How to Dry Gel Nail Polish Without UV Light

15 Nov.,2022


how to dry gel nail polish without uv light

When it comes to picture-perfect nail polish, nothing quite says “stunning” like gel nail polish.

Unfortunately, though, gel polish comes with one big caveat: you need to use an LED or UV light to cure it.

Obviously, this is not ideal for two reasons:

For one, a UV lamp isn’t great for your health.

For two, most people do not have a UV lamp on hand, making an at-home gel manicure a sticky situation.

But does that mean you’re destined for salon visits whenever you want gel nails?

No way, baby. You can dry gel nail polish without a UV light.

Seriously? I know you probably don’t believe me. But this guide will show you six different methods for curing gel nails without a UV light.

What Can You Use Instead of a UV Light For Nails?

If you’re thinking about using that brand new, gorgeous gel nail polish today but don’t have a UV light or are simply trying to reduce exposure, don’t think it needs to sit on the back of your shelf.

You can successfully use your beloved gel nail polishes without a UV light, whether you’re applying them on top of acrylic nails or use gel nail polish on your natural nails.

Yes, these methods may take more time, and they might not be as successful as the UV light, but they still work!

1. Use Non-UV Gel Polish

If you’re avoiding UV rays, consider using gel polishes that don’t require UV light.

Yes, they exist. For example, OPI gel nail polish does not require a UV light.

It simply goes on like “regular nail polish” and will dry like “normal nail polish.”

Swipe a base coat on your nails, apply the gel polish color, and apply a top coat. Then, let it dry as you would with any other kind of nail polish. Viola! So simple!

2. Create an Ice Water Bath

Do you want to cure your gel nail polish without UV light or an LED lamp? You can rely on your freezer for this next option.

All you need to do is fill a bowl of water with ice cubes and ice-cold water.

Then, dip your freshly painted nails into the ice bath for five minutes.

When you’re done, don’t dry gel polish off. Let it dry naturally. Even though the top coat may feel hard, it likely won’t harden entirely for another few hours.

3. Apply Cooking Spray

If you want to use gel nail polish products without the need for UV lamps or an LED nail lamp, you can use another handy kitchen product: cooking spray.

All you need to do to cure gel polish with cooking spray is spray your nails generously with the product and let dry gel nails naturally.

Once your gel polish has dried completely, wipe off the spray.

The best part is that this spray will cure your gel polish manicure and moisturize the nails and surrounding skin. It’s a win-win situation!

4. Sit Under the Sun

What do UV lights and the sun have in common? You guessed it - ultraviolet light.

That said, the sun can be used as a UV light source to set gel manicures.

This option is pretty straightforward: sit under the sun until your freshly painted nails have cured.

Note: this might take quite some time, and it is not a good option if you’re looking for less UV exposure.

Perhaps this option should be reserved during the summer months when you’re planning to lay out and get that infamous golden tan? Just make sure you’re not hopping into a pool and getting your nails wet!

5. Opt for a Thinner Coat

This isn’t exactly a way to cure gel, but it will undoubtedly help gel polish cure quicker without UV or LED lights.

When you apply the gel nail polish to your nail bed, use a thin layer. Thin coats will dry quicker than well-gelled nails.

Used too much? Simply remove it with nail polish remover and start over again. Consider using an acetone-free polish remover to reduce drying out your nails.

6. Use a Quick-Drying Nail Polish Spray

Another great spray you might have on hand (especially if you do your own nails regularly) is quick-drying nail polish spray.

Like the cooking-style spray, you will want to spray this product religiously onto the nail bed.

Air drying is recommended as you do not want to wipe the gel polish off accidentally.

Once dried, use a clean towel to dry off the nails and surrounding skin.

You can cover the rest of your hands with a towel, newspaper, or other material if you do not want to get the product on your skin.


Does Gel Nail Polish Air Dry?

Unfortunately, when you use gel nail polish, it will never dry from the air.

Real gel nail products require a helping hand, and the best way to do this is with an LED light from LED lamps or UV light from UV lamps.

That is why nail salons will have one or both options for their customers.

Of course, you’re not a nail technician and likely don’t have a UV or LED lamp, which is what brought you to this article.

Try one of the methods listed above and you should be successful with drying your nail art without an LED lamp.

Can You Dry Gel Nail Polish with a Hair Dryer?

You should not try to dry gel polish with this beauty tool. In fact, it will not cure properly whatsoever and you may end up doing more harm than good.

Put the dryer down and use one of the methods mentioned above for the best ways to cure gel polish without the need for a UV or LED lamp.