Solar Nails vs. SNS – Which Nail Treatment is Best?

There are so many manicure options to experiment with and so little time to do all of them. New products are coming out every other day and I’m like, give me time to enjoy the existing ones!

There are more popular nails like acrylics, gel, and press-on, and for those without an adventurous palate, they are more comfortable to go for when getting the nails done.

But I like to explore and I’ve found two particular new nail types (SNS and solar nails) that I favor out of all the newer options out there.

As you well know, I can’t have good information like this and not share it, so in this article, I’m going to be throwing some light on both of them with a little comparison.

What is a Solar Nail?

Solar Nails
Solar Nails by

Solar nail is a type of acrylic, but it is more hard-wearing and natural looking than acrylics. It is applied directly over the natural nail.

It is made out of a flexible material that can be shaped as preferred. Solar nails naturally look like french nails, so you’ll have to paint them to get the final look you want.

What is an SNS Nail?

SNS manicure (short for signature nails systems) is a dip powder nail. 

A dip powder manicure is a technique in which the nails are dipped into a pigmented powder for the color rather than the usual painting with nail polish.

SNS dipping nails are applied the same way.

Solar Nails Vs SNS 

Here are the key differences to know between solar nails and SNS nails.

1. Application Process

To apply an SNS manicure, first, your nails are prepared. This includes washing, trimming, filing, buffing, and pushing back the cuticles.

If you want some extra length, tips are glued to your nails. Then, the base coat is applied before it is dipped into the pigmented powder.

The coating and dipping are repeated until the color strength you want are acquired. Then the activator is applied to lock the color in firmly.

There is no curing or setting under a UV or LED light, which is great because UV light is known to be carcinogenic.

The two-step application process for solar nails goes a bit differently. Prep always has to come first before all else.

Once the shape and length have been figured out, a layer of base coat is applied. Then a brush is dipped into the liquid, before dipping it in the pink powder.

The first pink ball is formed and applied to the nail. The step is repeated, but the brush is dipped in the white powder this time.

Lastly, a top coat is applied, and you have your new manicure.

2. Duration

The polymers in SNS dip powder are stronger than those in gel polish so SNS manicures will last for long if properly taken care of — around three to five weeks. 

Solar nails can last for up to six weeks without breaking or chipping depending on the care and maintenance.

3. Removal Process

The removal processes for both are similar. They both involve soaking in acetone for a few minutes before gently pulling the layer off.

For SNS nails, the top layer is first filed off to break the activator locking the nails in so the acetone can penetrate properly.

For both manicures, you’ll need to completely submerge your nails in acetone for 10 to 20 minutes, then gently use a cuticle pusher to push the nail off when it has popped off the nail.

However, it might be tougher to remove SNS nails because of the thick, multiple layers. 

4. Potential Damage

Both nails have the potential to harm the nail beds, especially during removal but this is mostly due to the impatience of the person.

Some people are too impatient to allow the nail to pull off on its own so they start to forcefully pry it off and this can remove layers of your natural nail.

Also, the acetone soak can damage the cuticles so it is advisable to rub some petroleum jelly on your hands and cuticles before removal.

5. Time Taken

Both nails, when done professionally, take about the same amount of time though it is slightly faster to finish up with an SNS manicure.

An SNS manicure will take roughly 45 minutes while a solar manicure can take 45 minutes to an hour. If you’re putting on extra designs on your nail, be prepared to spend some more time at the salon.

Pros and Cons of SNS

SNS manicure is odor free, durable, comfortable to carry around, doesn’t involve curing with UV light, and the powder contains vitamins and minerals that will make your nails healthier.

The main disadvantage of SNS nails is that they might be too unsanitary. The dipping powder is used for more than one client at the salon, and an infection can be passed in the process.

Another downside is the cost and the damage that might be done to your natural nail during removal.

Pros and Cons of Solar Nails 

Solar nails last long which is pocket friendly because you won’t have to pull out money to get a fresh manicure whenever unless you like to get a new look often.

They are easy enough to remove, melting right off your nail after being soaked. There’s no exposure to harmful UV light and no discoloration on your natural nails.

However, the thickness makes it heavy on the hands, and the chemicals required in the usage of this nail are harmful.

FAQs on Solar Nails Vs SNS 

What is the difference between solar nails and dipped nails?

One key difference is that you need an activator for all kinds of dipped nails including SNS nails.

Which is better: SNS nails or solar nails?

SNS dipping powder contains numerous vitamins and minerals that help in the growth and strengthening of the nail, making it the better option.