Dip Powder vs Bio Gel Polish – Which one is best in 2023?

Dip powder and bio gel polish are among the best types of manicure techniques you can get. You will apply them differently, but both offer a durable and beautiful polish. So what should you choose?

You may prefer one to the other, depending on your requirements regarding the treatment’s durability, application, refillability, price, and even safety. 

This article will give you a side-by-side comparison between dip powder vs bio gel polish. Let’s scroll down to determine the better one for your nails! 

What Is Dip Powder?

Dip Powder vs Bio Gel Polish - Which one is best in 2023?

Dip powder, or SNS nail, achieves layers-based manicures using acrylic powders and a sealant coating. 

Dip powder gets the name because you will dip your nails into powder or brush them. There is sealant polish between the powder layers. 

A dip powder manicure can last up to 3 weeks since it is tougher than gel manicures due to the layers. People like this method for natural nails and extensions, such as Gel-X or acrylic tips. 

What Is Bio Gel Polish?

painting base coat for gel nail polish

Bio gel polish is an artificial nail technique utilized to create gel nail overlays and sometimes extensions. Since the gel comes in transparent and pigmented varieties, you can add color directly rather than gel polish.

Because it promotes nail health and offers minerals and vitamins, bio gel is beneficial to your nails. The vitamin drop during application can benefit your nail’s health. 

Bio gel polish isn’t self-leveling. Moreover, it will form thick layers on your nails. Hence, you need a lot of manipulation when brushing around the nails. 

Dip Powder vs Bio Gel Polish: Which One Is Better?

Bio gel will be a better choice if you want to get your nails done frequently. It’s also good at nourishing your nails, thanks to the vitamins and minerals contained. On the other hand, dip powder is sturdier which makes it harder to refill.

So each of the polishes has its own strengths and weaknesses that might or might not suit your needs. If you want to refill your nails regularly (every week or two), you should consider bio gel for more effective treatments.

In some cases, you can even consider putting gel polish over dip powder if you want to take advantage of these 2 types of nail polish.

Now, let’s compare head-to-head bio gel and dip powder to see how they differ.

Dip Powder vs Bio Gel Polish - Which one is best in 2023?

Differences Between Dip Powder and Bio Gel Polish 

There are numerous differences between the two manicure methods. To decide on the best treatment for your nails, please check them one by one carefully. 

Application

The main difference between dip powder and bio gel is how you apply them. 

You can apply bio gel polish the same way as other gel polishes. The idea is to add layers and wait for each layer to dry completely before the next one. 

UV and LED lamps can help speed up the drying process. When put under UV light, your gel layers need about 45 seconds to dry. Meanwhile, it takes them around two minutes to dry under an LED light. 

How about dipped nails? As you can guess from the name, you will need to dip your nails into the dip powder after the base coat was put on. You will need to repeat the process at least 2 times. 

There is an activator polish layer before the top coat. When dried, the polish turns into a hard finish. 

Time required

Although the application methods are different, they take equal amounts of time to complete. You need around 45 minutes to one hour to complete your manicure in both applications.

Of course, the exact time required varies depending on your nails’ length and shape. The nail technician also affects how long you stay in the salon.

Another important factor you should know is the time it’s required for curing. You can learn more about how long it takes for gel polish to dry in one of my articles. While a dip powder normally requires a bit longer (2-4 minutes) to become firm.

Longevity

Gel polish has a lifespan of three to four weeks. Meanwhile, gel polish can only last for two to three weeks on average. 

Cyanoacrylate serves as the glue or foundation, keeping the dip powder in place. Also, cyanoacrylate is the same substance used to create super glue, which explains why dip powder is hard to remove or peel.

Thanks to the cyanoacrylate, dip powder may withstand more extreme situations before starting to break down.

So we advise that you have a dip powder manicure if you often expose your nails to heat, detergents, chemicals, and alcohol.

Refillability

The application method of bio gel is easier, making it simpler to refill. It means that you can visit the salon to get your nails maintained frequently and easily. 

The length of time between bio gel refills is dependent on how quickly your nails develop. When getting a refill, file your nails and reapply bio gel to the spot where it is expanding.

After reshaping the nails and adding a shiny top coat, apply a new layer of colored gel or gel polish. Also, add cuticle oil for renewed hydration.

Dip powder manicures require refills too. Some salons may ask you to remove the old manicure altogether, while others allow you to keep them. 

The nail techs will refill with colored powder where your nails have regrown. You can select the exact hue your nails currently have. 

The techs also dip your nails into pigmented powder, wipe the excess powder, and apply sealant like they did when they first dipped your nails. 

Removal

Without the right technique, removing dip powder and bio gel can be hard. You may risk damaging your beautiful nails as a result. 

Bio gel is easier to remove. You just need to file down the layers of polish. Then, soften the nail polish using cotton balls soaked in acetone or gel remover. 

It’s harder to remove dip nails because they are thicker. You must file off the top layers and soak your nails in acetone directly. Next, wait for the chemical to break down the manicure. 

Price

The gap in cost between the two manicure techniques is minor. Basic services can be $30 to $50. And if you want extension services, expect to pay $60 to $80. 

Hygiene 

Nail hygiene is important, and gel polish appears to be a better option in this regard. Make sure, though, that the tools used for any manicure come from sealed packs.

With dip powder, there is a risk of contamination in the container you are immersing your nails into. Even though the dip powder is a sanitary chemical compound, you should still follow the recommendation below to ensure hygiene.

