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Is Gel Nail Polish Bad For Your Nails

Mistakes Youre Making When Wearing Gel Nail Polish


Chipping a perfectly good manicure is one of lifes most annoying frustrations. Since Im constantly opening packages and typing stories, wearing gel nail polish has been a saving grace when it comes to preserving my mani. While I love the flexibility a regular manicure provides, gel polish is so much more durablewhich is why I tend to stretch each manicure for as long as possible.

With gel polish, your manicure can last from two to three weeks, but with regular polish you’re lucky if it lasts five to seven days without chipping, Kristin Pulaski, owner of Paintbucket Nails in Brooklyn, tells SELF. According to Pulaski, in addition to staying power, another great benefit of gel is that it provides a harder layer of protection over the natural nail, which can result in increased nail growth.

Unfortunately, this durability and protection can be rough on your nails and make them weaker and prone to splitting. No one wants that, so there are a few things to keep in mind to maintain the health of your nails when youre getting gels. We asked Pulaski, celebrity manicurist Skyy Hadley, and Christy Harpring, co-owner of Sea Salt and Sugar Nail Bar in Savannah, Georgia, to clue us in on gel polish mistakes to avoid.

What Are Acrylic Nails

Acrylic nails are made of a combination of liquid and powder thats laid over your nail with a brush. Once the mixture is applied, your nails are filed and shaped to emulate the look of natural nails. After your acrylic nails are shaped, each nail is typically painted with a regular base coat, nail polish color, and finished with a top coat. Nails are then set under a fan to dry.

Theres A Big Difference Between Gels And Regular Polish

Okay, so at least were not completely off-base. Gel technology is unique because although it applies like a traditional nail lacquer, the gel has a chemical composition that enables it to harden or cure to a glossy finish with a UV light, which prevents the need to sit and wait for it to dry, says Dr. Stern.

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Try To Limit Your Exposure To The Uv Lamp

A recent study from the American Academy of Dermatology revealed that gel manicures may not be a safe option for people who are highly sensitive to UV light. The UV dose that you receive during a gel manicure is brief, but its intense, Dr. Adigun said in the study. Over time, this intense exposure can add up to cause skin damage.

“An additional concern is the rise in popularity of LED nail lamps,” Dr. Adigun notes of her own research on the safety of gel manicures. LED lamps have become popular as much for their faster curing times as the belief that they’re safer than UV lamps, but Dr. Adigun insists this is not the case. “Although many people mistakenly believe these lamps do not use UVA to cure, they in fact use higher intensities of UVA wavelengths in order to achieve the shorter curing times. This higher intensity of UVA irradiance means that it requires less time for these lamps to potentially harm the skin,” she explains.

Instead, Dr. Adigun recommends bringing along your own pair of YouVeeShield gloves to protect your hands against UVA radiation . “It is the most protective material protects the entire digits and wrist,” Dr. Adigun says.

How To Protect Your Nails From Uv Light

Gel Manicure Guide  Is Gel Nail Polish Bad for Your Nails ...

Both doctors suggest that sunscreen and fingerless gloves can help to lessen any risk. According to Marchbein, if you must get a gel mani, you can protect yourself by applying, a broad spectrum SPF 30+ prior to manicures, and wearing a UPF glove with the fingertips cut off.

If the thought of sitting for a gel manicure still makes you uneasy, Marchbein suggests that you skip the gel and get a regular manicure. She adds that a gel alternative such as Gel Couture by Essie, definitely lasts longer than a regular manicure and doesnt require the same upkeep as gels.

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So Is Shellac Or Gel Better

When it comes to shellac vs gel, theres also the colour selection to take into consideration. While gelish colours are 388 strong, with a range of natural and vibrant shades, shellac colours lag behind at only 116, so you’re more limited in choice.

It all depends on what youre looking for.

If you’re planning to remove your semi-permanent polish at home, go for shellac nails so you have less chance of ruining your natural nail.

But if youre after a particular shade and cant find it in the shellac nails collection, go for gels just get a professional to remove them, later.

All About Regular Nail Polish

If you get a manicure that uses traditional nail polish, it goes something like this. The technician will remove any old polish from your hands, shape and prime your nails, give you a little hand massage, then apply the base coat, polish, and top coat.

Of course, you don’t need to go to a salon for a manicure. Many people love traditional nail polish because it can easily be applied at home, without any extra equipment. Regular nail polish is easy to apply and remove, so you can change the color as often as you’d like.

However, traditional nail polish has one major drawback: it’s easy to chip and damage. It can take a long time to dry, but even if it dries without issue, it doesn’t tend to stay on the nails for very long.

This can result in frequent touch-ups and reapplications, which can get frustrating. But luckily, this is where gel nail polish comes in.

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How Do You Remove A Gel Manicure

This is not a swab-with-remover situation. Taking off gel polish requires time, patience, and no picking! Whether you’re getting gel taken off at the salon or DIY’ing, here’s how to break out of gel’s tight grip: Cover each nail with an acetone-soaked cotton ball, held in place with aluminum foil, and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, the polish should slide off without any filing or scraping. For any stubborn spots, a wooden stick can be used to gently ease it off.

A Look At The Effects Of Nail Polish On Nail Health And Safety


In recent years, the nail polish industry has been transformed by the development of longer-lasting polish techniques. As dermatologists, we are often asked about the effects of these various products on nails. Here we review the main types of polish, and consider the pros and cons of each with an eye toward nail health and safety.

