

The glue used to secure the acrylic to your natural nails will suffice and shouldn’t cause lifting. But to secure the lacquer polish, as mentioned above, we recommend applying a top coat to your acrylic nails. It will seal the color.

Long nails can be more prone to getting hooked or cracked. If this is something that you experience, it may be best to keep the nails a bit shorter. They will be more manageable at a shorter length and hopefully easier to maintain.

Acrylic nails certainly didn’t stop pro swimmers who attended the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games. It has become quite common in the sport for athletes to show their team spirit by decorating their fingertips. 

We need chlorine in our pools to hold off the growth of bacteria, so there’s not much you can do about that. But don’t let your nail polish hold you back from going for that swim. Ensure that you use our high-quality nail lacquer for your manicure, and you shouldn't have any problems. 

Glitter Nail Polish

should swimmers wear nail polish

Wearing Glitter nail polish while swimming is great. It's thicker than regular nail polish. This makes it a good choice to have on your nails and makes damage less likely from salt or chlorinated water.

The Best Types of Nail Polish for Swimmers

Frost Smitten nail polish is especially pretty on your nails when swimming. Even more so when your swimwear complements it. The color is chic and glamorous. It’s worth adding additional topcoat layers to protect it against chemical water damage.

If your nails do get damaged for some reason, don’t stress, glitter nail polish is more forgiving than other nail polish. The damage is less noticeable. It’s difficult because glitter nail polish is busy. So to cover the damage, just add more glitter. This is an easy way to cover up any chips too.

How to Protect Your Nails while Swimming

Now if you’ve ever wondered why people use nail polish, glitter nail polish is enough reason to spark anyone’s interest in this fashion accessory.

If you enjoy wearing glitter nail lacquer on your nails you might also want to try out our Glow For It Top Effect. It's especially great for night swims as it’s super bright and the glow lasts for a long time.

Matte Nail Polish

If you’re wanting to rock a matte manicure to a swimming session, then a top coat is non-negotiable. This is the only way the matte will stay intact when you swim. Especially if you’re swimming for hours.

You should always wash your hands to get rid of chlorine or saltwater after a swim. This must be done to protect your matte manicure. Wash them thoroughly with soap or dishwashing liquid. It will help maintain the dullness of the matte look.

When you apply the cuticle oil or moisturizers to your hands after the wash, be extra careful. The oil can take away the matte finish of the nail polish. This is due to the nail lacquer being absorbent. If it gets on your nails, they will absorb the oils and become shiny.

Now while you can wear nail polish as a swimming professional, or a teacher, or a hairdresser, in some industries you may not be so lucky. Unlike swimmers, many waitresses can’t wear nail polish.

How to Protect Your Nails while Swimming

Cuticle Oil

Apply cuticle oil before you swim. This will help repel the water. This is good because when hands and nails are submerged in water for a long time, the water can separate the polish layers.

If it gets wet between the layers of polish, the lacquer could swell and then detach. The polish can easily come off the nails and ruin your manicure. This can be extremely frustrating, especially if you’ve just had your nails done.

The Best Nail Polish for Swimmers

If you going to be swimming for hours, take regular breaks to apply Cuticle Oil. This will help keep your manicure intact. The oil can be applied to polished nails, and you can massage it into the surrounding skin to keep it nourished and conditioned.

It’s also great to use in general to keep for manicure looking good. You’ll love the delightful orange fragrance. The bottle is also small, which makes it easy to carry around with you.

Dry Your Nails Well

If you are doing your own manicure, know that thick layers are prone to chipping. So make sure that every layer you apply is thin and even. 

Before you apply the next layer, make sure that the last layer is completely dry before you continue. If you apply a layer too soon, the manicure will not set properly. This will cause layers to come apart when you swim.

Once you’ve completed your manicure and the nail polish has been set, dip your nails into ice water for about 3-5 minutes. This will speed up the drying time. Add some ice blocks to it so that the water stays cold.

This process will help the layers dry fast and adhere to each other and as a result, makes the manicure a lot more durable. This way, there’s no chance of water getting in between the layers and messing up your manicure while you swim.


If you have a planned day at the beach or poolside, it is important to manicure your nails 12 hours before the outing. This is crucial because long exposure to highly chlorinated and saltwater could damage your manicure.

This is common especially if the nail polish hasn’t dried properly. The chlorine damage will cause your manicure to chip. It could also soften your manicure or discolor it.

Best Nail Polish for Swimmers

Therefore, you should wash your hands when swimming. Wash it as often as you can during intervals so that your time spent in the water does minimal harm to your nail lacquer. Wash it with soap. Also, be sure to moisturize them afterward with Argan Oil Hand Creme


Best Types of Nail Polish for Swimmers

Touch up your nails with a top coat when your beach day is done. This will ensure that your manicure stays intact. This additional protection will make it more durable and result in a longer-lasting manicure.

You could also add a Glosser, this will rejuvenate your Mani or Pedi. Avoid swimming for consecutive days. Instead, give swimming a break for a few days before you get back in the water so that your manicure can last longer.

What Are the Best Types of Nail Polish for Swimmers


We all want to wear nail polish. And while you might not be able to wear nail polish during surgery, you can wear it while swimming. The colors look gorgeous when you are in the water and even better when it's matched with your swimwear. 

So when you’re out and about, lounging by the pool, or out on a beach day, don’t hesitate to go in for that revitalizing swim. We’ve got you covered with our topcoats and nail lacquer and endless products to ensure your manicure stays in a good condition. 

Professional swimmers certainly don't hold back, so neither should you. Stock up on manicure protection so that you are not left unprepared. Also, try the different manicures to see which is best suited for you. You might enjoy the impulsive changeup.

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