Gel manicures are done with gel nail polish which is usually in a pot or a bottle. Soft gel and hard gel are the two types of gel available. Hard gel can be extended to an artificial nail and soft gel is too soft and cannot be used to create extended nail extensions. Gel manicures are popular and they are gentle to natural nails when professionally done. All gel nail polishes need to be hardened or cured under an ultraviolet light or blue light. Curing helps the gel set in a solid state, the gel has molecules which form a durable, flexible coat after hardening.
What are the risks faced when you use gel manicures?
Reports have been cited that gel nail polish damages the natural nails during removal but this is not true. When the correct high quality removing products are used and the right removing process is used no damage will happen to your natural nails; and if the polish in removed by pulling or picking the natural nails will get scraped. So the danger is not necessarily on removing the gel nail polish.
A recent study was conducted on gel manicures and the curing step is the crucial step where there is the downside of the gel manicure. The cumulative use of the UV light for curing causes some changes on the skins’ DNA which can cause premature aging and some fears have been expressed that it can cause cancer. However, some professionals say the malignant cancer risk is low, actually extremely low due to the UV lamp exposure because it would take a lot of exposure to UV light every week to get cancer. At the same time, they have advised the need to apply sunscreen to the hands a few minutes before the gel manicure or use finger cut sun protective gloves every time you undergo curing. However, if it is possible look for gel manicure services from salons that use LED lights instead of the UV lights.
The gel manicure has been found to cause nail damage, by causing the thinning of the nail plates as found by another study. The nail thinning has not exactly been established why it is happening but it is thought that it can be as a result of the gel polish removing process. This was however seen to be more common with the DIY gel manicure kits. Either way it is advisable to let your nails rest for at least one week before you can reapply the gel nail polish. Also, apply a moisturizing lotion in between the polishes to rehydrate the nails.
Some gel nail polishes contain a cancer causing agent. The BHA (Butylated hydroxyanisol (BHA) has been listed by Toxicology programs to be a carcinogen. Also, other chemicals used in some gel nail polishes to look out for toluene, dibutyl phthalate, as well as formaldehyde. These ingredients are not found in all gel nail polishes so just use the nail polishes which do not list them on the label.
If the gel manicure is done by a non-professional you might face a health risk. During filing the nails and a professional accidentally damages the skin when the file slips, it might lead to nerve damage. This happens when the damaged part comes into contact with the gel manicure powders. The solution is look for a skilled nail technician who can do your nails without causing damage to them and to the skin.
It increases the risk of nail infections; the manicure involves buffing, cutting and scrubbing. Having cuticles cut in a nail salon raises the risk of nail infections according to health experts. So if possible do not shave before the gel manicure appointment and always carry your own clean buffing tools and nail file. Also, be keen to salons that clean equipment’s after use.
Do not wait until the gel nail polish chips or you peel it in the shower. The nail plate is damaged by either and also when you use acetone to remove the gel nail polish it causes to peel and be peel. Peeling or chipping causes the nail to weaken and leaves it open to infections. Acetone should be used as a last result as it is harsh however, if it is the used chemical for gel nail polish removal just wash and moisturize the hands and nails.