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Everything You Need to Know About Dip Powder

Miracle Powder. Magic Unicorn Fairy Dust. Genie in a Bottle. These have all been used to describe Dip Powder. What exactly is Dip Powder? Find out everything you need to know about the nail industry’s hottest trend. We’re here to help clarify and qualify what Dip Powder is all about, and how it's different from Traditional Acrylic.


Traditional Acrylic Powder vs Dipping Powder: What's the Difference?

So, what's the difference between Acrylic Powder and Dip Powder? The answer is simple and straightforward. Can we get a drum roll please? The product on the market currently referred to as Dip Powder is Acrylic Powder in a fine grain formulation used with Resin, a cosmetic grade glue.

Traditional Acrylic Powder used to sculpt and build body like our YN Cover Pink or YN Speed White are acrylic powders made from a larger grain formulation. Traditional Acrylic cannot be used with Resin or our YN SlickPour Gel because it will result in something chunky and unmanageable. It won’t perform the way as intended.


Can Dip Powder Be Used As Acrylic?

Dip Powder can be applied in two ways. It could be used with monomer/liquid to sculpt a traditional set or as a dipping powder to provide a gel polish-like service. Even though it can be used to sculpt, we don’t recommend using Dip Powder for that type of service.

For Traditional Acrylic to perform ideally, it needs time to set up and the right consistency to allow you to build up a stable body faster. Dip Powder is like butter. It goes on beautifully smooth and is best when used for art or as an alternative to gel polish. Here at YN, our Dip Powders go by the name SlickPour. There’s a right tool for every job. Every product has its place. As a nail professional you get to decide what’s optimal for you and your clients’ service.

RELATED: Dip Powder vs Gel Polish


Sculpting nails relies on a certain kind of chemistry the same way baking does. It’s about the bond created. To further explain, let’s use the example of sugar.

A cake recipe usually relies on at least two types of sugar: granulated sugar and confectioner’s sugar. Yes, they will both deliver the sweet but they have very different roles to play in the process. If you’ve enjoyed any of the bake-off competitions on Netflix like Nailed It!, Sugar Rush, or The Great British Bake Off, you know exactly what we’re talking about.

Granulated sugar is coarse. Folded into the batter it helps set up an incredible texture of a perfectly spongey cake. The confectioner’s sugar (aka powdered sugar) is a finer grain. It’s ideal for the decorative aspect of baking, making smooth icing details or lighter than air buttercream frosting.

In a pinch, yet far from ideal, you might use confectioner’s sugar for cake batter. Using granulated sugar for buttercream frosting is technically possible, too. Yet it’s more likely to result in something less desirable, perhaps even an epic chunky fail.

Traditional sculpting acrylic is the granulated sugar, perfect for the body of the cake. Dip Powder is the confectioner’s sugar perfect for the art. 

Bringing it back to the world of nails, traditional sculpting acrylic is the granulated sugar, perfect for the body of the cake. Dip Powder is the confectioner’s sugar perfect for the art. Need we say more?

To build body and structure in 30 minute fills or hour full sets is the holy grail for professional nail techs. In this context, Dip Powder is not the ideal choice. Yes it’s versatile, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all-services powder. The color pigment and fine grain powder will not set up in the way you need it too. It’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into.

Is Dip Powder Healthier for Your Nails?

To be clear, we consider acrylics and gel polish nail enhancement services. There are those out there marketing that Dip Powder is a healthier nail service. In our humble opinion, all nail services are healthy IF you have the right nail professional applying and removing the product.

Often we hear the term “organic” tossed around to market Dip Powder. All we can say is that this is a dangerous label to not understand completely. It’s a subjective word often dropped onto the unsuspecting consumer. At the supermarket, it means something different for produce and packaged goods.

In the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) dictates the criteria of when and where it can be applied. It has to fall within a certain parameters. What the FDA has to say about it is always an interesting read. The scientific definition, “organic” is defined a natural matter or compounds with a carbon base. If you plan on using the term “organic” with your clients, be prepared to have an honest conversation. Speak from your own knowledge and diligent research.

If something is being marketing and it sounds too good to be true, be aware and do your homework. We love both Acrylic and Dip Powder. As a manufacturer of quality nail products, we strive for open and honest relationship with our customers. We believe nail techs partnering with quality products produce healthy nails. Educate yourself and educate your fellow nail pros. Address it head on. Share this on your social media platforms to start a valuably informative discussion.

**This is an adaption from our YN Biz Talk playlist on YouTube, “THE TRUTH ABOUT DIP POWDERS”.