Gel manicures are all the rage right now. They make your nails look fabulous, it lasts up to two weeks without a chip and if you have a tendency to chew your nails, the gel manicure can actually help you to grow them out when you keep up with your bi-weekly manicures.
Here is the bad news: That UV light that cures the polish for 10 to 12 minutes can do some real damage on your skin. This is not good for me to hear because all during my 20s I was religious about getting a manicure. I always had the acrylic nails that were oh-so-popular every two weeks. I never missed a fill or a new set. And even though they didn’t use gel back then, they would still set my top coat polish with that UV light. It did not even occur to me that it was doing damage on my skin.
“These UV lights predominantly emit radiation in the UVA range the ultraviolet A range and this is the same range, the same light source that’s predominantly used in tanning beds,” said skin surgeon, Dr. Paul Martinelli. “It’s known to be carcinogenic and cumulative exposure over time will cause an increased risk or association of skin cancers of all kinds including melanoma.”
So now what? We all want pretty nails that look unbelievable, especially when you know that your manicure skills at home could use a little fine tuning. There are a few steps you can take to protect your hands from harmful lights.
Salon: Do your research. There is a new polish UV light curer on the market, and there are salons that have started purchasing them for their technicians. It is a special LED lights that cures in 90 seconds rather than the traditional 10 to 12 minutes. Ask your nail technician if they have the new product. If not, I would call around and see who had upgraded to this important and new technology.
Gloves: Fingerless gloves would be perfect in this situation. I recommend using SPF and then wearing your gloves during your manicure to cover most of your hands from the hurtful light. You can buy a thin pair of gloves and cut the tips off for your fingers. Or, buy some good gloves that you could also wear driving, (I think we should bring that trend back) and also use during your trip to the manicure. Here are some super cute gloves I found that are also inexpensive!