The nail technicians should use a separate pot for each customer. Also, always discard any extra powder as soon as possible to minimize the contamination risks.

Some technicians try to skip this step by employing the same pot, which might cause some transferable diseases and result in infection.

Safety

Bio gel and dip powder are both safe. When there are any safety problems with your nails, you can blame these causes:

  • Harsh chemicals you use to prime the nails
  • Improper preparation (often over-filing)
  • Damaged nail plates when removing the polish 
  • Incorrect use of metal cuticle tools when removing the dip or gel 
  • Direct polish peeling and ripping (while you should use acetone to soften it first) 

Some people assume that having gel nails may expose you to UV rays more often, increasing your chance of getting cancer. But there is no evidence for this. 

You should be aware that UV light won’t harm your nails because its thickness can block the light. However, UV radiation may still be able to reach your hand and fingers.

Using sunscreen and manicure gloves can help protect your skin. They cover your fingers and hands from UV radiation, revealing only the polish to the sun. 

Another risk you may encounter is the acetone that may cause your cuticles to dry. So keep in mind to frequently allow your nails to rest and moisturize your cuticles using high-quality cuticle oil.

Using dip powder is safe in general, but make sure you are not allergic to the ingredients. The cyanoacrylate content in the powder may cause allergic reactions. 

If you visit a salon for a dip powder manicure, ensure they don’t use the same containers or powder for all clients.

Instead, the salon should use a sprayer to apply the powder to your nails, removing any powder that did not adhere to your nails and never reusing it.

Aesthetics

Both can look amazing on your nails. Yet, some people prefer bio gel because:

  • You have more options in terms of types of polishes and colors. 
  • Bio gel polish cures after exposure to UV or LED light. It means that you have more time to think about nail art. 
  • Your nails have a glossy look thanks to the smooth texture of the gel. Meanwhile, dip powder nails need an extra coating to achieve that look. 

Adjusting how deeply you dip your nails into the powder allows you to have stylish color-blocking designs. Ombre nails are also possible. However, because dip powder lasts so long, you might like it for short nail art.

Have a gel manicure if you are a perfectionist and need a completely opaque coat of pigment on your nails. On the other hand, dip powder manicures may leave some textures of the powder, which look like grains. 

Comparison table

Now you know how bio gel and dip powder differ. This comparison table will help you summarize their characteristics. 

Criteria Dip PowderBio Gel 
ApplicationDipping the nails in the powder or brushing the powder on themApplying multiple gel layers  
Time required45 minutes to one hour  45 minutes to one hour  
Longevity 2 to 3 weeks 3 to weeks
RefillabilityHarderEasier 
RemovalHarderEasier 
Price$30 to $50$45 to $70
Hygiene More risks More sanitary 
SafetyYesYes 
Aesthetics Grain-like textureSmoother surface and more color options 

Pros And Cons Of Dip Powder And Bio Gel Polish

Dip powder and bio gel have their own set of pros and cons. Before deciding on the better one, please check them out, so you know what to expect. 

Dip powder

Pros:

  • Your manicure can last up to 3 weeks. 
  • The manicure is more durable. 
  • Your nails will be less fragile to external elements. 
  • The application is straightforward. 

Cons:

  • There are more risks to hygiene. 
  • The grain-like texture may not be appealing to you. 

Bio gel

Pros:

  • The manicure is easier to refill. 
  • Last up a month
  • You have a smooth surface. 
  • There are more options in terms of colors and nail art. 
  • This manicure method is more sanitary. 

Cons:

  • You have to apply the polish frequently because it can peel easily. 
  • The gel needs UV light to dry, which involves your skin exposing to the light. 

FAQs

1. Do dip nails crack easily?

The dip powder nails are durable, so they don’t break easily. However, if your nails crack, the causes can be:

  • Your nails are too thin to support the powder’s weight. 
  • You apply too many dip layers.
  • The dip powder is too close to your skin. They may overlap or press against each other. 
  • You don’t use the activator correctly. 
  • The dip liquids don’t work well. 
  • The dip layers haven’t dried completely when you coat them with other polish or sealant. 

If your dip nails crack, check this video and learn how to fix them:

2. Can I do gel and dip manicures at home? 

Yes. The manicure lasts for a few weeks, and the process is relatively simple to carry out. Moreover, an at-home nail kit will help you by gathering everything you need to achieve a flawless set, even if you have no prior experience. 

3. Is bio gel strong?

Yes. Bio gel forms as an overlay on thin, weak nails. Because of its elasticity and long-lasting features, it also creates gel extensions.

Moreover, your nails remain healthy, strong, and undamaged because the gel does not include harsh chemicals like other acrylics.

4. Who should get a dip nail?

Dip nails are the ideal treatment if you love the appearance and durability of gel nails but want to avoid the damage caused by acrylic.

5. Does bio gel use UV light?

Yes. The bio gel process employs a UV light to dry the nails quickly. It also adds some vitamins afterward for hydration.

Please note that allowing your nails to dry correctly is vital in manicures. Otherwise, the polish layers will overlap, ruining the whole manicure. Some may break as a result. 

Using UV light is common in gel polishes. Nail technicians also let your nails cure under LED lamps or natural light. 

Conclusion 

Dip powder and bio gel polish are both worth trying. While the dip powder gives you a durable manicure, bio gel offers more design options. 

No matter which method you choose, pay attention to safety and hygiene. Otherwise, your nails will get damaged, and even the highest-quality polish can’t recover them perfectly.