Chemical Burning Nails After Dip Powder

nails burning after dip powder

Hey there! Have you been feeling a burning sensation on your nails or does your nail get a little warm when you touch it after you’ve applied activator? Don’t worry, in this article, we’ll help you find out more about this topic! Keep reading to learn about how the chemicals in your dip liquids work in order to provide the best you with the best results for your nails!


To start off, let’s talk about endothermic and exothermic reactions! You may wonder…what is endothermic and exothermic and how does this affect me and my nails? Well, an endothermic reaction happens when there is an increase in the enthalpy energy H which causes an absorption of energy from the surroundings. A good example of this is instant ice packs. When you break the inner layers of the system and combine the chemicals, an endothermic reaction occurs which results in an instant ice pack.


On the other hand, an exothermic reaction is the complete opposite! With an exothermic reaction, heat will be released to the surrounding environment. For example, a candle’s flame would be considered an exothermic reaction due to the heat released from the entire process. To put it into perspective, endothermic reactions have heat/thermal energy on the reactants side of the chemical reaction while exothermic reactions have heat/thermal energy on the products side. Please refer to the images below to help you form a better understanding of the topic discussed in this paragraph.


Exothermic Reaction Nails

why does dip powder burnexothermic reaction nailspowder burning liquid

How does having a better comprehension of how endothermic and exothermic reactions work going to help me with my nails? We’ll tell you! To start off, the heat or burning sensation you’re feeling on top of your nails is the result of an exothermic reaction. Acrylic or dip powder, both processes, consists of chemicals reacting with each other. This explains how we can turn just some regular old powder and liquids into a nice and smooth product that you can apply to your nails and show off to your friends and family. The same way monomer liquifies acrylic powder and then leaves it hard when it’s dried is similar to how activator/solidify liquids work to harden your acrylic powder and base coat layers.

Of course, when this happens, a chemical reaction has to happen to make it all work! Acrylic application isn’t black magic or witchcraft it’s just a work of science! You’ll notice that your nails will feel a little warm after you’ve freshly laid acrylic on your nails. The same happens with activator/solidify when it comes in contact with your powder; however, this process is not dangerous or life threatening as long as you’ve taken the proper precautions to keep yourself safe throughout the entire process. Please make sure that there are no open wounds and that you only use light amounts of liquids when doing your manicures.

Do not apply an overly excess amount of base coat when dipping your nails. Not only does this lead to clumpy nails and an uneven application, it also leaves more chemicals on your nails for the activator to react with. In the same sense, do not apply too much activator on your nails as well for the same reasons. When the cyanoacrylate ingredient that is found in our base and top coat come in contact with the activator, the reaction happens. Some activators will have a stronger formulation compared to others which means a stronger reaction will occur when both liquids come into contact with each other.

Don’t worry, similar to an instant heat pack, the reaction will begin to calm down over time and the heat will be dispersed. There should not be too strong of a reaction that could cause a fire if you use appropriate amounts of each liquid and keep your nails, as well as liquids, away from other flammable components in your house. If it is your first time doing dip or it is your first time trying a particular brand and you notice a burning sensation, try to lessen the amount of activator you apply to your nails. 

Please keep in mind that this is an unavoidable issue and is not particular to any brand. Although we and other brands alike try our best to formulate our products in order to best accommodate this issue, there’s always going to be a few defective products that slip by.

Our packaging team tries their best to detect them before they are shipped out, but it is nearly impossible to get them all. Also keep in mind that a little heat should not significantly affect your health, it is just a minor exothermic reaction that will end soon. Feel free to reach out to our customer service team at We will be more than happy to help you find a solution! Thank you so much for your support. 


Elliott, M. (2006, November 29). How Refrigerators Work. Retrieved October 21, 2020, from 

Endothermic vs. exothermic reactions (article). (n.d.). Retrieved October 21, 2020, from 

Endothermic process. (2020, August 27). Retrieved October 21, 2020, from 

What are the conditions for an exothermic vs. an endothermic reaction?: Socratic. (2018, January 16). Retrieved October 21, 2020, from


Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing