Can Normal Nail Polish Dry Under LED Light

Mila, the veteran beauty cosmetics professional and author of this article, while cutting and styling the hair of her client

Hi! I’m Mila. I share my 44-year experience as a Beauty Professional in this blog.This content is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Consult your Aesthetician for your beauty needs.

Are you frustrated with the slow drying time of normal nail polish? While it’s true that regular nail polish doesn’t substantially speed up its drying process under an LED light, there are still a few tricks to help it dry faster.

This article will provide insight into why your go-to lacquer can’t seem to get along with your LED lamp and suggest several alternatives for quicker drying solutions. Ready to say goodbye to smudged nails and long waiting periods? Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • Regular nail polish cannot dry under LED light because it has a different formula and lacks the necessary pigments and photoinitiators.
  • UV light is not recommended for drying regular nail polish as it may cause discoloration and damage to the finish.
  • To make normal nail polish dry faster, you can use nail drying sprays, drops, hand dryers, or try dipping your nails in ice water.

Why Regular Nail Polish Can’t Dry Under LED Light

Regular nail polish can’t dry under LED light because of its different formula, lack of pigments, and absence of photoinitiators.

Different formulas

Regular nail polishes and gel polishes have different formulas, despite their similar appearance. The ingredients present in regular polish require air exposure to dry through evaporation, a process not aided by UV or LED light.

In contrast, gel polishes contain specific compounds that react chemically under UV light to cure rapidly. Each nail polish brand utilizes varying compositions of these chemicals, creating a diverse range of colors and finishes.

However, none of these traditional formulations can significantly speed up the drying time when exposed to a UV or LED lamp directly. This is because the necessary photoinitiators for triggering this reaction are missing from regular polish formulas.

Lack of pigments

Regular nail polish may not dry under an LED light because it lacks the necessary pigments that enable it to cure or harden when exposed to UV or LED light. Unlike gel polishes which contain specific chemicals that react and cure when exposed to UV light, regular nail polishes are formulated differently.

They rely on air exposure and evaporation for drying, rather than relying on the curing properties of UV or LED light. This is why LED lights do not significantly speed up the drying time of regular nail polish.

So if you’re using a regular polish, don’t expect it to dry faster with an LED lamp – it’s just not designed for that.

Absence of photoinitiators

Regular nail polishes cannot dry under LED light because they lack photoinitiators. Photoinitiators are chemicals that react to UV or LED light and initiate the drying process in gel polishes.

However, regular nail polishes do not contain these photoinitiators, which is why they rely on air exposure and evaporation to dry. Without the presence of photoinitiators, using an LED lamp will not speed up the drying time of normal nail polish.

So if you’re trying to get your regular polish to dry faster, using a UV or LED lamp won’t do the trick!

Can UV Light Dry Regular Nail Polish?

UV Light cannot effectively dry regular nail polish as it is not formulated to cure under this type of light.

Using UV light to dry regular nail polish is not recommended. UV or LED lamps are typically used for curing gel polishes, which have specific formulas designed to react with the light and harden.

Regular nail polishes, on the other hand, dry through evaporation and air exposure. They do not require UV or LED light to set. In fact, using a UV lamp on regular nail polish may result in discoloration and yellowing of the nails.

So it’s best to stick with traditional methods of drying for your regular nail polish application.

May damage polish

Extended exposure to UV lamps can cause damage to regular nail polish. The chemicals and pigments in the polish may react negatively to the UV light, leading to discoloration and changes in texture.

It is important to avoid using a UV lamp for drying regular nail polishes, as it can potentially ruin the finish of your manicure. Stick with traditional air drying methods or explore faster drying options like nail drying sprays or drops.

Other Ways to Make Normal Nail Polish Dry Faster

To speed up the drying time of normal nail polish, you can try using nail drying sprays, drops, hand dryers, or even dipping your nails in ice water.

Nail drying sprays

Nail drying sprays are a quick and convenient solution for speeding up the drying time of your regular nail polish. These sprays contain ingredients that help to evaporate the solvents in the polish, leaving your nails dry and smudge-free in no time.

Simply apply a few spritzes over your freshly painted nails and let it air dry for a few minutes. The spray will accelerate the evaporation process, allowing you to get on with your day without worrying about ruining your manicure.

Say goodbye to waiting around for hours for your nail polish to dry and hello to beautiful, fast-drying nails with the help of nail drying sprays!

