Can You Use Dip Powder As Acrylic?

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You’re shopping for new acrylic powders as you want to add more colors to your selection. You find this small canister that’s in the most perfect shade. 

However, there is one problem. This is not acrylic powder but a dip powder used for a whole different nail system. Can you use dip powder as acrylic powder?

It’s possible that the dip powder will work well. But the chemical reactions are designed around specific quantities of ingredients. Substituting might work. But it might not, too.

Although you can use dip powder as acrylic powder, the results will probably not be perfect. They are of different formulations.

Some find great success with them but others struggle. It depends on the brand of dipping powder you have and the liquid monomer you intend to use it for.

Know that there are also risks in doing this.

Before you do a chemistry experiment, let’s go over it all. In this article, we will tell you what to expect if you decide to use a dip powder as an acrylic powder. 


Differentiating Dip Powder And Acrylic Powder

Dip Powder

Most nail entheusiasts know that dip powder and acrylic powder are both acrylics. But is that enough for us to decide that they can be used interchangeably?

Before you decide to use dip powder as acrylic powder, it is best to first learn what they are and what they are meant to do.

Dip Nails

Dip powders are used in nail dipping systems . They are finely grounded acrylic powder in various amazing colors. SNS Nails are a popular brand of dip powder. We’ve talked a lot about them, for example here, here, and here.

Nail Dipping System

The size of the granules is one of the main differences between the two. For dip powders, the grains are finer. This helps make them stick better and more evenly to the nails during the application.

Dip powders are designed to be used with resin that acts as a cosmetic-grade glue. They don’t need a monomer, unlike acrylic powder. 

Acrylic Nails

As we’ve mentioned, acrylic powder  has a larger grain compared to dip powder. They are inactive and will (usually) require the liquid monomer to be activated. 

Acrylic Powder

The grain size is important here because it helps create a better texture of the bead so that it can be easily spread over the nail. This texture helps it become more stable so you can build or form the structure that you want. 

We’ve talked about how to do acrylic nails at home, as well as dealing with life wearing acrylics.


Can You Use Dip Powder As Acrylic? Why And Why Not?

With the difference in formulation, can you use dip powder as acrylic?

There are mixed views about mixing and matching. That is because some manufacturers say you can while others advise not to.

There is a good reason for debate. 

You see, even if there are multiple brands that produce traditional acrylic powder and dip powder, the formulation can still vary. 

Some could market their acrylic powder as suitable for dip powder or acrylic powder use because of the formulation. There are some brands that make their dip powder compatible with the monomer that they produce. 

In order for your acrylic nails to have a great and durable form, the ingredients have to be in the right proporation. That means your acrylic or dip powder should match the monomer used.

If you want to improve your chances of succeeding, it is best to always check what the manufacturers say. If you are persistent, you could test them to see if they mix well and harden too.

What Happens If You Use Dip Powder As Acrylic

Dip powder isn’t designed to be mixed with monomer to build an acrylic nail. It’s from a different system.

So it is likely that the result you get may vary when you use them together. Here are a few things that could happen:

You Successfully Create An Acrylic Nail

When all the stars have aligned and all the gods have given you their blessings, it is possible for you to achieve a perfect acrylic nail when you substitute dip powder for acrylic nail. 

That is more likely to happen if the manufacturers themselves market the dip powder as a 2-in-1 product that can be used as acrylic powder. If so, the manufacturer has probably placed the right amount of activator or ingredients so it can be used that way. 

If you happen to mix different brands and achieve success, consider yourself lucky. There is no guarantee that the ratio would be ideally proportioned. 

Even if you happen to have the acrylic nail cure just right, it still may not be as perfect if you are to use the acrylic powder. 

The consistency will be different so the layers and sculpted nails may not look as nice. Although there is a chance for it to work, it is still not an ideal choice. 

A Runny Consistency

One of the main differences between the dip powder and acrylic powder is the size of the grain. Being finely ground, it is likely for your acrylic bead to have a runny consistency. 

Dip powder with monomer may resemble butter. That’s very easy to spread but it may not be able to immediately hold its shape. 

You can choose to add layers to get it to the shape and thickness that you want then use a file to shape it more.

However, that would be more work as compared to simply using the traditional acrylic powder. 

It Doesn’t Harden

An acrylic nail creates and holds its form due to the reaction of the acrylic powder and monomer. 

However, when the chemicals needed to create that reaction aren’t proportioned correctly, it is possible for the nail to not harden. 

It could end up with a mushy mixture that never really cures completely. Some may cure but it may not be as durable as it is supposed to be.

Unpleasant Exothermic Reaction

When the chemicals react to each other, it is possible to produce heat. That is called an exothermic reaction, or a heat spike

Some people feel this warmth on their nails. However, there are some who feel extreme burning pain because of it. 

If the chemicals that need to react are too much, it could lead to physical burns on the nail bed. That’s very painful and unpleasant. 

There May Be A Change In Color Or Shade

When we say a change in color, we don’t mean that your red dip powder will suddenly result in a green acrylic nail. 

The color changes may be subtle. It could be a shade lighter or darker. Additionally, it could develop a different tone so don’t be surprised if it looks grayish or yellowish than when used with the dipping system.

The color may look less vibrant because the dip powders are used for different purposes.

Other Related Questions:

Can I Use Dip Powder For Acrylic Refill?

When your nails have naturally grown, you may wonder whether you could use dip powder to refill the nail that shows growth. After all, it is just a small area that needs to be refilled. 

Just like using dip powder as acrylic for your entire nail, there are risks involved when you use it as a refill. 

It is possible that your nails will just be fine. But it is also possible that the refill wouldn’t be as durable as the rest of your acrylic nail. 

Can I Acrylic Powder As Dip Powder?

Now that we’re done talking about swapping dip powder for acrylic powder, let’s do the inverse. Is it also possible to use acrylic powder as dip powder?

Unfortunately, you can’t. If you combine the acrylic powder with the resin, it will just result in chunky nails. 

It is really not designed to be mixed with resin because it will harden in chunks that are too thick and not smooth at all. 

This could be due to the size of the granules. Dipping powder is very fine. That helps create that smoother and thinner layer. 

It is easier to add more layers and make sure that they are smooth when your layers are thin. This can only be achieved if you use very fine granules like that of the dip powder. 

Final Words

With the information above, we can say that you can probably use dip powder as a substitute for acrylic powder. But that doesn’t mean you should. Dip powders are simply not ideal as acrylic powders.

These materials contain chemicals that need to be in the right ratio for them to react properly without risking the health of your nails. 

The dip powder and acrylic powder are meant to be used differently unless stated otherwise by some brands. 

The formulations among brands varies, so success in using one brand for this purpose may not mean that you can successfully do it for other dip powder brands as well. Don’t risk your nail health by the products for something that they are not designed to be used for. 

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).