Dip Powder V. Acrylic Nails: What's The Difference?

When it comes to manicures, styles and techniques are a dime in a dozen. Gel nails in comparison to regular polish are notably better. Gel nails can be a long-lasting manicure, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. These manicures use a special polish cured onto the nails with UV light. Despite gel being an upgrade from traditional polish, some worry about the effects UV light has on the skin. Gel nails had their time in the spotlight, but longer, stronger, and even longer-lasting manicures are in.

You might be tempted to skip the salon altogether and just get press on nails. Per Sunday Beauty, even Ariana Grande has her fix of press ons. However, there is no need to sacrifice being pampered at the nail salon, now is the time to make way for dip powder and acrylic nails, two popular manicure options without the need for UV light. But what is the difference between the two?

Difference between dip powder and acrylic nails

Up first in our battle of manicure techniques are acrylic nails. According to WebMD, acrylics are nail powder that is mixed with a liquid to become the thick nail polish consistency that is applied to your nails. That mixture hardens when hit with air to create the perfect manicure look. The acrylic mixture can be applied to your entire nail or onto nail tips. Those tips are glued to the top of your nails for extra length. Before you get the hottest nail designs in acrylics, don't rule out dip nails.

Dip nails are similar but not the same. The main differences are the application process and technique. According to Healthline, with dip nails, instead of mixing that acrylic powder with liquid, your nails are dipped straight into the powder. The colored powder is then coated with a clear sealant for a shiny finish. You can skip the need for nail glue and extra tips with dip manicures. So when it comes to dip powder or acrylic application, which is best for your manicure needs?

Which is right for you?

Dip powder nails are super durable. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, Board-certified dermatologist Chris Adigun recommends manicures like dip powder to help patients stop biting or picking their nails. The strength of dip nails will have your hands red-carpet-ready for weeks. A downside is what happens to your actual nail beds. Dip manicures can damage your nails, especially since you need 100% acetone to remove them which is harsh.

Acrylics pose the same threat of damage to your nails but perhaps to a greater extent. According to manicurist Kylie Kwok, "dip is a bit safer because the layers are not as thick as acrylics, and it reduces the chances of nail beds breaking and fungal infections" (via The Every Girl). Celebrity nail artist Erica Marton is team dip powder too. She says with dip nails, "the process is less invasive." Although her acrylics last longer, they are also time-consuming and expensive. If you choose to listen to the professional, be in the know about dip nails before your next appointment.