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Gel Nails

Could Gel Nails Be Harmful to Your Skin?

Since the gel nails trend appeared everyone loved it, a manicure that will last through vacation, busy work weeks, and days filled with hands-on projects. But this luxury comes at a price… Your beautiful gel nails can be the culprit behind many allergic reactions like eczema and rashes.

What Is Gel Manicure?

The application of gel nail polish resembles that of regular nail lacquer, but with an additional step to ensure long-lasting adhesion. This involves the use of a UV or LED light to cure the polish after each coat, typically for 30 to 60 seconds. Unlike traditional nail polish that requires time to air-dry, gel polish allows you to leave the salon as soon as the final topcoat is cured.

Are Gel Manicures Safe?

Gel polish contains methacrylate chemicals which can be allergic to the skin around the nails or even elsewhere on the body. However, these chemicals don’t affect the majority. Meaning if you are not allergic it won’t affect you. Some symptoms of being allergic include Itchy skin, redness, swelling, loosening of the nail bed, and breathing problems.

Not only that, the UV light used to cure gel nails is linked to side effects such as dark spots and wrinkles. The effects can be worse for those who may have a condition that makes them extra sensitive to UV radiation.  This is why most nail brands are switching to LED lamps simply because it requires a shorter time to cure the product.

Gel Nails

So Should You Cancel Your Next Gel Manicure Appointment?

The short answer is no. Gel nail manicures are generally safe and won’t damage your nails… What can be damaging your nails is a poor removal process such as peeling it off the nail. However, you need to be aware of certain things and follow some protection tips before your gel appointment, especially if you are allergic.

1 || Read the label: Not all gel polishes are made with the same components, some are made with better ingredients than others. The worst ingredients to keep an eye out for are dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, and toluene.

2 || Apply SPF beforehand: To protect your hands from any light that can damage your skin causing pigmentation, dark spots, or wrinkles.

3 || Wear UV-Absorbing Gloves: Another way to block out the UV rays from lamps is by wearing fingerless gloves. You need to get as much protection as possible.

4 || Taking an antihistamine: If your skin tends to react badly to beauty treatments, taking an antihistamine before your visit to the salon might be a good idea.

5 || Wash your hands afterward: Always wash your hands after getting your nails done to remove any uncured product or residue from your skin.

6 || If you’re doing it at home, do it right: If you have invested in a gel kit, you need to learn to use it correctly, or else you’ll be doing yourself more bad than good. So read the instructions carefully and use the recommended UV lamp, as not curing the product properly means a higher chance of allergy.