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Gel nails are a great way to get long-lasting, chip-free manicures. Gel polish has been around for decades, but it’s only recently that people have started to embrace this technology at home. You can use UV light and gel nail polish kits for as little as $20, making it easy for anyone to do their own gel nails at home.
However, over the years, there have been complaints about the use of UV light for curing gel nails over the years. Some women say, their skin seems to age overnight, others say their nails get discolored. This is why we will look at other ways to cure gel nails without UV light.
Ways You Can Cure Gel Without Using UV Light
1. Use non-UV gel polish
If you don’t have UV light, you can still cure gel nail polish. Non-UV gel polish is less expensive than the UV version because it doesn’t require any special equipment or lighting.
You won’t need to visit a salon either, you can apply this version of the product at home. Another advantage is that Non-UV gel polish can be used on natural nails.
2. Apply a quick-drying nail polish spray
After you’ve applied the base coat, apply a quick-drying nail polish spray. This will help your polish dry more quickly, which is important because you need to do this in one sitting. If your nails are too wet, they can start to slip off of each other and ruin your entire manicure.
Spray the nail polish on your nails and let them dry for a few minutes before applying another coat. If necessary, repeat this process until your gel nails have been filled in with color and texture from the top coat.
3. Spray-painted nails with oil spray
To cure gel nails without UV light, you can use an oil spray. The oil spray is used to help cure the gel nail and dry it faster. To make sure that your nails won’t get damaged, apply a good amount of it onto your fingers and rub it in thoroughly. You can also use baby oil or vitamin E.
4. Put your hands in cold water
To cure gel nails, you can soak your hands in cold water. The time you should leave them in the water depends on how thick your nails are.
Once your nails feel as though they are completely dry (or as close to completely dry as possible), remove any residual moisture with a cotton ball or q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol. This will prevent any additional glue from sticking to your natural nail, which could cause lifting and chipping later on down the road.
How To Dry Gel Nail Polish With Led Light
It’s really simple and quick to use a LED nail lamp. You can check out this UV LED Nail Lamp on Amazon. It’s one of the best around.
Here are some steps to use an LED nail lamp to perfectly dry your gel manicure;
1. Connect the LED nail lamp to a power source
When choosing a nail lamp, look for one that has at least 36 watts. Place your lamp on a table next to where you’ll be painting your nails and plug it into an outlet. A USB cord is included with certain tiny LED nail lamps; you may connect the cord to an external battery, a computer, or an electrical outlet adaptor.
2. Directly beneath the lamp, place your painted nails
Apply a coat of LED-compatible gel nail paint to one hand. Make sure the polish is facing up. For a pedicure, choose a lamp with a retractable base. You may simply place the lamp over your toenails this way. Slide your finished nails beneath the lamp after applying a coat of gel polish to one hand. Keep your palms flat on the table or the lamp’s base, and slightly separate your fingers so that you do not damage the polish.
3. To cure the polish, choose a 30-second cycle
To cure your gel polish, use one hand to adjust your lamp’s settings while keeping the other hand under the lamp. You may be able to change the length of the curing cycle by pressing a button or turning a dial. When you start the timer on your lamp, keep both hands beneath it until it reaches its full cure time. Some gel polishes cure in as little as 10 seconds, while others may take 45 seconds or longer to cure completely.
4. Once the light has gone out, remove your hand
After the cycle is finished, the light will turn off, and you can pull your hands out from under the lamp. Now you can apply additional coats of gel polish. Cure each layer under the lamp, including the base coat and top coat.
5. Paint and cure only one hand at a time
When painting your nails with gel polish, work for one hand at a time. Cure each hand with the light before you paint the other one. Before applying polish to your other hand, cure the lacquer on the first hand again. In thin layers, apply the gel polish in a thin layer on each finger so that it cures evenly and thinly. After 2 to 4 applications, you will have achieved a glossy finish.
6. To remove the tacky residue from your healed nails, wipe them with wipes
After you’ve finished painting and curing your nails, saturate a cotton pad or paper towel with gel cleanser or alcohol. Gently wipe across the cured polish to remove stickiness. This step is not necessary between layers of gel polish and it’s best completed after a gel topcoat has been applied.
How Long Does Gel Take to Dry Without UV Light?
The amount of time it takes for your gel nails to dry will depend on the formula used and the number of layers you apply. Generally speaking, gel nails are designed to dry quickly. However, as you add more layers of polish and strengtheners, this process can take longer. The best way to avoid waiting around in anticipation is by planning ahead and giving yourself enough time when getting a manicure or pedicure at home.
Is It Bad to Cure Gel Nails With UV Light?
Yes, it is bad to cure gel nails with UV light. UV light is not good for your nails, and it can be harmful to your skin.
