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To wipe or not to wipe?

To wipe or not to wipe? That is the question.

As a professional nail tech, we’re sure you’ve heard about the current uncertainty surrounding the industry – should I be wiping over Non-Wipe Top Coat after it’s cured?

According to some industry reports, there is a residue that remains after curing Non-Wipe Top Coats that, if not wiped away, can transfer to the skin, cause overexposure, and potentially develop into an allergy. A big no! So, nail professionals everywhere have been frantically wiping Non-Wipe Top Coats and telling their clients to wash their hands before applying Cuticle Oil.

Here at Pure Nails, we’re big fans of facts. So, we contacted Jim McConnell, President of McConnell Labs, Inc. Based in Oregon, USA, McConnell Labs is an independent chemist who specialises in beauty products, particularly gel polish. It is worth noting that whilst we work with Jim on some of our professional nail products, he is completely independent of our Halo Gel Polish range.

With a BA in Chemistry and extensive experience in single and plural component polymer systems involving curing mechanisms, we knew Jim was our guy!

We quickly received a response from Jim, who let us know he would perform several scientific tests on Non-Wipe Top Coats and provide us with the facts we need. Jim wrote:

“As promised, we tested 4 no-wipe topcoats using various chemical technologies. The samples were analyzed using GCMS analytical equipment from Agilent Technologies. The process of the testing was conducted in the best method we could devise. We thought through the test method, and it is our opinion that it is a fair and reasonable technique. The sample preparation is described below:

Sample Preparation:

  1. Mark off a 1.5 cm x 1.5 cm area on a tongue depressor. This will be the testing area.#]
  2. Using the brush of the Tack Free Soak Off Topcoat, apply the Topcoat to the testing area making sure all sides are fully covered (3 brush strokes in each direction). 
  3. Cure the tongue depressor in the LEDdot Gen3 for 60 seconds. While the tongue depressor is curing, place a sterile cotton tipped swab into a vial of IPA. 
  4. Wipe the Inhibition layer with the IPA-soaked sterile swab, making sure to rotate swab to ensure all sides are covered.
  5. Place the swab into an amber vial that is filled with 3.0g ETOAC and rotate 8-10 times. Let the swab sit in the ETOAC for 60 seconds. 
  6. Press the swab against the side of the vial and turn as you remove it from the vial (This removes sample from the swab). Throw the swab away. 
  7. Immediately place a cap on the amber vial.

This sample preparation yielded no peaks from any residual, uncured monomers, or oligomers.”  

In simple terms, Jim said:

“Is there an uncured residue on the surface of the tack-free top coats? YES. The uncured layer of gel resin is VERY thin.

Is that layer significant? Not in my opinion. The residue is very minor.

Is that tack-free topcoat the cause of allergies in the UK? NO.


So, there you have it, whilst there is a residue that remains after curing Non-Wipe Top Coat, it is very thin and very minor. However, should you feel the need to wipe after using Non-Wipe Top Coat, we’d recommend waiting for the nail to cool down before wiping with Prep & Scrub and a lint free pad.


Plus, we’re always here to help. You can contact our support team with any questions, queries or worries at any time. We’ll always contact qualified professionals for the right answer. You can contact us here. 

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Email for technicians: Nailtechsupport@purenails.co.uk