How Long Does Nail Polish Take to Dry?
With our hectic lives, rushing around on a tight timescale seems normal and multitasking is the name of the game, but sometimes it’s nice just to stop. Pampering yourself with a manicure takes time – removing the old polish, filing, buffing, adding new, pretty colors. I could, and have, spent hours creating intricate nail art, taking my time to design something special. However, often it’s a case of sneaking a quick change of nails in between other tasks, or before an evening out, so it’s great to know how long a good manicure takes to do, and schedule accordingly.
Nail Polish Drying or Curing Times
With a manicure, the druing is the bit that takes time. There are so many different types of polishes on the market, there is no hard and fast rule for how long before your hands are safe to use.
If you don’t have access to a drying lamp, your nails can take 30 minutes or more for each coat, but there are some simple hacks you can try to speed up the process:
- Apply the polish in thinner layers means that the drying time is lessened.
- With your hairdryer on a cool setting, run it over your nails for a few minutes to hasten drying.
- Let you nails air dry for ten minutes and then plunge them into icy cold water. Hold them there for 1-2 minutes, which speeds up the last twenty minutes or so of drying time.
- If you have a can of compressed air – used for dusting keyboards and other tricky areas, blow that onto your nails. As the air is so cold, it works the same as the icy water trick.
- This one’s really strange, but it works. Use spray-on non-stick cooking oil! A spritz on each nail with the can about a foot away, leave for a second or two – while you spray the rest of your nails, and then rinse in cold water.
A drying, or curing, lamp is the best and quickest method to use for gel or acrylic polishes. Available in two versions – UV and LED, the latter is only suitable if your polish is designed for LED curing – check the small print. A lamp can dry nails in well under a minute, depending on the power output, and that time is lessened still further if your lamp can take two hands at once.
There are lots of benefits to using a curing lamp to dry your nails, and even if you don’t carry out many manicures, I would recommend getting one. If you do manis for your friends or have a professional salon, a good lamp is a must, enabling you to be efficient and keep your clients happy. And remember, a quicker drying time = more clients = more dollars! A lamp also minimises the risks of smudging before you even get a chance to enjoy your manicure. Most are touch sensitive, so no risk-of-smearing buttons to push, and with plenty of room for your hands, no edges to knock your wet nails against.
A final, but very important benefit is the ability to kill bacteria. Manicure tools, even if their use is limited to just yourself, can harbour bacteria and germs, but the rays from a UV or LED lamp kills them off. So, no nasty bugs to make problems – see, I said it’s worth getting a lamp!
Finally, if you are curious about the science behind quick-dry nail polish products, check out this awesome article breaking it all down. Unfortunately, it turns out that some of the ingredients in nail polishes are actually what makes them toxic, so make sure to browse through the best non-toxic nail polishes if you want to stay on the safe side!