6 Reasons Why Your Gel Polish is not Curing & How to Fix

Reasons Why Your Gel Polish is not Curing & How to Fix
Reasons Why Your Gel Polish is not Curing & How to Fix

Using Gel Polish is one of the best ways to easily create durable yet vibrant manicures at home. But they are a bit more technical to apply when compared to regular nail polishes.

This is because you need to cure them with a nail lamp for them to harden. Now if you are struggling to cure your gel polish then you have come to the right place.

In this article, we are gonna share with you 6 possible reasons why your gel polish isn’t curing and more importantly what you can do to fix it.

Reasons Why Gel Polish Not Curing

1- It Didn’t Cure For Long Enough

The most common reason why most people struggle with curing gel polish is that they don’t leave it long enough under the nail lamp.

Even if you follow the instructions on the bottle of your gel polish it still might not cure completely. This is because the wattage of your nail lamp might be less than what the brand is referring to.

For example, if you are using a 20 watt nail lamp but the instructions refer to using a 40 watt nail lamp for 60 seconds you will need to cure the polish for longer under your 20 watt nail lamp.

How to Fix

If you are struggling to cure your gel polish and the instructions are saying to cure for 60 seconds, then try leaving it for 2 minutes and see the results.

It’s always better to over-cure your gel polishes than under-curing them. You can click here to learn How Long to Cure Gel Polish

If you are worried about UV exposure you can either apply sunscreen on your hands or wear manicure gloves like I do to protect your hands and fingers.

Click here to learn about manicure gloves and whats the best type for you.

Also, check out 6 Ways to Protect Hands from UV Lamps- Safer Gel Manicures

Important Tip

It’s important to note that gel polish will have a sticky wet top layer even when it’s cured completely. So don’t worry if you have this sticky layer your gel polish is still cured.

This sticky layer helps the other coat of gel polish to adhere better. Now only the sticky layer on the gel top coat needs to be wiped away, Click here to read how.

Also, you can click here to learn how to know if your gel polish is cured.

2- Wrong Type of Nail Lamp

There are two types of nail lamps:

  1. UV nails lamps
  2. LED UV nail lamps.

Now some brands of gel polish only work with LED lamps and some only work with UV nail lamps.

Most modern brands of gel polish work with either type of lamp and take 60 seconds to cure with LED lamps and 2-3 minutes with UV lamps.

However some older formulas of gel polish only work with UV nail lamps. Citation.

How to Fix

Always read the instructions to see what type of nail lamp can work with your gel nail polish. I always read the instructions when I am trying a new brand of gel polish.

Related Article: Benefits & Disadvantages of Gel Nails – Are They Worth it

3- Nail Lamp Is Broken

If your nail lamp is not working correctly your gel polish will not cure since not enough UV radiation is being emitted.

This is usually due to the bulbs going bad. Led Nail Lamps tend to last longer than UV ones. But both types have a limited life span.

Related Article: 4 Easy Ways to Remove Gel Polish at Home Without Acetone

How to Fix

You can either get a technician to take a look at it, or get replacement bulbs. Or what I think is cheaper and faster is to get a replacement nail lamp.

I recommend the SunUV 48 watt LED nail lamp it is super affordable yet very effective. Click here to see the price of it on Amazon

Related Article: 5 Alternatives to Gel Nails: Safe, Healthy & Durable

4- Gel Polish Was Applied In Very Thick Layers

When gel polish is applied in thick layers, the UV light won’t be able to penetrate enough to cure the entire layer.

This means that just the top layer will be cured and the bottom will be a semi-liquid which usually leads to wrinkling. Click here to learn more about gel polish wrinkling.

How to Fix

To fix this you need to apply your gel polish in very thin layers and cure each layer. Do this for 2 to 3 times until your manicure is a solid color.

5- Fingers were at a Bad Angle

If your fingernails are slightly bent away from the UV light in the nail lamp the polish won’t cure completely.

This usually happens to your thumbnails since they naturally bend slightly to the side. Especially when you try to cure all of your nails at the same time under the nail lamp.

How to Fix

You should cure your thumbnails separately and ensure that they face upwards whilst curing. This allows them to get enough direct UV exposure to cure.

You can also buy a nail lamp with enough bulbs to ensure that the thumbnails receive enough UV light.

6- Very Poor Quality Gel Polish

Low-quality brands of gel polish tend to take longer to cure (and in some cases don’t cure at all – this rarely happens).

These gel polishes tend to be very cheap and have very poor formulas.

How to Fix

Stick with good brands of gel polish and read reviews before buying. You can click here to read my recommendations for the best brands of gel polish.

Or click here to see the price on Amazon for the Beetles Gel Polish – which is a great and affordable brand to use.