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Is it true that LED gel cures from the bottom up?

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An educator in Brazil says that LED gel is curing from the bottom up and is therefore more resistant to breakdown, while the UV gel is curing top down and are less resistant. I never heard that. This is true?

This is not correct, and it makes no scientific sense.

All UV gels cure in the same fashion, regardless of the UV source.  LEDs and fluorescent tubes are two different types of UV sources. UV gels contain various curing agents that depend on the intensity of the wavelengths and the length of exposure. LED-style nail lamps emit UV with greater intensity than traditional fluorescent-style UV nail lamps. Even so, no type of UV gel cures from the bottom up.

Assessing the Curing Properties of LED Gel versus UV Gel

The question you posed pertains to the curing properties of LED gel versus UV gel, particularly in terms of their resistance to breakdown. The educator’s claim suggests that LED gel cures from the bottom up, rendering it more durable, while UV gel allegedly cures in the opposite manner, making it less resilient. This assertion prompts an inquiry into the validity of such statements within the realm of nail care and curing processes.

In response, it becomes imperative to delve into the scientific underpinnings of gel curing. Regardless of the source of UV light used—whether LED or fluorescent tubes—the fundamental mechanisms governing the curing process remain consistent. UV gels are formulated with specific curing agents that react to UV light exposure, initiating the crosslinking of polymers within the gel to create a hardened layer. The effectiveness of this curing process is contingent upon factors such as wavelength intensity and duration of exposure to UV light.

LED nail lamps have gained popularity in recent years due to their efficiency in emitting UV light at higher intensities compared to traditional fluorescent UV lamps. This heightened intensity expedites the curing process, reducing the overall time required for gel application. However, it is crucial to underscore that the curing process itself remains uniform across different UV sources.

Challenging the Notion of Bottom-Up Curing in LED Gel

Contrary to the educator’s assertion, there is no scientific basis to support the claim that LED gel cures from the bottom up, conferring greater resistance to breakdown. The notion of bottom-up curing implies a directional curing process that begins at the base of the gel and progresses upwards. However, the crosslinking reaction initiated by UV light occurs uniformly throughout the gel layer, rather than proceeding directionally from top to bottom or vice versa. Therefore, the concept of bottom-up curing lacks substantiation within the scientific framework governing gel curing processes.

Moreover, attributing differences in gel durability solely to the directionality of curing overlooks the myriad factors that influence the overall performance of gel manicures. The quality of the gel formulation, the skill of the technician applying the gel, and proper nail preparation all play pivotal roles in determining the longevity and resilience of the manicure. Additionally, factors such as exposure to harsh chemicals, frequent hand washing, and mechanical stress can contribute to the breakdown of gel polish over time, irrespective of the curing method employed.

Validity of Claims Regarding LED Gel Curing and Durability

While LED nail lamps may offer advantages in terms of efficiency and speed of curing, the assertion that LED gel cures from the bottom up and is inherently more resistant to breakdown compared to UV gel lacks scientific validity. Gel curing occurs through a uniform crosslinking process initiated by UV light exposure, with no inherent directional bias. Therefore, it is essential to critically evaluate such claims within the context of scientific evidence and practical considerations within the nail care industry.


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