How To Dry Regular Nail Polish Faster

Are you looking for a way to dry your nail polish faster?

There are lots of myths surrounding regular nail polish and how to dry it.

We are here to break down these myths and see what works best to dry your regular nail polish faster.

How To Dry Regular Nail Polish Faster

Can You Use UV Or LED Lamps To Dry Regular Nail Polish Faster?

The short answer to this is no.

UV and LED Lamps are only suitable for use for nail polishes that need to be UV or LED cured, these polishes include gel, shellac, or dip powder. Acrylic nails are also cured under UV lamps.

For regular nail polish, you do not need a UV or LED lamp as they do not have any effect on regular polish.

UV lamps can be harmful to the skin on your hands and so it is a huge benefit that regular polish is not cured by this type of light. UV light exposure can lead to an increased risk of being diagnosed with skin cancer.

If you are using a polish that requires UV light, not a regular polish, ensure you are wearing sunscreen and take breaks to reduce your exposure levels. 

Ways To Dry Regular Nail Polish Faster

Nail Fan

Nail fans are the most effective and reliable way to dry your regular nail polish faster.

Nail fans can be bought to suit a range of budgets and ensure you check the dimensions as often they can range in size which means you can’t fit your entire hand in some models.

Nail fans look the same as UV and LED lamps with the main difference being that it has jets that blast cool air down onto your nails to dry the nails rather than a light source.

Cheaper models may take longer than more expensive models but all of them do the trick of drying your nails faster.

Nail Drying Spray

This product does what it says on the tin. Instructions may vary between products so be sure to read these before applying the product to your nails.

Nail Drying Spray can be bought in most beauty stores and ranges in price, depending on the brand.


It is always great to be able to use your products for different uses. Hairspray can be applied to painted nails to speed up the drying process and as a cheap alternative to nail drying spray.

To apply the hairspray to painted nails hold the can approximately 8 inches (ca. 20 cm) away from your nails and apply in a slow sweeping movement from the left to the right.

Leave to dry for one minute and then wash your hands to get rid of any residue that may have landed on your skin.

Ice Cold Water

This method surprisingly works very well.

Simply place your unpainted nails into a bowl of icy water and hold for a minute. Take your nails out and paint them immediately.

Your nails will be very cold after the icy water and this makes the polish set faster.

While it may be simple and effective, submerging your nails in icy water may not be pleasant for everyone.


Using a hairdryer may not dry your nails completely, but it will speed up the drying process.

When using a hairdryer ensure it is set to its lowest, coolest setting. Hold the hairdryer six to eight inches away from the nails, depending on the strength of the dryer, and blow-dry your nails for a couple of minutes.

This is probably the least effective method, but it does still somewhat speed up the process.

How To Dry Regular Nail Polish Faster

How To Check If Your Nail Polish Is Dry

It can be hard to tell when your nail polish is dry, especially if you are using a product with a lot of shine.

The best way to check your nails, which won’t ruin all of your hard work, is to gently tap your pinky nails together. If your nail polish is dry they will tap together and not stick or leave a mark.

If your nails are still dry the nails will stick together and leave a marking on the nail. As your pinky nails are the smallest nails on your hand they are easy to fix. 

We hope that you have learned some new ways to help dry your regular nail polish quicker. These quick-drying hacks only work with regular nail polish as both dip and gel nail polish are UV cured.

Still, have questions?

Check out our frequently asked questions section for more information.


Can You Put UV-cured Gel Nail Varnish Over Regular Nail Varnish?

Unfortunately, regular nail polish and regular nail varnish are not very compatible. It is advised that you do not mix a coat of gel polish and regular polish on your nails.

Regular nail varnish should only be used alongside regular nail varnish top and bottom coats. After you have applied gel nail varnish and cured a topcoat with a UV lamp you can apply a regular clear coat to maintain shine and avoid scuffs.

You can only apply this clear polish over a gel topcoat.

Can You Use Dip Powder Top Coat On Regular Polish?

Dip powder is believed to be a very durable product, but it is UV cured, meaning you could not use it over regular nail polish unless you have a UV light or lamp.

For the best results, it is better to use like products when doing your nails rather than mixing between a dip, regular nail polish, and gel nail polish. 

How Can I Get My Nail Polish To Dry Without Smudging?

Waiting up to five minutes between each coat is a great way to prevent your nails from smudging.

If you put a layer of polish over a layer that is not fully dried, smudges and chips are inevitable. Try not to rush your nail polish application for the best results.

Some nail polish brands have created fast drying polishes, with some that dry within 60 seconds. If you don’t have the time to wait for your polish to dry it might be worthwhile investing in these products.

How To Dry Regular Nail Polish Faster

Why Does My Nail Polish Never Fully Dry?

Less is more when it comes to applying nail polish.

If you are applying thick layers it is very difficult for the product to fully dry. Apply thin layers and allow time for each coat to dry properly before adding another layer or coat.