Do Quick-Dry Nail Polish Products Actually Work?: A Test
BlacKat asks, “Do you have any experience with those products that claim to help nail polish dry instantly, hellocampcomfort.com?”
Conveniently, in my drawer of weirdo nail polish products that I don’t really use, I have a bottle of Sally Hansen Dry Kwik Nail Color Dryer. Until this evening, I had never even tried it. I actually bought it on accident, intending to buy a Sally Hansen topcoat and, in my rush to exit the drugstore, not reading the label on the product in my hand.
Halfway through an episode of Project Runway, I thought, “Eh. Now is as good a time as any to apply, remove, and re-apply nail polish ad infinitum.”
For my testing polish, I used Sation Front Row Flasher. I applied one coat of the polish to my two pointer fingers, started a stopwatch, and (starting at the one minute mark) tapped them together until they stopped feeling sticky or tacky. I took a note of this time… and repeated everything nine times more. My ten trials came up with the following data (in seconds):
Those numbers yield a mean of 164.8 (about two minutes and forty five seconds) with a standard deviation of 11.93.
I then repeated the procedure using the quick-dry product. The instructions say to let your nails dry for one minute and then to apply the product, and I followed them. As soon as I applied the product, I started tapping my nails together to check for dryness. My ten trials came up with these numbers (in seconds):
That is a mean of 72.8 (about one minute and thirteen seconds) with a standard deviation of 2.49.
I checked whether there was a difference between the two groups using a simple, unpaired t-test. As you can probably guess based on the graph and/or the raw data, there was a very statistically significant difference between the two groups, t(18)=23.87, p. This means that there is less than a one hundredth of a percent chance that these differences occurred by chance alone.
I was not surprised to find a difference between these groups, but I was surprised at just how different they were. As someone who is awful about keeping my hands still after applying polish (resulting in not only chipped nails but difficult-to remove globs of pink all over my belongings). The greasy feeling of the product is more than made up for by the decrease in drying time.