If you are a big fan of gel manicures, you surely know how they shine and beam on your nails, how they last longer than your traditional manicure less the chipping, and how they dry in matter of seconds.
However, even though gel manicures are amazing, it is sad that there is a downside to it, and this has something to do with the drying process. Curing, as it is technically called, involves the use of lamps that emit UVA or ultraviolet A rays, the same rays you can easily catch outdoors under the soon as well as from indoor tanning beds. These are also the same rays your dermatologist always warns you to avoid if you don’t want to suffer from premature aging or skin cancer.
Why Gel Manicures is Not Safe?
The cumulative exposure to this UV radiation throughout your life poses the biggest threat for non-melanoma skin cancer. When you start tanning or getting gel manicures early on, you will get more lifetime exposure, thus increasing your lifetime risks for developing skin cancer.
While it is true that you don’t spend more than a couple of minutes under the lamp for each hand, curing lamps tend to emit rays that are 4 times strong like the sun. Although the FDA has acknowledged the potential dangers, nail-curing lamps are still considered as low risk.
How to Make It Safer?
There are not a lot of large studies as to the exact risks of gel manicures. And the good news is that despite these, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get a gel manicure altogether.
It is okay to get it once in a while and to make things better, you might adopt the following precautions to make the gel manicure process a bit safer.
This is something you should never forget. Before getting a gel manicure, make sure you lather your hands with broad spectrum sunscreen that covers both UVB and UVA light with SPF 30 to SPF 50.
Choose the Right Polish
If you plan to do a gel manicure by yourself at home, see to it that your lamp and polish play well together. Different formulas of polish need different kinds of curing lights. Make sure that you always follow the instructions no matter what at-home kit you choose to use.
Use Fingerless Sun-protective Gloves
Similar to how you can purchase protective clothes that have UPF rating, which is SPF’s fabric version, you can now buy protection for hands that are manicure-ready. It is recommended that you search for fingerless gloves that have UPF 50. These can be flashy or you can also opt for more understated pairs.
Find the Right Salon in Advance
Your gel manicure itself may never turn out well no matter how you plan it if it is not done by experienced and careful practitioners. You will just end up exposing your hands to the unwanted UV light without really experiencing the perks of a great manicure. Ensure that the salon you choose is clean overall then follow the similar precautions as you would for other manicures, such as not cutting your cuticles because it will just increase your infection risk