How do you dry nail polish quickly?
The answer to that question depends on what kind of nail polish it is.
Is it gel or shellac polish that needs UV light to cure? Or does it air-dry like regular polish, acrylic, or dip powder?
The best nail polish dryer is what will work on the type of manicure you’re doing.
How to choose the best nail polish dryer
Let’s discuss the different types of nail polish and how to dry them properly.
Basic nail polish
First, there’s the basic polish that smells of solvent and dries with exposure to the air. The problem is that multiple coats of regular nail polish take an hour or two to completely cure without assistance. (1) The brands without formaldehyde take even longer. If you don’t wait long enough, you run the risk of smudges and dings.
How can you dry basic nail polish quickly? The top solution is a nail polish dryer fan. This can finish the process in only 5 to 15 minutes, saving you a lot of time.
There are other methods that are not recommended unless you’re willing to sacrifice your manicure if you make a mistake using them. For example, you might immerse your nails in a bowl of icy cold water for a few minutes. This may harden the finish if the nails are mostly dry already, so it doesn’t save much time.
Another option is to use a hairdryer on the cool setting. Remember to only paint one hand at a time as you need the other to hold the dryer. If you use the hot setting, you’ll bubble the polish. It’s much more convenient to invest in an inexpensive nail dryer that allows you to take care of both hands at once.
Finally, you can speed up the process with drying drops or spray-on nail dryer. We’ll cover those in the reviews below.
Like basic nail polish, acrylic dries with exposure to air. It’s ideal for nail extensions as it forms a hard protective layer. This type of manicure is quicker and easier to do with a nail dryer fan.
Like acrylics, a dip powder manicure dries naturally in the air. There’s no need for UV light to cure it. Use a nail dryer fan to accelerate the drying process.
There’s a difference between hard gel and shellac (below) because of the way they are removed. But as for drying, both require UV light. You’ll need a nail lamp with either UV or LED bulbs.
(In case you’re wondering, gel manicures need to be filed off, which is why it’s better to go to a salon and have it done professionally).
Shellac manicures dry under UV light. Sometimes shellac gets confused with gel, but it’s not hard to tell them apart if you see the words “soak-off.” If you can soak it off with acetone, it’s probably shellac.
Choosing the best UV light to dry gel or shellac polish
When we say UV light, you have two choices: an actual UV light or an LED lamp. Nowadays, it’s much more common to find LED nail lamps. The bulbs last for years without the need for replacement. Plus, they consume less electricity. They also cure polish twice as fast (as long as the brand is compatible).
When you shop for a UV light, look at the following features:
- Wattage – anything with 48 W and above is good enough for a salon and will dry your nails quickly
- Size – can you dry two hands or feet at once?
- Removable tray – it protects your tabletop
- Timer – are the settings adequate for the type of polish you’ll be using?
- Sensor – will the UV light turn on and off automatically?
It’s possible to get a salon-quality UV nail lamp for less than the cost of a manicure.
Best Nail Polish Dryer in 2o2o
Now, let’s get to the reviews of the best nail polish dryers.
Demert Nail Enamel Dryer
This nail polish dryer spray sets regular nail polish in record time. It prevents smears and damage that occur when the polish hasn’t adequately cured. It also makes the finish shinier while it conditions the nails and cuticles.
It interacts with the solvents in the polish to make them evaporate quicker. Then, vitamin E, panthenol, and olive oil seal in moisture and promote healthy nails.
Once you’re done painting, apply the spray and wait a couple of minutes until everything is completely dry.
The only downside is the pungent odor. Therefore it’s smart to use it in a well-ventilated space.
OPI Nail Polish Fast Drying Drops
Dry nail lacquer faster with this transparent liquid. Use the eyedropper to place a drop by your cuticle. Let the liquid spread naturally downward to cover the nail.
It will set regular nail polish in sixty seconds.
Moreover, it has vitamin E and jojoba to nourish dry cuticles.
OPI RapiDry Nail Polish Dryer, Fast Drying Top Coat Spray
If you’ve already used the fast-drying drops, why would you want this spray? Well, it does more than dry your manicure in sixty seconds. It also restores the shine of the polish during the week. Think of it as extra protection or an extra top coat. If you opt for the spray, you won’t need the drops.
QTICA 1/2 -Time Polish Drying Accelerator
In a hurry to dry your nails? This is a solution for busy people who hate sitting still. It prevents dents, streaks, and smudges even if you have multiple layers of polish.
Apply a drop or two and tilt your nails downward to let it spread. It will hydrate the cuticle while it dries the polish in half the time. Multiple coats will cure within 5 to 7 minutes.
Nail Tek 10-Speed, Polish Drying Drops
If you prefer nail lacquer without harsh chemicals, you’ll appreciate these drying drops. They were voted as the “best natural nail treatment” as they are free of toxins like parabens, DBP, and toluene.
Within seven minutes or less, the drops will dry and condition the nails. The formula contains silicone, which speeds up the evaporation of the solvent in the polish. Thankfully, it never makes the nails feel greasy.
Wait one minute after painting your nails, then apply the solution with the handy dropper.
