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The Differences Between Normal Nail Polish and Uv Gel

nail polish

Booking a professional manicure at a salon is an easy way to work some self-care into your schedule. But if you’re new to getting your nails done, you might not be familiar with the differences between normal nail polish and UV gel polish. Canadian Beauty College, your leading cosmetology school and medical spa, is here to break down their unique characteristics and benefits.

Drying time

Normal nail polish can take up to an hour to fully dry. Many of us know the struggle of assuming our fresh nails are ready only to accidentally smudge and dent the polish when we reach into our bag to pay.

On the other hand, gel polish dries completely in a matter of seconds. That’s because your nails are placed under a special UV machine, which greatly accelerates the process.



When it comes to durability, UV gel nail polish is the clear winner. With a professional application, it’s far more robust and resilient than normal nail polish.

Depending on how fast your nails grow, a gel manicure can last for up to four weeks without chipping or other damage. Meanwhile, a traditional manicure is easily damaged.



The application of UV gel polish does cost slightly more than traditional nail polish. However, UV gel typically lasts longer and may actually be the money-saving option in the long term.



Normal nail polish is easy to remove at home. Simply buy a bottle of nail polish remover and some cotton balls at the drugstore and your nails will be polish-free in mere minutes.

Unfortunately, removing UV gel polish takes more time and effort. If you opt for a DIY removal, you’ll need to soak your gel polish in acetone for at least 10 to 15 minutes. It’s a painstaking and somewhat messy process.


Nail Damage

Traditional nail polish is fairly gentle on your nails. However, removing UV gel polish can cause damage to your nail beds and cuticles. To avoid damaging your nails, it’s best to ask a professional cosmetologist to remove your gel polish in a salon setting.


Furthermore, the UV exposure required during a gel manicure can cause skin damage. Some people apply a sunblock to their hands before their appointment.


Need cosmetology services in Toronto?

Whether you’re looking for a manicurist, a makeup artist or other cosmetology services, the talented team at Toronto’s Canadian Beauty College can help. For information regarding our medical spa, monthly specials and the benefits of our treatments, contact us today.

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