You’re at home, painting your nails and minding your own business when suddenly, out of nowhere—BAM! Your nail polish starts bubbling. It’s annoying, it’s frustrating, and worst of all, it ruins your manicure.
But why does this happen? Is it something you’re doing wrong? Is your nail polish defective? Or is there a deeper scientific reason behind those pesky bubbles? Let’s find out.
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The Chemistry of Nail Polish Bubbling
Have you ever noticed that when you first apply a coat of nail polish, it goes on smooth and bubble-free, but by the time you finish the second coat, there are suddenly bubbles everywhere? There’s a reason for that. It all has to do with the chemistry of nail polish.
Nail polish is made up of three main ingredients: pigments or dyes for color, resins for durability and shine, and solvents like acetone or ethyl acetate that evaporate as the polish dries and help the other ingredients bind together.
When you apply a coat of polish to your nails, the solvent begins to evaporate almost immediately, causing the polish to thicken and dry.
If there’s not enough solvent left in the polish, the resins can’t properly bind together, which causes bubbling.
Applying a second coat of polish before the first has fully dried can also cause bubbling because it traps solvents between the two layers of polish and doesn’t give them enough time to escape.
In short: If you want to avoid bubbles in your manicure, make sure to give each layer of polish plenty of time to dry before moving on to the next one.
Another Common Reasons Why Your Nail Polish Bubble
Improper Nail Preparation
One of the most common causes of bubbling nail polish is improper nail preparation. Before you apply your polish, you should make sure that your nails are clean, dry, and free of any oils or debris. If you don’t prepare your nails properly, the polish won’t be able to adhere properly and is more likely to bubble.
Excess Moisture in the Air
Another common cause of bubbling nail polish is excess moisture in the air. When there’s too much moisture in the air, it can cause the polish to react differently and can cause it to bubble.
If you live in a particularly humid climate or if it’s summertime, this may be more of a problem for you. One way to combat this is to use a quick-dry top coat or polish which will help your polish dry faster and prevent bubbles from forming.
Applying Too Much Polish
Bubbles can also form if you apply too much nail polish at once. When you put on too much polish, it prevents oxygen from reaching the underlying layers which can cause them to start bubbling.
To avoid this, make sure that you only apply a thin layer of polish at a time and give each layer time to dry completely before adding another.
Bubbles in your nail polish are annoying, but thankfully, they’re also easily avoidable.
Now that you know the science behind those pesky bubbles, you can rest assured knowing that as long as you give each layer of polish plenty of time to dry before moving on to the next one, you’ll be able to achieve a perfect manicure every time.