Can You Dry Regular Nail Polish with a UV Light?

For people who love painting their nails, regular nail polish is the fastest way to get pretty nails especially if you’re in a rush. But one of the most common questions that we get is that can you dry regular nail polish with a UV light?

Some women love experimenting with different beauty products and that also includes nail polishes. Going to a nail salon can be a very expensive trip, so if you have the time, you can try to get your nails done all by yourself!

But of course, you have to consider all the precautions before getting your nails done on your own efforts. In this article, we will be helping you out with your questions regarding using a UV light on a regular nail polish.

All of the answers plus some tips and tricks regarding drying your nails using regular nail polish are right here. Ladies, let’s get your pretty nails done the easy and fast way!

Can you dry regular nail polish with UV light?

uv light for nails 2022

It is not recommended to use a UV light for drying regular nail polish. The reason behind this is that UV lights do not speed up the process of drying normal nail polish. 

The ingredients inside a bottle of normal nail polishes tend to evaporate, so putting your nails underneath a UV light does not significantly hasten up the drying time. Plus, too much exposure of your skin to UV light can be dangerous.

What is the fastest way to dry nail polish?

There are several ways that you can easily dry your regular nail polish even when you’re at home:

Use Nail Polish Drying Spray

If you want to skip the air drying time, you can try using a nail polish drying spray. Nail polish drying sprays contain chemicals that speed up the rate of evaporation of the ingredients found in your nail polish.

Using this product can effectively dry your nail polish within a few minutes. So, you don’t need to worry about your regular nail polish getting chipped off right after you apply them to your nails. 

Use Nail Fan

While UV nail lamps are commonly used for gel type nail polishes, you can use a nail fan for regular nail polishes. Nail fans can hasten the drying process of your nail polish through blowing off of warm air on your nails. 

Using nail fans on drying your nail polish can dry up your nail polish faster by 30 to 40%. If you currently don’t have a nail fan or you don’t think you’ll be using it often, you can also use your hairdryer – just on the lowest setting.

Use Ice Cubes

Now, you might think this is an uncommon procedure to dry your nails fast, but it actually works! All you need to do is place ice cubes in a bowl and place it near the area where you’ll be painting your nails.  

After you have painted your nails with regular nail polish, you can wait about 2 minutes and place your fingers on the ice bowl. This will ensure  that the nail polish will stick properly on your nails.

Quick dry top coat

To easily dry up your regular nail polish, you can also use a quick-dry top coat. Aside from adding more shimmer to your pretty nails, using a quick dry top coat also protects your nails from getting chapped. This product can also dry the polish in just a few minutes.

Apply thin top coats

This is the easiest way to ensure that your nail polish dries out fast and easily. Don’t rush into applying a thick layer of coat to your nails. Give the nail polish a few minutes to dry before applying a new layer of coat.

Using this technique can help you achieve a uniform and even finish plus faster drying times. Another recommendation is to paint your nails on a larger surface so you can see the results more thoroughly.


Another unique yet easy technique to hasten up the drying process of your painted nails is using a hairspray. All you need to do is is spray your favorite hairspray about seven inches away from your nails. 

After spraying your newly painted nails, give the hairspray solution to dry out for at least a minute or two. Then, put your fingers in a bowl of cold water to harden up the nail polish thoroughly.


Did you know that applying oil on your painted nails can also dry out the paint faster than usual? You can use your favorite essential oil after a few minutes of nail polish application. This technique can also help moisturize the skin around your fingers. Plus, you can even apply the oil all over your hands for a more effective moisturization.

FAQs about UV Light Drying Regular Nail Polish

If you have any other questions related to using a UV light to dry your regular nail polish, we might have the answers you are looking for! Check out the usual FAQs regarding UV lights related to drying your nails with regular paint below.

Can you use UV light on normal nail polish?

As stated above, the use of UV lights will not significantly hasten up the process of the drying time on regular nail polishes. If you’re using regular nail polish, you have to expect that the drying process can take a lot longer than gel ones. Using UV lights on regular nail polish is not recommended since it can also damage your skin.

What is the difference between UV and LED lamps for nails?

The most common difference between a UV lamp and an LED lamp is the bulb type and lamp type. When you use a UV lamp, it can take anywhere from 2 to 3 minutes to cure a gel nail polish. LED lamps have significantly faster curing times at around 15 to 20 seconds and your gel nails are all set!

can you dry regular nail polish using uv light
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Why does my nail polish take so long to dry?

One major reason why your nail polish takes so long to dry is because you might have applied a very thick layer. It is more recommended to apply thin layers of paint and let them dry in between coats to ensure that the nail polish is drying effectively. You can refer to our tips and tricks above to help you dry out your regular nail polish faster.

What Nail Polish Can You Use With UV Light?

If you’re planning to use a UV nail light, the only type of nail polish brands that you can use is the gel type. The gel polish is cured by the emitted ultraviolet wavelengths as it activates the photoinitiators coming from the gel polish

How Long Does UV Light Take To Dry Nails?

Gel nails don’t actually “dry up”, they “cure” and this process is not done naturally. The curing process is usually done through using a UV or LED nail lamp. The curing time depends on the type of gel polish that you would be using and it is usually done within 30 seconds to 2 minutes using a UV light.

One of the best features of using a UV nail dryer is that you can use your fingers and hands right away without having to worry about chipping and breaking. Unlike using regular nail polish that takes too long to dry, gel nail polishes lasts longer!

Is Drying Nail Polish With LED Light Faster?

Yes, drying gel nail polish with an LED light is technically faster than using a UV light. The curing time of gel nail polishes under an LED light is around 30 seconds per one layer compared to the 90 second curing from UV lights.

So, if speed is to be considered, LED light is a more convenient option. For a complete manicure, LED lights can cure your nails in less than 2 minutes as opposed to over 5 minutes under a UV light.

How Do You Dry Nail Regular Nail Polish?

We have mentioned that regular nail polish dries up through evaporation, now let’s discuss how long it would take for regular nail polish to dry up. Approximately, it takes 1 to 2 hours before a normal nail polish dries out. 

It is highly recommended to allow the paint to dry out before using your hands to prevent chipping. 

Key Takeaways

You have to remember that you don’t necessarily have to use any special equipment like a UV lamp to dry your normal nail polish.

This type of nail polish dries through evaporation and it stays on for a few days up to weeks which all depends on the quality of the product and your lifestyle.

If you love regular nail polishes but you’re looking for easy ways to dry it up, we hope that we have helped you through different ways to do it! Some techniques might be a little uncommon to do, but they surely work!

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