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Why is My Gel Nail Polish Sticky?

Why is My Gel Nail Polish Sticky?

As a professional nail technician, you know that gel polish stands out as the gold standard for its durability and glossy finish. However, many often face the challenge of a sticky residue post-application. As most of us professionals know there is always a sticky layer (called an inhibition layer). The stickiness we’re referring to in this piece is the sticky layer encountered after a top coat and cleansing. For the DIY user, the stickiness is probably caused by an improper cure but a sticky finish can be encountered by a professional if they are working with a HEMA-free formula, like ours. Understanding the intricacies of gel polish application and the specific considerations for HEMA-free products is essential for achieving impeccable results, especially if you want to avoid a sticky finish! Let's delve into the reasons behind sticky gel polish and explore the unique aspects of HEMA-free gel polish.

Why Does My Gel Polish Feel Sticky?

Sticky gel polish is typically the result of under-curing, which can occur due to several factors:

Inadequate Exposure: Each gel polish has a recommended exposure time to UV or LED light. Falling short of this time can prevent the polish from fully setting.

Lamp Compatibility: Not all curing lamps are created equal! The lamp's wattage and the type of light (UV vs. LED) need to match the gel polish's requirements. So make sure your lamp is up to scratch. 

Application Thickness: Excessively thick layers of gel polish can hinder the light's ability to penetrate fully, leading to incomplete curing. Less can mean more with many things and gel polish is no exception.

By addressing these factors, technicians can mitigate stickiness and achieve a flawless finish. But how does HEMA Free gel polish stack up on the stickiness stakes? Let’s find out. 


Transitioning to HEMA-Free Gel Polishes

As the industry evolves, HEMA-free gel polishes have emerged as a response to the need for more hypoallergenic options. These formulations, free from the common allergen hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA), present new learning opportunities for professionals. Glitterbels, an early mover in HEMA Free, leads the way in providing high-quality, body-kinder options. 

Do HEMA-Free Gel Polishes Cure Differently?

Some HEMA-free formulas may indeed require different handling during the curing process. Due to their unique composition, these polishes might necessitate longer or more specific exposure times to UV or LED light to achieve optimal curing. However, our HEMA-Free gel polish is designed to cure perfectly in 60 seconds.

How Does Ambient Temperature Affect Gel Polish Application?

The ambient temperature of the environment in which gel polish is applied can significantly influence the outcome of the manicure. Gel polish formulations are sensitive to temperature variations, with both the application process and the curing phase being potentially impacted by extreme conditions.

Cold Conditions: When applied in a cold environment, gel polish can become more viscous or thick. This change in consistency can make the polish harder to apply evenly, leading to a higher risk of incomplete curing and a sticky residue. Cold temperatures can also extend the required curing time, as the gel does not flow as smoothly over the nail surface.

Warm Conditions: Conversely, applying gel polish in overly warm conditions can make the formula too thin or runny. This can lead to uneven layers and potential flooding of the cuticle area, complicating the curing process. Additionally, warmer temperatures might accelerate the curing process, potentially leading to shrinkage or wrinkling if the polish begins to cure before it's evenly distributed or properly positioned under the curing lamp.

Can HEMA-Free Gel Polishes Enhance Client Safety?

Absolutely. By eliminating HEMA, these gel polishes reduce the risk of allergic reactions, making them a safer choice for both clients and technicians. This advancement allows professionals to cater to a broader clientele with varying sensitivities, without compromising on quality or durability.

The sticky residue encountered with gel polish application, whether traditional or HEMA-free, can be effectively managed through proper curing techniques and an understanding of the product's specific requirements. Glitterbels' HEMA-free gel polishes not only address the demand for safer nail care options but also maintain the high standards of durability and aesthetic appeal that professionals and their clients have come to expect. As the nail industry continues to innovate, Glitterbels are determined to remain at the forefront of ways for you to navigate these sticky situations with confidence and expertise.