Nothing says “beautiful” like gel nail polish when it comes to picture-perfect nail polish. Gel manicures are popular because they stay far longer than regular polish and are always fashionable. Unfortunately, gel polish has one drawback: it requires the use of UV light to dry. This method is not desirable for two reasons. For one thing, UV light is harmful to your health. UV radiation can cause premature skin aging and sun damage symptoms such as wrinkles, leathery skin, liver spots, etc., 

For two, most people do not own a UV lamp. A home gel manicure will be sticky without it. We love this summer nails design with a little glitter to add some sparkle! That doesn’t mean you must go to the salon whenever you want gel nails. Fortunately, there are alternatives to using UV light to cure gel polish. I’ve compiled a list of the best ways to dry gel nail paint for you to try this season. Yes, these methods take longer, but they are safer for you.

  1. Purchase A Non-UV Gel Polish 

If you want to prevent UV radiation, consider choosing UV-free gel polishes. Various nail polish brands now make non-UV gel paints that can be used at home. These gel polishes are applied in the same way as traditional, non-gel polishes and are designed to cure independently without using light.

To apply, swipe a base coat to your nails, then the gel paint color, and finally a top coat. Then, like any other nail polish, let it dry. So easy!

  1. Prepare an Ice Water Bath

Do you want to dry gel nail paint without UV light? Your freezer is a good choice for the following alternative. Simply place ice cubes and cold water in a bowl. After that, spend five minutes dipping your freshly painted nails in the ice bath.

After you’re finished, take care of your nails for several hours. Allow natural drying. Even while the top coat might feel stiff, it probably won’t completely harden for a few more hours.

  1. Use Cooking spray 

If you want to use gel nail polish products without the need for UV lamps, 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. 

The best thing is that this spray dries your gel polish manicure while moisturizing the nails and surrounding skin. It’s a win-win scenario! However, avoid touching anything while your nails dry because the cooking spray can leave your fingers feeling a little sticky.

  1. Use a Quick-Drying Nail Polish Spray

Another useful spray to keep on hand is quick-drying nail polish spray. While quick-drying polish sprays are typically designed for non-gel nail polishes, they may assist in drying gel polish. Air drying is suggested because you don’t want to wipe the gel polish off unintentionally.

Once dry, dry the nails and surrounding skin with a clean towel. If you don’t want the product on your skin, cover the remainder of your hands with a towel, newspaper, or other material.

  1. Sit Under the Sun 

What are the similarities between UV lamps and the sun? It’s ultraviolet light. That being said, the sun can be utilized as a UV light source to set gel nails. This alternative is simple: sit in the sun until your freshly painted nails are dry.

Although this may take some time, it is not a perfect remedy if you want to reduce your UV exposure. Perhaps you should reserve this option for the summer when you intend to kay out and get that iconic golden tan. Ensure you are not jumping into a pool and getting your nails wet! 

  1. Apply a Thinner Coat

Applying a thinner coat is not exactly a method to dry your gel nail paint, but it will surely help a gel polish dry faster without UV lamps. Apply a thin layer of gel nail paint to your nail bed. Thin coats will dry faster than well-gelled nails.

Have you gone overboard with the polish? Just remove it with nail polish remover and restart. To avoid drying out your nails, use an acetone-free polish remover.

  1. Use an LED Lamp

UV lamps produce ultraviolet radiation, which is harmful to the skin and eyes. On the other hand, LED lamps do not emit ultraviolet radiation and are thus considered safer. Additionally, they have a faster drying duration than UV lights. 

Wear fingerless gloves or apply sunscreen to your skin before painting your nails and curing the polish with an LED bulb. While less dangerous than UV lights, LED lamps to emit potentially damaging rays. As a result, it’s critical to take steps to avoid damaging your skin while your polish cures.


Gel nail polishes are trendy and beautiful, but getting them at the expense of dangerous UV rays is not ideal. You can try different methods to dry your nails if you wish to paint them with gel nail polish. The steps outlined above should assist you in determining the best way to protect yourself from UV rays, allowing you to enjoy gel nails confidently.


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