5 Must-know Facts about Gel Nail Polish
Tired of having to get a new manicure every week? Or maybe you just want nail polish that stays on your hands for more than a couple of days. If you want a manicure that will last for at least a couple of weeks, look into gel polish. Gel nail polish lets you have a salon-quality manicure that lasts for two weeks, without chipping or peeling. The polish stays shiny, too, even two weeks after application. Many nail technicians recommend gel nail polish over acrylic nails, which can permanently damage nails.
If you’re considering getting a manicure with gel nail polish, here are 5 must-know facts about gel nail polish.
- Getting a gel polish manicure can weaken your nails even before gel nail polish is applied. Before gel polish is applied, the surface of your nails is abraded or roughened with an emery board. This weakens your nails enough to make them more prone to breakage. This even makes your nails more vulnerable to infection.
- Gel nail polish has to be exposed to ultraviolet light so it can cure or set. UV light basically bakes the nail polish into the nails. This can be a problem because UV light is essentially sunlight, and overexposure to sunlight causes skin cancer. And since gel nail polish has to be exposed to UV light for four to eight minutes to set, imagine how the exposure adds up when you get gel manicures every two weeks.
One way to protect yourself from potential skin cancer on your hands or fingers is to apply a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher after you wash your hands midway through the manicure. Protect your hands further by wearing tight-fitting gloves with the fingertips cut off. Alternatively, you can find a nail salon that uses LED (light emitting diode) light to set the gel nail polish.
- Some types of nail polish contain methyl acrylate. Methyl acrylate is a chemical that often causes an allergic skin reaction called contact dermatitis. A rash can develop wherever the chemical comes into contact with the skin. The rash caused by methyl acrylate is usually red, bumpy, and itchy and is often uncomfortable. This can be dangerous because we often touch our eyes throughout the day. We often inadvertently do it, too. If you develop contact dermatitis from gel nail polish, you can treat the rash by having the nail polish removed and treat your skin with cortisone cream.
- Butylated hydroxanisol (BHA) is a cancer-causing chemical that is found in some types of gel nail polish. While it’s unclear how much exposure to BHA causes cancer, it’s still important for you to know that some types of gel nail polish contain cancer-causing chemicals. Not all types of gel nail polish contain BHA, so check the ingredients on the gel nail polish you plan to use before it’s applied to your nails.
- The removal process for gel nail polish can also be harmful to your nails. Your nails have to be soaked in acetone or wrapped in acetone-soaked cotton to remove the gel nail polish. Since acetone is very drying, frequent exposure to the chemical can cause your nail to become brittle. Your nails may also start peeling.
Prevent your nails from drying out by massaging moisturizer into your nails throughout the day. This will help combat dryness in your nails and nail beds. Check out some articles at nailaddictsociety.com by Nail Tech’s that are gel nail polish experts.