Last Updated on October 28, 2023 by Ray Amaari
Gel nail polish is trendy, but is it bad for your nails? Let’s take a look!
Gel manicures are known for their long-lasting nature and being chip-free, yet concerns about their effect on nails have come up. Applying the polish involves exposing nails to UV light, which can weaken and harm them.
Removing gel polish can be hard and drying on the nails. Acetone strips away moisture, leading to splitting, peeling, and weakening.
There are ways to lessen these effects. It’s important to take breaks between gel manicures, so nails can recover. Cuticle oil can keep nails hydrated and stop them from drying out.
Also, applying a base coat before getting a gel manicure acts as a guard between your nails and the harmful chemicals. This gives extra protection and lessens damage from poor removal techniques.
What is gel nail polish?
Gel nail polish has been a game-changer! It’s an innovative formula that offers long-lasting color and shine. Unlike traditional nail polishes, it requires special curing with a UV or LED lamp to dry and harden. This gives it a chip-resistant finish that lasts for weeks.
Plus, gel nail polish allows you to get creative. It comes in a wide range of colors and finishes – glossy, metallic, matte, glittery, and more! With gel polish, you can express your personal style with different shades and designs. Applying it is also easy, giving you flawless nails every time.
Gel nail polish also makes your nails stronger and healthier. Its special formula protects them from breakage and chipping. Plus, it won’t smudge or fade, so you don’t need to worry about touch-ups.
But, it’s important to remember that it should be applied by a professional or someone experienced in order to get the best results. Professional application ensures proper curing of the polish and prevents any damage to your nails.
How does gel nail polish work?
Gel nail polish works through a revolutionary process called polymerization. Being exposed to UV or LED light causes it to harden and stick to the natural nail. This formula is durable and lasts long, offering chip-free color and glossy shine.
Unlike regular nail polish, the gel needs a UV or LED lamp to cure and set. The light activates photoinitiators in the formula, which start a chain reaction. This causes molecules in the gel to cross-link and form a strong bond with the natural nail, creating a hard and resilient surface.
Gel polish has an advantage over regular polish: its color intensity remains unchanged over time. The pigments are specifically designed to resist dulling and fading, providing vibrant and lustrous nails throughout wear. Plus, it’s less prone to chipping, cracking, or peeling.
Removing gel polish requires soaking the nails in acetone (though there are other safer methods like removing gel nails with sugar). This breaks down the polymer chains, allowing for easy removal without harming the natural nails. It’s important to follow the proper removal techniques for healthy and strong nails.
Gel nail polish provides great benefits. You won’t have to worry about touch-ups or color fading. Enjoy flawless nails that look salon-worthy for weeks! Take advantage of this modern trend that combines style and durability.
Benefits of gel nail polish
Gel nail polish has some great advantages. Firstly, it gives long-lasting color and shine lasting up to two weeks. Secondly, it dries fast when using a UV or LED lamp. Thirdly, it’s resistant to chipping and peeling. Lastly, it has a glossy look.
A pro tip: use a base coat before applying the color. This will protect your natural nails and make your manicure last longer.
Potential Risks of Gel Nail Polish
To understand the potential risks of gel nail polish, let’s explore the possible harm it may cause to your natural nails, how it can trigger allergic reactions, and the risks associated with UV exposure.
1. Damage to the natural nail
Gel nail polishes can have potential risks. The chemicals in them and UV light could damage your nails. Despite the appeal of long-lasting manicures, we need to understand their effects.
The application process includes buffing and filing the nail surface. This could remove thin layers, weakening it. UV lights to dry the polish expose nails to harmful rays, leading to dryness, brittleness, and breakage.
Removal can also hurt the nail. Using acetone-free removers is better than scraping or peeling the layers. This damages the top layer and disrupts the nail plate.
Gel polishes can cause weaker nails. Salons have reported brittle nails from improper application or prolonged exposure. Caution is necessary when using this trend.
Did you know gel nail polish can sometimes cause reactions? It’s important to be aware of the risks!
Most people don’t experience reactions, but it’s wise to watch out. If you have sensitive skin or a history of allergies, do a patch test first.
Your well-being is most important – don’t let the fear of missing out on trends outweigh it. Stay informed and prioritize safety when it comes to beauty routines.
3. UV exposure
Too much exposure to UV radiation from gel manicures can cause skin issues. To keep safe, use sunscreen with a high SPF on your hands before getting a gel manicure.
UV exposure can also speed up the aging process. This means frequent gel manicures may bring on wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots faster. To keep youthful hands, limit UV light exposure or try alternative nail treatments.
It’s not enough to just protect yourself. Learn about the risks of gel nail polish and take precautions. Moisturize your hands and nails, keep good nail hygiene, and give your nails breaks between each gel manicure.
Don’t let trendy nails risk your well-being. Be aware of the dangers of UV exposure from gel nail polish and prioritize your well-being. Sure, your nails may look great now, but it’s important to think long-term when it comes to healthy skin.
How to Minimize the Risks
Choose a Reputable Salon or DIY Kit: If you’re getting your gel nails done at a salon, make sure they follow proper hygiene and safety protocols. If you’re doing it yourself, choose a reputable gel nail kit from a trusted brand.
Base Coat: Always use a good quality gel base coat. This helps protect your natural nails and prevents staining.
Thin Layers: Apply thin layers of gel polish. Thick layers can lead to uneven curing and a higher risk of chipping.
Curing Times: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for curing times. UV and LED lamps have specific curing times, usually 30-60 seconds per coat.
Check Ingredients: Look for gel nail polish brands that are free from harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP). These chemicals can be toxic and may have adverse effects.
Alternative Nail Care Options
To explore alternative nail care options, discover the benefits of regular nail polish, nail treatments and strengtheners, and natural nail care tips. Find solutions for a healthier approach to nail care and learn how to maintain beautiful nails without relying solely on gel nail polish.
Regular nail polish
Regular nail polish – lots of colors & finishes. Compared to gel or acrylic, it’s affordable. Applying is easy: base coat, color, and top coat. You can remove it with acetone or remover. But, it chips & peels – so, for long-lasting freshness, add an extra top coat every few days.
Nail treatments and strengtheners
Did you know? Ancient Egyptians were among the first to use nail care products. They’d soak their nails in mixtures of oils and herbs. This practice dates back thousands of years!
Now, there are nail treatments and strengtheners to help your nails stay strong and healthy.
Strengtheners contain vitamins and proteins that nourish and fortify nails. Treatments focus on moisturizing and hydrating the nails and cuticles. Some treatments even offer additional benefits like brightening or adding a glossy finish.
For optimal results, use these products regularly. Incorporate them into your nail care routine for beautiful nails!
Natural nail care tips
Keep your nails clean! Wash your hands regularly and clean under your nails to remove dirt and bacteria. Moisturize too!
Lotion or oil your nails and cuticles to keep them hydrated and avoid dryness. Also, limit exposure to harsh chemicals. Don’t use nail polish removers with acetone.
Wear gloves when handling water or cleaning agents to protect your nails. These steps will help keep your nails strong and healthy.
Recommended read: Are nail stickers bad for your nails?
Gel nail polish, though popular, can have adverse effects on your nails. Weakening, brittleness, thinning, and nail infections are all potential risks. Moreover, UV light used in curing could increase skin issues.
To safeguard your natural nails, it is wise to take breaks between gel manicures and moisturize regularly. Also, be sure to pick a trustworthy salon with good hygiene practices. When removing gel at home, exercise caution to avoid further damage.