What Is Slip Solution For Polygel?

close-up of a woman's hand on pink towel in a nail salon getting polygel slip solution applied to her nails

What is slip solution for Polygel nails? Slip solution works as a thinner for your Polygel, making it easier to work with. Although these handy solutions are usually made of chemicals, this isn’t always the case: other things can work in place of the standard slip solution. 

This article will review Polygel slip solutions, as well as stand-ins that could get the same desired effect and ones that should be otherwise avoided. 

What Are Slip Solution Ingredients?

Isopropyl Alcohol and Isobutyl Acetate are the primary active ingredients in Gelish Polygel Slip Solution. The two ingredients are pretty much common throughout the board when it comes to other slip solution brands. When paired together, they make an effective solvent that is able to effectively shape the Polygel with no sweat at all!  

What Is Slip Solution Used For?

Basically, a slip solution is used to shape and mold the Polygel into your desired look. Slip solution is a vital part of the Polygel process—without it, working with the gel will be absolutely impossible. The lack of slip will make the Polygel challenging to shape and stick, thus giving uneven, undesirable results after curing.  

Can You Use Acetone As Slip Solution?

No, you probably shouldn’t be using acetone as a slip solution. If you check out the rest of the ingredients in Gelish’s slip solution, acetone is listed after Isopropyl Alcohol and Isobutyl Acetate. However, being just one part of the slip solution isn’t enough to be justified for solo use. 

Acetone can ruin your Polygel manicure, instead of momentarily thinning it out as one using it would hope. Frequently used in nail polish remover, acetone is known to break down and dissolve various substances. Polygel is no different. 

On another hand, there is evidence of some people using non-acetone nail polish remover exclusively as a slip solution for their Polygel manicures. Note that this can vary depending on the Polygel brand you use, so it is safe to say finding an effective slip solution can be an act of trial and error.

Honestly, there are other useful alternatives available, so avoid the acetone for now—as tempting as it may seem—and opt for an option that excludes acetone. 

Can You Use Acrylic Liquid For Polygel?

Acrylic liquid like monomer can work as a slip solution for Polygel. For all of you DIYers out there, it should be noted that monomer will make any “homemade” Polygel stickier and a bit more of a hassle. Saying that, it can definitely be done. 

If you use the usual premade Polygel, you will have no issue in using acrylic liquid as a slip solution. Before taking this route, make sure the monomer you are using is odorless, or else you could get a really cute manicure with a really unpleasant scent. 

Can You Use Vodka For Polygel Nails?

Yes, vodka can be used for Polygel nails! Vodka has been used before, and some people even claim that any drink with high alcohol content can be used as a slip solution.

Contrarily, some nail technicians point out that vodka only has an average of 40% alcohol and to work easily with Polygel you need to have alcohol that is around 90%. 

The entire purpose of slip solutions is to thin out the Polygel and have it quickly evaporate to avoid moisture from lingering and ruining the final result. Water and other forms of trapped moisture can and will prevent the Polygel from hardening to its desired point.

For water-interrupted nails, you can expect a “melting” effect when they are exposed to higher temperatures and hot water. To sum it up, the lower alcohol content will mean the evaporation time will be slower.

However, vodka is worth a try if it is all you have on hand. A great example of this is a Polish-made vodka called Spirytus Vodka that has an alcohol content of 95%, so that dry drink will definitely work by nail tech standards. 

Can You Use Alcohol As Slip Solution For Polygel?

Yes, alcohol can be used as a slip solution for Polygel nails. Rubbing alcohol from your medicine cabinet can work, as can some other forms of alcohol (indeed, like vodka). Generally, you want a rubbing alcohol with a higher concentration, preferably above 90%.

Some individuals in various forums have used 70% rubbing alcohol without issue, and they’ve gotten splendid nails out of it as well. Sometimes you need to make do with what you have.

When it comes down to finding a good replacement for store-bought slip solution, stick to finding products with a significant alcohol presence. The last thing you would want after completing a Polygel set is melting nail products from poor curing as a result of present water.

Final Thoughts: What Is Slip Solution For Polygel?

After taking our article into consideration, the main point to keep in mind is that slip solution—at its best—requires the presence of alcohol. It is for this reason that water is inefficient and detrimental, worsening the state of your Polygel nails more than any other available alternative.

With Polygel, you want to eliminate the presence of moisture. Adding more will not aid you here. By comparison, acetone can seem appealing, although it is really no better in getting the job done. It can create a brittle, easy to break cure.

If you are interested in using a nail polish remover, use one that is advertised as being “non-acetone.” On that note, alcoholic beverages that have a comparably high alcohol content have been proven to work as a slip solution.

Vodka is effective by some personal DIY attempts, though you may find you require something a bit stronger to really get a clean, easy to use slip. Likewise, most rubbing alcohol can work alone as a slip solution.

There is a range of alcohol percentage you would like to stay in, on that note, being between 70% and 90%. For a successful, long-lasting Polygel manicure, stick with any ‘ol store bought slip solution (some Polygel kits come with them) or with an alcohol product, like rubbing alcohol.

Additionally, acrylic monomer liquid is effective on all but homemade Polygel solutions—oh, and watch out for any monomer that has a harsh scent. 

Whereas there are tons of ways to go about finding a good slip solution alternative, there are also tons of things to avoid. Be wary of these before jumping head first into any at-home Polygel project.

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By Cierra Tolentino

Cierra Tolentino is a beauty writer at Kintegra Research. She loves keeping people up-to-date with the latest beauty trends in skincare, hair care, and makeup. Finding answers to tough questions is her thing. When she has free time you can find her chasing down a clumsy toddler and obsessively drinking tea.