Gel Polish Overcuring – Is It Right or Wrong?

The nail salons have been on and off intermittently for more than a year now. Under such circumstances, most women have their gel manicures at home. While applying DND nail polish should not be an issue, there are concerns regarding its curing. Studies show that people having their gel manicures at home tend to overcure because they are not precisely aware of the ideal duration of the curing process. Of course, you can refer to your DND nail polish gel set to get an idea about the ideal curing times, but it is practice that makes you perfect.

What happens if you overcure gel nail polish?

This question is there in almost every mind. So let us explore the answers here.

Generally, the curing time for a gel polish manicure is around 30 seconds. However, people who have their manicures at home always feel that this period is insufficient. So they extend the curing to up to a minute, as well.

Gel polish solidifies on curing and gets baked on the nail surface. Suppose you overcure the polish layer for more than a minute. In that case, the solidified gel polish tends to crack and break prematurely. Removing the overcured polish can also be challenging because soaking them in acetone will not soften it sufficiently. Instead, you have to dig into your DND gel polish kit for your nail file and chip away at the hardened layer gently.  

Are there different times for different applications?

Yes, every application in a gel polish manicure requires curing under the UV lamp. The basecoat needs around 15 seconds, whereas the color layer and the topcoat, around 30 seconds. Curing it for more than the stipulated time causes the gel coating to harden. On the other hand, if you under-cure gel polish, the coating will not dry properly and hence cause smudging. Either way, it is not desirable.

How do you know that the gel polish layer is cured?

It is advisable to go through the manufacturer’s instructions on applying the gel polish and curing it. If you do so correctly, you should not have any problem at all.

Many people like to check whether the curing is complete or not by feeling the gel polish layer. It is not necessary at all. Apply the topcoat layer after curing the DND gel layer. If the polish sticks to the brush, it is a clear sign of under-curing.

Secondly, the under-cured gel polish topcoat will look dull. However, you can easily wipe it away using an alcohol-based cleaner.

One should refrain from checking the polish layer right after the curing process. You could end up contaminating the surface with dust or oily substances leading to a smudged look.

Should one cure the gel polish for a longer duration?

No, it is not advisable to cure gel polish for longer than the manufacturer’s recommendations. A couple of seconds here and there should not make much of a difference, but overcuring it for a substantial time can cause the polish to harden up uncomfortably.

If you follow the instructions well, the curing will be optimum, and the gel polish will retain its flexible characteristics. They flex and bend with your nails and change their shapes when under stress.

On the other hand, solidified DND nail polish tends to lose its flexibility. Thus, they chip off easily. In addition, an overcured gel polish layer reduces your nail’s durability. Finally, as the nail polish layer solidifies and hardens, it will not dissolve in acetone quickly. Hence, you need to use your nail file and gently chip off several layers before you try out the acetone soaking procedure to remove the nail polish.

How do you prevent overcuring of the gel polish on your nails?

The first thing is to check whether your UV or LED lamp is the same as specified in the manufacturer’s recommendation list. For example, if you use daisy DND gel polish colors, it is best to use the UV lamp provided with the DND gel polish kit.

Secondly, you should verify whether the UV lamp is working correctly or not. If so, you can change the light bulb to get the best results.

Thirdly, you should ensure that the gel polish layer is not thick. The thicker your gel polish layer, the longer it takes to cure. The ideal solution is to remove the thick layers and ensure to have thin coats.

How do you remove overcured gel polish?

Before you use the acetone soaking procedure, you should carefully use a sterilized file and chip off the layers. Once the layers become thin, you can employ the nail polish removal procedure for removing the overcured polish. It involves soaking the polish layers in acetone for about 25 to 30 minutes. After that, the polish layers slide off on their own.


We have discussed why it is not advisable to overcure your gel polish layer. However, it is beneficial if you follow the proper procedure and acquire long-lasting healthy nails.