Dip Powder Manicure vs Gel Polish: Which is Right for You?

The two most popular manicures in salons today are arguably the dip powder or the gel manicure. Both are more modern developments over traditional polish, and both are healthier than acrylic and last just as long or longer. It’s worth investigating to decide ahead of time which style of manicure fits your lifestyle and personality.

Powder dip nails involve an application of a base bonding solution treatment on natural nails, or nail tips. Either way it works just as effectively. As long as your nails are properly groomed, each finger is then dipped in a clear nail powder first, and then the bonding resin and powder process begins. This is repeated until each nail has color added as you may desire. Up to five coats can be done just like gel manicures or acrylic styling options. The finishing steps for powder dip nails involve a sealer being brushed onto the nail with a buffing finish. Another coat may follow if you wish to increase the duration of how long the coat will last.

A Gel polish manicure is done with specific polishes and then dried under a UV light. It dries extremely quickly and lasts a long time. It’s been available in any salon for many years, so hundreds of colors are available.

Dip Powder Manicure vs Gel Polish

Dip Powder Manicure vs Gel Polish: Which Is Right for Me?

Benefits of Dipping Powder

One of the biggest benefits of having powder dipped nails is the simple fact of how incredibly durable they are. Dip powder nails are like a cross between a regular gel manicure, and an acrylic application making it the most durable option available. Most powder dipped nails last two weeks, but customers have reported them lasting 3-4 weeks as well.

Another benefit of this method is that powder dipped nails are odor free. The materials used in the process have essentially no smell, making the experience more appealing to most people and especially to the nail technician.

This is also less messy than gel manicures or acrylic nails. The dipping process ensures that you won’t spend useless hours with Q tips trying to fix your nails so they look perfect. A gel manicure or acrylic application starts to seem like a less than ideal route once the comfort and tidiness of powdered nails is experienced. It should also be noted that it takes much less time to apply the dip powder to your nails and is often completed in a much shorter time span than other traditional methods of application.

Powder dipped nails are also considered the most visually appealing option to apply to your nails. The grainy powders are incredibly fine, and because of this the powder colors are more dynamic and vibrant altogether. Traditional gel and acrylic nails cannot reach the same range that powder dipping accomplishes.

Drawbacks of Dipping Powder

Although the use of dip powder nails seems more appealing than alternative methods like gel and acrylic, there are still a few cons to be considered to powder dipping, as well as some other application methods to be explored.

While it may seem like the perfect method at first, this type of manicure has a few unappealing aspects related to the bonding agents used. Some people prefer a gel manicure because it doesn’t use a bonding agent, which studies have compared to ingredients of superglue, but according to SNS Nails, the most popular dipping powder on the market, the bonding agent is a biodegradable adhesive that is widely used in surgery and orthopedics, so very safe. Not all dipping powders are created equal. If you choose a higher quality dipping powder, like SNS Nails Gelous Colors, the quality of ingredients will be less harsh, non-toxic, and healthier for the nail beds.

One of the biggest issues with powder dipped coatings are removal. The process needed to remove the dip is lengthy and cannot be rushed by any means because it can seriously harm the nails if shortcuts are taken in this process. It is also proven to be incredibly unsanitary when taking off the coating. Bacteria can infiltrate the products used to remove the resin in the bonding agents. Some salons reuse this chemical because it can be expensive and difficult to find.

Gel Nail Polish

Benefits of Gel Polish

If you want to lower any health threats related to the powder dip adhesives, then it is suggested to go with a traditional gel polish application. There can be risks related to the resin used in applying and removing the powders on the nails if you haven’t chosen a high-quality brand or trusted salon. Gel nails can allow you to avoid this altogether due to the easy application and removal. Simply soaking your nails in acetone does little to no damage to the natural nail at all.

Nowadays certain gel polish manicures do not need UV light to accelerate the drying process. LED is being utilized so that the body is not subjected to harmful radiation any longer that is associated with UV lights. More powerful lamps are being developed and appearing all over nail salons in the country, offering clients dry nails in as little as 5-10 minutes.

See Also: How to Remove Acrylic Nails Safely

Gel nails also look and feel more natural on your hands than acrylic or powder dips. This is because they tend to set quickly, leaving a light and thin layer that is evenly coating the nail. Sometimes a gel nail may not even need extra coats or primers to bond the gel to the nail, lowering the risk associated with damaging the nail bed. This also leaves the nail bed impression-free if applied properly.

Drawbacks of Gel Polish

It is now relatively common knowledge that UV light can cause the body to become exposed to cellular multiplication and increased malfunctions altogether which can lead to certain forms of skin cancer. Gel and acrylic applications require lengthy UV exposure, so it is recommended to dip your nails if you are concerned about potential cancerous exposure.

Ultimately, both manicures are long-lasting, shiny, and colorful. They both have different risks which are easily minimized with careful attention to choosing your salon or brand. After-care is extremely helpful if you are someone who is going to be applying these products to your nails. Be sure to restore your nails to their natural hydration in between treatments, take a one-month break from heavy manicures, and use quality products.


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