Nail drying drops

Nail drying drops are a quick and effective way to speed up the drying time of your regular nail polish. These drops contain ingredients that help to evaporate the polish faster, leaving you with perfectly dry nails in no time.

Simply apply a few drops onto each freshly painted nail, and watch as they dry in seconds. With nail drying drops, you can say goodbye to smudges and hello to beautifully polished nails without the wait.

Hand dryers

Hand dryers can be a convenient and quick way to help your regular nail polish dry faster. By using the hot air from the dryer, you can speed up the evaporation process, allowing your polish to set in less time.

It’s important to use the hand dryer on a low or cool setting to avoid any damage or smudging of your freshly painted nails. However, keep in mind that hand dryers are not as effective as UV or LED lamps for drying gel polishes.

So while they may help with normal nail polish, it’s best to stick with proper curing methods for gel manicures.

Using ice water

To speed up the drying time of your regular nail polish, you can try using ice water. After applying your polish, simply fill a bowl with cold water and add some ice cubes. Submerge your freshly painted nails in the icy water for a few minutes.

The cold temperature helps to solidify and set the polish more quickly, allowing it to dry faster. This method can be especially helpful if you’re in a rush or don’t have access to other drying products or tools.

Remember, though, that using ice water alone may not provide the same long-lasting results as curing gel polishes with UV or LED lamps.

Using UV Light for Gel Topcoat on Regular Polish

To achieve a longer-lasting manicure with regular nail polish, you can apply a gel topcoat and cure it under a UV light.

Steps to follow

To dry regular nail polish quickly without a UV or LED lamp, there are a few steps you can follow. First, apply thin coats of nail polish to prevent it from taking longer to dry. Wait for each coat to dry completely before applying the next one.

After applying your final coat, allow your nails to air dry for at least 15-20 minutes. You can also speed up the drying process by using a quick-drying top coat or nail drying spray.

Remember that it’s important not to rush and smudge your freshly painted nails while they’re still wet.

Gelly sandwich technique

You can try the gelly sandwich technique to achieve a gel-like finish with your regular nail polish. This technique involves layering a coat of regular nail polish between two layers of gel topcoat.

The gel topcoat provides a durable and glossy finish, while the regular polish adds color and variety to your manicure. To do this, start with a base coat and let it dry. Then apply one layer of regular nail polish and allow it to dry completely.

Finally, apply a layer of gel topcoat over the regular polish for added shine and longevity. This technique gives you the best of both worlds – the vibrant colors of regular nail polish with the long-lasting effects of gel manicures!


In conclusion, normal nail polish cannot dry under LED light. The formulas of regular polishes do not contain the necessary ingredients to cure or dry under UV or LED lamps. While gel polishes can be cured with these lights, it is important to use them as directed and avoid prolonged exposure.

If you want your regular polish to dry faster, consider using alternative methods such as drying sprays, drops, hand dryers, or ice water.


1. Can normal nail polish dry under LED light?

Yes, regular nail polish can be dried using an LED lamp but it’s not as effective as curing gel polish with UV or LED lamp.

2. How long does normal nail polish take to dry under LED light?

Drying time of regular nail polish with a UV or LED lamp varies, however, it often takes longer than air drying the regular nail polish.

3. What is the difference between gel and regular nail polishes?

The main difference is that you can cure gel polish with a UV or LED lamp for instant hardening while traditional nail polishes require simple air drying.

4. Could I use a gel top coat over regular nail polish?

Yes, applying a gel top coat over regular nail polish and then using an UV or led lamps can speed up the drying process.

5. Are there any ways to quickly dry normal nail Polish without UV-light?

Summarily yes! There are various fast-drying techniques like using quick-dry sprays or drops that enhance the base coats of your traditional nails sans any strong emission of rays from either led dryer lights nor uv-lamps which would suit more sensitive skin-types

6. Does comparing Led and Uv lamps for drying nail dumps differ in their functionality?

Indeed they do! Both have distinct benefits nonetheless when used on standard varnish versus its durable counterpart Gel-polish; While both emit less heat compared to old incandescent bulbs; ‘UV’ type-curing lamps work swiftly & essentially best suited for gels whereas Led Nail lamps lack substantial output required to manage wider range of spectrum in colors yet they could rather prove beneficial by merely assisting certain color-palettes within the ordinary polishing application hence owning both depending on usage would give optimal results.

Can Normal Nail Polish Dry Under LED Light
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