Dip Nails vs Acrylic Nails: Difference and Comparison

Whilst scrolling on social media, it is impossible for someone not to see a post of an influencer with gorgeous nails. Manicures cannot be done without getting a good nail prep, for that dips or acrylics pops in one’s head.

There are probably two popular processes through which a manicure is completed, i.e., dips and acrylics.

Key Takeaways

  1. Dip nails use a powder-based system with a resin activator, while acrylic nails use a liquid and powder mixture.
  2. Dip nails tend to be thinner and more flexible than acrylic nails.
  3. Acrylic nails require more maintenance, require frequent refilling and can cause nail damage.

Dip Nails vs Acrylic Nails

Dip nails are a type of manicure that involves applying a base coat, and dipping the nails into a pigmented powder. They are known for their durability and resistance to chipping and cracking. Acrylic nails are created by mixing a liquid and a powder to form a paste, creating a strong and durable nail.

Dip Nails vs Acrylic Nails

Dip nails are durable and long-lasting, though it contains harmful substances that can harm natural nails. A brush is used to apply the dip powder for a disinfectant application.

Dip powders are unscented. The process of application is unhygienic and can pass bacterial infections between customers.

Acrylic nails are less durable and long-lasting than dip nails. They contain dangerous substances. A liquid monomer and an acrylic powder are applied with a brush to make the application much easier.

The ingredients have a pungent smell that can be harmful to the respiration organs of the customers and the artist.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonDip NailsAcrylic Nails
SaferDip nails are not safer to use because some dip powders can contain harmful substances.Acrylic nails also contain harmful and intense chemicals.
Hygiene/ sanitationIt can be quite unhygienic 
Durable/long-lastingYes, they are durable and long-lasting.It lasts a little less than the dip nails.
Easier applicationNails are dipped into a powered jar many times to get the wished color, which then makes the process much complicated.They are comparatively easier to apply.
Smell                 They are unscented.They have a strong smell.
Natural feelingDip nails do not feel natural. Acrylic nails give a more natural feeling.

What are Dip Nails?

Dip nails are considered in the middle of a classic nail manicure and an acrylic nail manicure. It is gaining popularity in the industry. This is mainly because they are durable and long-lasting.

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The application process is simple. After the base coat is applied to the nails, they are then dipped into a powdered jar of the chosen color. And then, a topcoat is applied. This step is repeated until the desired opacity and color are obtained.

The powder is applied while using a brush for sanitation purposes. Dip powders are unscented. The main ingredient is finely ground powder, similar to acrylic powder. It can be quite satisfying to watch.

Unfortunately, some of the dip powders can contain harmful substances like MMD that can be dangerous for natural nails. Dip nails can also be quite unsanitary and can pass bacterial infections between customers. Powder dip nails are not FDA-approved.

dip nails 1

What are Acrylic Nails?

Acrylic nails were invented in 1954 by a dentist. Acrylic nails are made up of powder and liquid monomers. It is an artificial nail enhancer, having 2 main ingredients: liquid monomer and acrylic powder. 

This is applied to nails using a brush, and then the nails are left to dry. They do not need LED lamps to cure. Acrylic application is a common form of manicure available for ages. The process of applying acrylic nails is much more involved.

After applying the liquid mix, the plastic extension is filled and buffed with a nail drill. Gel acrylic nails need a LED lamp to cure. Acrylic nail glue is a toxic ingredient that harms natural nails and is known to cause respiratory problems.

They also use intense and harmful chemicals that can damage natural nails. They contain pungent smells, so the nail techs wear masks while applying to do the prep.

acrylic nails

Main Differences Between Dip Nails and Acrylic Nails

  1. Dip nails and acrylic nails differ in the application process.
  2. Dip nail prep is like preparing a regular manicure, which is not the case for acrylic nail prep.
  3. Dip nails have many layers of powder, which can make them thick, whereas acrylic gives a natural look.
  4. Dip powder is similar to nail polish, whereas acrylic application can be used to lengthen the nails.
  5. Dip nails last much longer than acrylic nails.
  6. Dip nails last up to 4 weeks, whereas acrylic nails last up to 2-3 weeks.
  7. Dip nails do not include nail glue which contains toxic chemicals that can be harmful to natural nails, whereas acrylic nails use acrylic nail glue.
  8. Acrylic nails use plastic extensions on the natural nails, whereas dip nails do not use plastic extensions.
  9. Dip nails are much more flexible and durable than acrylic nails.
  10. Dip nails are better nail enrichers than acrylic ones.
Difference Between Dip Nails and Acrylic Nails
  1. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.1201/9781003159117-15-21/powder-gel-nail-dipped-nails-dipping-powders-robert-baran
  2. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-72156-9_5
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Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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10 thoughts on “Dip Nails vs Acrylic Nails: Difference and Comparison”

  1. I cannot agree with the information in this article, dip nails are not unhygienic, it all depends on the techniques applied by the nail technician

    • Also, keep in mind that even though Dip nails are more durable, they can also contain harmful substances that could damage your natural nails, so you should choose carefully

  2. I think the information presented was very interesting, however, I prefer not to use artificial products, so this post does not help me

  3. This article did not mention that any type of manicure should be carefully done because it could damage natural nails. Also, it did not talk about any pros of acrylic nails


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