When it comes to perfectly glossy nails, nothing quite does the trick as a gel polish manicure.
Are you a fan of gel nail polish? If so, you might be wondering whether gel nail polish dries on its own or if you need to take specific steps to ensure a proper drying process.
In this article, we will delve into the topic of gel nail polish and explore how it dries, factors that affect drying time, and useful tips to achieve the best results. So, let’s get started!
What is Gel Nail Polish
Gel nails are a popular choice for those seeking a long-lasting and glossy manicure. Unlike traditional nail polishes, gel polish requires a curing process using a UV or LED lamp to harden and set the polish.
Gel polish is typically applied in several layers, including a base coat, color coats, and a top coat. Each layer is cured under the lamp for a specific amount of time, which helps to create a hard, glossy finish.
This unique process allows gel nail polish to last for weeks without chipping, making it ideal for those who want a durable and low-maintenance manicure or for those who want perfect nails for a special occasion.
Gel polish is great if you want to grow natural nails. This is because gel polish provides extra strength and protection to your nails.
How Long Does Gel Polish Take To Dry?
Gel polish does not air dry like regular nail polish. Instead, it needs to be cured or hardened under a UV or LED lamp to dry completely or by one of the methods in this post. The drying time depends on the type of lamp being used and the specific brand of gel polish.
In general, UV lamps take longer to cure gel polish compared to LED lamps. UV lamps typically require around 2-3 minutes of curing time for each layer of gel polish, whereas LED lamps can cure gel polish in as little as 30 seconds to 1 minute per layer.
What Can You Use Instead of a UV Light For Nails?
If you are tired of expensive nail salons and want to try a gel nail polish at home but don’t have a UV lamp then don’t worry! There are ways you can dry gel nail polish without a UV light!
If you are trying to cut down on your exposure to uv radiation, then try one of these methods. These all work whether you are applying gel polish on top of acrylic nails or use gel nail polish on your natural nails.
These methods may take more time, and don’t create as long lasting results as an led light, but they still work and you can do them in the comfort of you own home without a trip to the nail salon.
Whilst this isn’t a way to cure gel. Using thin layers helps gel polish cure quicker without a uv nail lamp or LED lights.
Apply your gel nail polish to your nail bed in a thin layer. This is because thin coats will dry quicker than thicker payers.
If you use too much, then remove with nail polish and start over again. Use an an acetone-free polish remover to prevent drying out your nails.
Sit In the Sun
The ultraviolet light in UV lights is what causes the nails to cure. Instead of a UV light you can use the suns uv rays to set gel manicures.
Simply sit in natural sunlight until your gel nails have dried. This can take some time and be sure to wear broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect yourself from uv exposure.
Try a Non-UV Gel Polish
Did you know you can get gel polishes that do not require a UV light? Sally Hansen has a chip-resistant nail polish called Miracle Gel. No UV lamp is required and it gives up to 14 days of colour and shine.
First prep your nails by soaking a cotton ball or cotton pad with nail polish remover. Rub onto each nail to remove any dirt or oils you may have on your nails.
You simply apply a base coat to you nails, then the gel polish and then a top coat. Leave to dry as you would a regular polish and your set!
Quick-Drying Nail Polish Spray
If you do your nails regularly at home then you may have already try one of these. They contain ingredient that absorb the solvents in the nail polish to help speed up the drying process.
Simply give your nails a good, generous spray. Then wait two to three minutes and voila! Your gel nail manicure are set and dry. This is one of the most effective way to dry gel nails without a UV light.
Use a Cooking Spray
Yes you hard that right! A cooking spray can help dry your gel nails. Simply spray your nail beds liberally with cooking spray and leave to dry completely. Then wipe of the spray.
The best part of this method is that the spray will also act as a moisturiser.
Create an Ice Water Bath
Another method you can do with items from your kitchen. All you need to do is fill a bowl with ice cubs and ice cold water to create an ice bath.
Dip your freshly painted gel nails in and leave for five minutes. When you’re done leave your nails to dry completely. This is a great option for at home gel manicures.
Can gel nail polish dry without a UV or LED lamp?
No, gel nail polish relies on specific wavelengths of light emitted by a UV or LED lamp to cure and dry properly. Without the lamp, gel polish will remain in a semi-liquid state. Gel polish will never cure on it’s own and air dry. A uv curing lamp is the best way to do this. The methods in this article also work but results are not as effective.
How long does gel nail polish take to dry under a UV or LED lamp
The drying time depends on the gel polish brand, lamp intensity, and layer thickness. Typically, gel polish can take 30-60 seconds to cure per layer under a UV lamp, and even less time under an LED lamp.
What happens if gel nail polish is not properly cured or dried?
Insufficient curing can lead to soft or tacky gel polish that is prone to smudging, peeling, or chipping. Proper drying ensures a durable and long-lasting manicure.
Can You Dry Gel Nail Polish with a Hair Dryer?
Using a hair dryer on your gel manicure can actually do more harm than good. It will not cure or dry your nails and often creates a mess of your nails.
If you are looking for a regular manicure then check out these luxury nails.
So as you can see you can achieve chip-free nails with gel polish without the use of a uv light source using one of the different methods in this post. More people are looking for alternative due to the risk of skin cancer uv lights can cause.
Gel nails do not dry on their own like traditional lacquers. So it’s a good idea to practice these methods to dry gel polish if you are looking to do you own gel manicures at home.
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