Makartt Air Nail Dryer for Both Hands and Feet 400W
The best nail polish dryer fan has space to fit both hands and feet at once. It’s powerful enough for professionals, yet perfect for home manicures, too. It’s appropriate for drying nail lacquer, dip powder, primer, nail dehydrate, and bond prep that doesn’t require curing under UV light.
It has automatic sensors that turn it on, so you don’t need to smudge polish to press a button. You can select either cool or warm air for your comfort. Don’t worry because the warm setting isn’t hot enough to cause the polish to bubble. Both settings significantly speed up dry time.
There are anti-slip pads underneath it to keep it steady. Plus, the 400W motor’s well-ventilated to keep it from overheating. It has CE approval for safety and is covered by a warranty.
ThermaDry 140 Manicure & Pedicure Nail Dryer
This professional nail dryer features optical sensors to switch on when hands and feet are inserted. It has two powerful fans with heating coils, allowing you to choose between cool or warm air. You can dry both hands or feet at once with it.
Users say it takes a moment to heat up the air, but there’s plenty of room inside. The strong airflow dries nails quickly.
MelodySusie Portable Kids Nail Dryer
They call it a “kids’ nail dryer,” but adults love it because it’s portable. This compact fan runs on two AA batteries, making it convenient for travel. You can only do four fingernails at once, but it speeds up the drying time by half. Insert the fingers and rest them on the pressure-sensitive baseplate to turn it on.
LKE Curing Lamp, LED 40W
Now, let’s look at UV lamps for curing gel and shellac. Here’s the best nail lamp when you’re on a budget. It offers an impressive array of features packaged in a sleek form factor.
First, it has Smart Touch technology, a sensor that turns the light on when a hand is inserted and off when it’s removed. The tray pulls out for cleaning.
At 40W with twenty-one embedded LEDs, it’s almost powerful enough for a salon. It has a convenient digital display showing you the countdown to the end of the timer. The timer settings are thirty, sixty, and ninety-nine seconds long.
As this is an LED lamp, the bulbs are good for fifty thousand hours of service. Should you have any issues, the manufacturer offers a twelve-month warranty with twenty-four-hour online service.
Magic UV Nail Polish Dryer Lamp
This lamp can dry polish on a single hand or foot at a time. It has a sensor to turn it off and on, plus three timer settings and a digital display. The timer memory allows you to repeat the same setting without having to select it again.
The interior temperature gauge keeps it from getting too hot inside. If the regular setting is too warm for you, you can select the low heat mode. It will take a little longer to dry the nails.
There are thirty-six LEDs embedded in the interior to ensure full coverage and thorough curing of each nail. It’s suitable for drying all types of gel polish, builder gel, sculpture gel, gem glue, and so on.
The bottom plate is held on by magnets. It’s straightforward to remove and clean.
SUNUV 48W UV LED Light Lamp Nail Dryer
The best gel nail dryer is used in salons worldwide as well as thousands of home users. This professional-quality UV lamp has thirty-six LEDs with an anticipated lifetime of fifty thousand hours. It cures gel polish in as little as ten seconds.
Choose from ten, thirty, sixty, or ninety-nine-second timers. The first is double power for extra-quick curing. The latter is the low-heat mode. The automatic sensor will turn the light on once a hand or foot is inside.
You could technically place both hands or feet inside at once as it’s just barely big enough.
The manufacturer offers a twelve-month warranty plus customer service.
MelodySusie UV LED Nail Lamp 48W
This brand offers a lifetime guarantee on their nail polish dryer lamp. It’s a California company that’s been in the nail business for a decade.
The lamp has twenty-four LEDs studied around the interior. These are LG chips, a brand known for high-performance LEDs with long lifespans.
The interior can cure one hand or one foot at a time in as little as fifteen seconds. Other timer settings include thirty, sixty, and ninety-second low-heat mode.
The sensor turns light on and off, so you don’t have to press any buttons. Then, the display shows the countdown until the curing is complete.
You can have confidence in this product as the manufacturer was nominated for Red Dot Design Awards twice.
Canvalite Professional LED Nail Lamp for Gel Polish, 80W
If you do many manicures, this professional nail lamp will help you cure them in record time. It’s twice as fast as other models. If you don’t need the extra power, you can switch to 54W to consume less electricity.
As the manufacturer points out, the forty-two LEDs provide better coverage than lamps with fewer bulbs. Furthermore, the opening is large enough to do both feet or both hands at the same time.
The motion sensor turns on the light. All you have to do is select the timer setting from 10 to 99 seconds. The display shows the countdown.
Even at the highest setting, the nail dryer doesn’t overheat or feel too hot as it’s well-ventilated.
Don’t waste time trying to dry your nails by waving your hands in front of the fan. Don’t smudge them or bubble the polish with a hairdryer.
Streamline your manicure with a nail polish dryer. After all the work you did to make your nails pretty, you deserve the right tool to finish the job.
1. https://www.thoughtco.com/make-nail-polish-dry-faster-606811 by Anne Marie Helmenstine, published December 7, 2019, accessed November 16, 2020