UV lights can cause cancer. In fact, UV rays are considered as carcinogenic as smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol. Also, UV radiation damages the skin by causing premature aging, burns, and scars while increasing the risk of melanoma (skin cancer).
Lastly, UV lamps emit electromagnetic waves that may affect your eyesight if you stare at them long enough. They might also cause cataracts in some people who work near these lights all day long.
Can Gel Polish Dry on Its Own?
No, gel nail polish cannot dry on its own. If you’re looking for a way to cure gel polish, but don’t want to use UV lights or heat lamps, keep in mind that the answer is no. Gel polish will not dry on its own. If your manicure dried out before you were able to put it under a UV light or heat lamp, then it’s likely because the topcoat wasn’t cured properly or not cured at all. To cure your topcoat, simply apply another thin layer of non-UV gel nail polish and cure as normal.
After curing each coat of your mani, let it sit for at least five minutes before applying another coat of base coat/color/topcoat. This will ensure that they each set properly before they’re layered on top of one another.
How Do I Know if My Gel Nails Are Cured?
There are a few things to look for when you’re trying to determine if your gel nails are cured enough to be removed:
- Does it feel hard and smooth? If you can’t run your finger over the surface of the nail without feeling anything, then it’s probably pretty much cured. It should also not have any sticky residue on it.
- Is it shiny? If there’s no shine, then your gel manicure hasn’t been cured yet; it needs more time under the UV light.
- Is there no chalky appearance? This means that the UV light didn’t penetrate into this layer of polish, which means that more curing time is needed before removal.
What Causes Gel Polish Not to Cure?
The key to curing your gel nails properly is to make sure you’re using the right products. The most common causes of a gel polish that doesn’t cure are:
1. Not enough polish on the nail
If there’s too little polish on your nail, it won’t dry quickly enough and will form small bubbles in the top coat. This can be fixed by adding more base coat or top coat over the area that’s not fully cured and letting it dry again under a UV light source.
2. Lack of base coat
Gel polishes need to stick properly, so make sure you’re applying at least one layer of base coat before putting on another color layer for your manicure or pedicure.
3. Lack of top coat (or using an incompatible product)
Gel polishes usually come with their own specific bottles of top coats containing chemicals specifically formulated for use with gel polishes and they’ll likely specify whether or not they should be used together. If you see any signs like these during the application, stop immediately before doing further damage.
4. Lack of curing time
The first thing to remember is that curing time depends on the brand of gel polish. The amount of time needed for each specific brand will be listed on the bottle, and it’s important to follow these suggestions because they’re what allow the gel to harden.
If you don’t cure your nails properly, they won’t be as strong or durable as they could be. They may also chip more easily and require frequent touch-ups. In some cases, if you don’t cure nails long enough or in an appropriate way (like with a blow dryer), you may even develop an allergic reaction.
Why Are Gel Nails Still Sticky After Curing?
If your gel nails are sticky, it may be because:
1. Your gel nail polish isn’t dry yet
It is normal for the first coat to be tacky and slightly sticky. However, if the second layer of the top coat doesn’t dry within two minutes or so (and no longer than five minutes), there is a problem with either the first layer or the curing process. The best thing you can do is remove all of your layers of polish and start over again.
2. Your UV lamp did not cure properly
When curing under UV light, there are many factors that can affect how well your nails will cure in terms of time and intensity. Factors such as distance from lamp, type of lamp used (i.e: short wave vs long wave), and surface area being cured (i.e: thin-skinned fingers vs large areas like hands) all play into how quickly gel nails will cure under UV light.
If yours aren’t curing properly after trying multiple times then we recommend updating/repairing any equipment issues before continuing with this step.
Can I Use Sunlight to Cure Gel Nails?
Yes, you can use sunlight to cure gel nails. The time it takes for your gel nail to completely cure depends on how long you leave your nails in the sun and the intensity of sunlight. If you're looking for a more convenient solution than keeping your hands out in the sun all day, there are other ways to do this as well.
Can I Cure Gel Nails With My Phone Flash?
No, you cannot cure gel nails with the flash on your phone. Most camera flashes are not powerful enough to properly cure a gel nail. If you use this method, it will take longer for the gel to dry than it would if you used a UV light and you may end up with bubbles under the polish.
Does Hairspray Dry Gel Nail Polish?
Yes, hairspray can dry gel nail polish. If you're in a pinch and need to get your nails done right away, hairspray is the way to go. But it's best not to use it as a long-term solution. Instead, try some quick-drying polish or gel polish instead of hairspray. If you need a quick fix, this is the best way to go. But if you're looking for something that's going to last more than one day, try an at-home manicure kit instead.
In conclusion, curing your nails is a very important part of getting gel manicures and pedicures. The curing process is what sets the polish so that it doesn’t chip or peel off, but it only works if you leave it to cure for long enough. Take care when curing your nails so that your polish stays on for as long as possible with minimal chipping and peeling.