In case you don’t know it yet, the length of time that gel manicures last is one of the biggest reasons why they are very popular in the first place. A gel’s efficacy depends on the durability of the product, how well it goes on, and how easily this can be removed. Many salons will tell you that you will not get any chips for one week. However, when applied properly, you can be chip-free for as long as three weeks.
Unlike your regular polish that tends to chip after just two to three days except when you take certain steps for them to last longer, gel manicures are almost indestructible, making them perfect for weddings, vacations, and special occasions.
How Long Do Gel Nails Last?
A good gel manicure is expected to last for a couple of weeks. Around this time, you will notice that your nails have already grown out. If you made it this long, consider yourself lucky. But, if you still want to know how long do gel nails last, the good news is that there are several things you can do so your gel nails will retain their beauty for as long as you want.
Maintain Strength of Your Nails
You have to take the necessary measures for maintaining your nail strength. In case you have damaged, dry, or weak nails to start with, gel manicures may not last that long. You can use a strengthening top and base coat during those non-gel weeks and avoid picking at or peeling off your polish.
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Clean Your Nails
See to it that you thoroughly clean the nail beds using alcohol before you apply the base coat. This is to ensure that all oils have been removed. Basically, you can just wipe the nail beds with nail polish remover pad or alcohol swab. Your goal is to almost dehydrate your nails to ensure that your polish is going to last longer.
Apply the Gel Correctly
Even if you may not really be an expert with manicures, you have to know the things you need to watch out for if you will apply polish. Once the gel has been applied properly, there is a tendency that there will be lifted edges or air bubbles that can cause chipping and make them an easy target for picking. It can also cause damage on the nail beds, so avoid doing it.
Don’t Forget the Drying Process
Nothing can be as annoying as sitting as you wait for your nails to dry up under the gel dryer, especially if you receive a text that needs an immediate response. However, the drying time is a must. Your nails should be left under the UV lamp for a long time or a bit longer than what was supposed to be done. When the polish is under-cured and it doesn’t get sufficient UV light, your polish will not firm up properly for it to stay for as long as you want it to.
Like other body parts, your nails also need hydration and moisture. See to it that you moisturize your cuticles and nails on a constant basis with vitamin E to prevent drying.
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.
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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