How To Dry Gel Nail Polish Without UV Light


Gel polish manicures are becoming increasingly popular for their long-wear and glossy finishes. The rainbow of colors that are available is another great selling point for this on-trend manicure.

Getting your nails done by a professional is always a good idea, but there are times when you may need to do your nails at home. We will share some helpful information so you can create a DIY salon-quality gel nail manicure at home without a UV light.

Choose a Non-UV Gel Polish

Traditionally, gel nail polish is cured under UV light until it dries and becomes hardened. The gel requires UV wavelength exposure to react with compounds in the gel that absorb light and start the polymerization process. These types of gel manicures are performed daily in nail salons around the world.

Other types of gels are popular for at-home use. These gel polishes are called non-UV gel polish. This type of gel polish contains new technology that does not require UV light to dry the gel polish. This type of gel is long-lasting like traditional UV gels. 

Make sure to read the label of the gel polish you choose. The label should specify that it does not require a UV light. Select a color of non-UV gel polish that you love and prepare to design your manicure.

Prep Your Nails

Now that you have selected your non-UV gel polish, it is time to apply it to your nails. Prep your nails. Gather the following supplies:

  • Cotton balls or cotton pads
  • Non-acetone nail polish remover
  • Towel 

Begin by laying the towel out in front of you on a work surface. Make sure you cover the work surface to protect it from nail polish remover and gel polish.

Next, prep your nails by carefully soaking a cotton ball or cotton pad with non-acetone polish remover. Rub the cotton ball or cotton pad onto each fingernail to remove any dirt or oils you may have on your nails. Doing this will provide a clean surface for the gel.

Apply the Non-UV Gel Polish

Gently shake the bottle of non-UV gel nail polish for a few seconds to mix the polish ingredients. Carefully paint two coats of polish onto your dry nails. Allow the gel a few minutes to set between each coat. 

When the final coat is applied, allow the manicure to dry for about five minutes. After five minutes, use the non-UV gel top coat. Allow your nails to dry completely. There are a few things you can do to help the nails dry quickly. 

Spray Nails With Quick Dry Polish Spray

Quick-dry nail polish spray is a canned spray that will help nail polish dry quickly. The spray assists the solvents in the polish to evaporate quickly, making the polish dry quicker.

To apply the quick-dry spray, hold your hands over a towel or newspaper and spray the can about six inches away from your nails while they are still wet. Repeat, on the other hand. Allow both hands to dry completely. 

The spray will leave residue on your hands. Once your polish is dry, you can wash your hands to remove the residual film.

Take an Ice Bath

An ice bath will help regular nail polish and gel polish dry quicker than air drying alone. Allow your nails to dry for five to 10 minutes after applying the last coat of gel, then ice your nails.

Fill a bowl with cool water and a few ice cubes. Place your nails into the ice bath, making sure the water completely covers your nails. Keep your nails in the water for three to four minutes. After your nails have been chilled, remove your hands and allow your nails to air dry for 30 minutes to an hour or until they feel entirely hardened.

Be careful with your nails. They may feel dry when you remove them from the ice bath. It will take at least an hour for them to be completely dry.

While non-UV gel polish may be convenient, it does take some time to dry, just like regular nail polish. If you have an LED light, the gel will cure underneath the LED just like it will under UV light.

Salon UV Gel Nail Manicures

During a salon application of gel polish, the nail tech will apply a gel base coat, gel polish, and gel top coat, curing each layer under a UV lamp or LED light. 

While non-UV gel manicures are convenient for at-home use, they still take time to completely dry, just like traditional nail polish. To get a gel manicure without any dry-time wait, visit a nail salon professional for a manicure.

Your nail tech will create beautiful gel nails for you in a matter of minutes. Salon gel manicures will last up to 14 days without chipping. The long-wear is a convenient benefit to those who use their hands a lot daily. 

Types of Gel

There are a few different types of gel that salons will use depending on the manicure performed. For longer nail extensions and styles, a hard gel is used. Hard gels have to be filed with a nail file or e-file to be removed from the nails.

Soft gels are used in short to mid length overlays on top of the natural nail to strengthen the nail. 

Gel polish is considered a soft gel because it can be removed by being soaked in pure acetone.

Soft gels are sometimes referred to as shellac, gelish, and gel color.

To Sum It Up

Gel nail manicures are trendy for their lengthy wear and beautiful glossy finishes. When designing your gel manicure at home, opt for non-UV gel polish to simplify the application and drying process. 

V Beauty Pure's high-quality salon professional gels, acrylics, brushes, and other nail tools help you create beautiful manicures of all types. When choosing to provide a quality nail service to a client or creating your designs at home, choose V Beauty Pure. We bring the salon products to your table. 


  1. What does a nail technician do? | Career Explorer
  2. The Gel Manicure Lowdown: UV vs. LED | Allure
  3. Shellac Nails Vs. Gel Manicure: What to Know About Shellac Nails | Harper's Bazaar


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