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Dangerous Beauty? What You Need To Know About Gel Manicures

Dangerous Beauty? What You Need To Know About Gel Manicures



retty nails are not just feel-good items added to your list of feminine activities. They also project an image of class, and it shows respect and love for oneself. Since gel nails hit the mainstream, it has become the first choice for any manicure worth a try. Gel manicures are the first choice for obvious reasons as it saves time and dries up fast. This has no doubt drastically reduced nail smudging. This is the reason why every girl would easily sign up for a gel mani.

What are gel manicures?

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This is a type of nail enhancement that uses a UV or LED light to cure or harden a colored gel polish applied to the nails. The result is a long-lasting, glossy finish that can last up to several weeks without chipping or peeling. It is a popular alternative to traditional nail polish because it requires less maintenance and has a more durable finish.

Side effects and risks

Gel manicures involve curing a gel polish under UV light. Recently, there was a study that linked UV nail polish dryers used in gel manis to DNA damage and cancer. Other than that, there are several risks and side effects associated with this type of manicure:

  • UV exposure: The UV light used to cure the gel polish can increase the risk of skin cancer and premature aging of the skin.
  • Allergic reactions: Some people may be allergic to the ingredients in gel polish, which can cause redness, itching, and swelling of the skin.
  • Nail damage: The process of removing gel polish can damage the nails, making them weak, thin, and brittle.
  • Nail fungus: If the nail bed is not properly cleaned before applying the gel polish, there is a risk of developing nail fungus.
  • Nail deformation: If the gel polish is applied to the nails for a long time without removing them, it can cause deformation of the nails. In addition, when not applied correctly, the gel polish can cause the nails to become brittle, discolored, or even misshapen.

Safety measures to be taken

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Of course, there are steps you can take to improve the safety of using gel manicures. Some of which are:

  • Proper ventilation: Salons should have proper ventilation to ensure that fumes from the UV lamps used to cure the gel polish do not build up and cause respiratory issues for clients and staff.
  • Eye protection: Clients and staff should wear protective eyewear to shield their eyes from the UV light used to cure the gel polish.
  • Proper hand positioning: During the curing process, clients’ hands should be correctly positioned to prevent skin from coming into contact with the UV light for too long. Also wear sunscreen to reduce the impact of these rays.
  • UV light safety: UV lamps should be kept clean and in good working condition to minimize the risk of skin damage.
  • Proper nail preparation: Before applying the gel polish, the natural nails should be properly cleaned and prepped to minimize the risk of damage.
  • Proper removal of gel polish: The gel polish should be removed properly, using acetone or other safe removers to avoid damaging the natural nails.
  • Proper sanitation: All tools and equipment should be properly sanitized between clients to prevent infection.
  • Proper training: Staff should be properly trained in the use of UV lamps and the application and removal of gel polish to minimize the risk of injury or damage.

Are there any alternatives?

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There are many options for long-lasting nails, aside from gel manicures. Discover some of them below:

  • Dip powder: A type of nail enhancement that uses a combination of a base coat, color powder, and top coat to create a long-lasting, durable manicure. It can last up to four weeks.
  • Acrylic nails: A type of artificial nail enhancement created by mixing a liquid and powder, then sculpting them onto the natural nails. It can last up to 6 weeks.
  • Press-on nails: Pre-made artificial nails that can be glued or taped onto the natural nails. They can last up to 2 weeks.
  • Nail wraps: They are thin, flexible sheets of material applied to the nails and then sealed with a topcoat. They can last up to 2 weeks.
  • SNS (Signature Nail Systems) Manicure: A type of dipping powder that uses a brush-on gel base coat instead of the traditional liquid and powder combination. It can last up to 3-4 weeks.

The decision to get gel manicures remains personal. However, if you decide to go for one, it is crucial to ensure that all safety precautions are strictly adhered to.

Featured image: @pressedbycharlotte_/Instagram 

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