Gel manicures have become all the rage for their luxurious, long-lasting finish. After all, who wouldn't want a shiny, perfect manicure that lasts weeks without chipping and looks as smooth and glossy as a new sports car? But this popular alternative to weekly manicures and acrylic nails may be harmful to your health.
First, nails must be abraded by an emery board to allow the gel to adhere to the surface of the nail. This damages and weakens the nail. Then, four or five coats of polish are applied with a UV light, to set the polish. The UV light is similar to the ones used in tanning beds and exposure can lead to skin cancer.* Dangerous chemicals like methyl methacrylate and butlyate hydroxyanisol can be found in gel products. These are carcinogenic. Alas, even though the manicure lasts for several weeks, eventually, the gel must be removed as the nail grows out. In order to remove the gel, nails must be soaked in acetone for ten to fifteen minutes. Then, the polish must be scraped off. All of this leaves nails thin, cracked and frail with no natural shine.
Our advice? Avoid gel manicures since like sports cars, they can become a dangerous addiction. Worse comes to worst, reserve gel manicures for special occasions and vacations and be sure to: 1) Choose a nail salon that uses light-emitting diode (LED) lights to dry nails instead of a UV light. LED lights not only emit much less UV radiation, but also make your nails dry faster. 2) Check to be sure that polishes don't have carcinogens and before applying the layers of polish, apply a broad spectrum sunscreen to your hands to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. 3) Enjoy BeautyScoop daily to strengthen weak and brittle nails, to reverse ridges, and to prevent nails from peeling.
*Archives of Dermatology, 2009.
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The BeautyScoop Customer Service Team