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How Do You Remove Shellac

Where you see the most nail health benefits of Shellac is in the removal process, Arnold says. Shellac has a unique formulation that when applied, forms tiny microscopic tunnels throughout the coating. This means that when its time for removal, the acetone penetrates through those tiny tunnels, all the way to the base layer, actually releasing the polish off of the nail. In other words, no long removal times or dreaded scraping. As simple as the process is, Arnold recommends getting the polish removed at a salon rather than doing it yourself.

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How Long Does Dip Powder Last

Dip powder manicures can last two to four weeks. However, Terrell doesnt recommend going beyond 14 days. Its never a great idea to keep anything on your nails for an extended period of time without removing or replacing it, Terrell explains. Keeping it on too long can cause bacterial infections to form between the nail beds and the powder.

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What Are The Different Types Of Gel Manis

As Kandalec explains it, there are two types of gel: soft and hard. Soft gel is porous, which is why you can soak if off in the salon. Hard gel, on the other hand, is sculpting gel. With hard gel, you can extend the nail and create cool shapes you otherwise couldnt, like long coffin, ballerina, or stiletto nails. Hard gel is not porous, so you have to file it off when its time to be removed. If you go somewhere that knows what theyre doing, you can see where it starts and stops on the nail plate, so theres really minimal damage, Kandalec says. While both types of gel can be used separately, you can also layer them over each other.

Curing Gel Nails Always Requires Harmful Uv Light

Is it bad for your nails if you get a salon manicure ...

Gel nail polish is thick, so much so that it doesn’t actually dry naturally like regular nail polish. Instead, UV light emitted by either an LED dryer or UV lamp is used to dry, or cure, the polish onto your nail.

Exposure to UV light whether it’s from the sun, a tanning bed or a nail salon’s dryer lamp can be dangerous over time, causing DNA damage that can lead to skin cancer and wrinkles.

If you’re getting a gel manicure, be sure to protect your skin from the harmful UV light required to cure this polish.

The most effective way to do so is to wear fingertipless UVA-blocking gloves . You can also apply broad spectrum water resistant sunscreen just be aware that the effectiveness of this sunscreen may be compromised during the nail wash and prep process, particularly if acetone is used.

Lastly, don’t get caught thinking that the newer LED dryers some salons use are safer than UV lamps. These LED dryer lamps don’t use the same LED bulbs you use around your home. Instead, they use high intensity UVA light to cure gel polish and should be approached with just as much caution as a UV lamp.

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Moisturize With A Natural Oil

If you experience dry, brittle nails, it is probably a good idea to sit this #MondayMani out and use an oil, like vitamin E, to add moisture back to your nails, says Mahalli. When using vitamin E oil for your nails, you can just apply the oil topically to each nail individually and rub it in. It wont dissolve completely but just leaving it to soak in can strengthen your nails from within, she says. Vitamin E is rich in collagen, which means it can fortify your nails and its antioxidant properties can prevent them from further damage. Similar to skincare, antioxidants can protect and help promote healthier-looking nails all around. If you do not have vitamin E oil on hand, Morozova says to reach for jojoba oil, as it penetrates deeply and feeds the root of the nail directly, which affects the overall condition of the nail.

In addition to using an oil, hand sheet masks might also benefit the nail bed. However, its effect will largely depend on the ingredients used and how often you use the mask, notes Mahalli. The more natural ingredients the better as this really nourishes the nail, she adds.

Just How Long Does It Take

Doug Schoon teaches that the manufacturers recommended acetone soaking time is the minimumnot the maximum.

So if they suggest 10 minutes, and then instruct you to wipe off the gel with firm finger pressure only.

If the gel isnt completely dissolved then you should rewrap your nail and let it soak longer. This means that it can actually take 20, 30, or even 40 minutes to dissolve the gel properly! The gel must completely wipe off with firm finger pressure.

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Stay Away From Water If You Want Them To Last

A gel manicures worst opponent is hot water, states Rita, therefore why soaking them is one of the most effective means to obtain them off. Long baths, showers or time spent in the jacuzzi can create training, so try your best to prevent these or maintain them to a minimum and also always put on rubber handwear covers when you do the meals! Properly kept in mind.

The Truth About Gel Polish

Are Gel Nails Bad For You?

General Beauty, Nails

So there has been a lot of hype lately about gel polish and all the horrible things it does to your nails and then there are the people who rant and rave about them. Due to this I have decided to do a page on both aspects of Gel polish.I read article after article on gel polish and I have to tell you some of them are a complete joke. I feel like some of them were written just to get a rise out of people. I will tell you I do get gel manicures, that doesnt mean my opinion is biased, it just means I read both sides and made an informed decision. That is not saying my opinion is right, its just mine.All that being said, just like with anything in life the bad comes with the good, but it doesnt always outweigh it. To be bluntly honest I think they only reason people believe all his hype is because they are naive on the subject, they read about chemicals, damage, light, cancer, and instantly go OMG this must be bad, Ill never get a gel manicure. Thats kinda like when the mechanic gets you to buy car parts you dont need because he knows your not fully versed on the ins and outs of cars. Enjoy Reading.

Risk assessment method deficiencies and data gaps Maximum reported as used concentration is basis of safety assessment by industry safety panel implicit safe concentration limit in product Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments
Limited evidence of carcinogenicity Intl Agency for Research on Cancer Carcinogens

Yours Truly,

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Should I Use A Uv Light Or Led Light To Cure Gel Polish

Either. Which curing light you use for your nails depends on two criteria: your preference and type of your gel polish. Gel polish can be made in two different ways UV-cured or LED-cured.

That said its important to note that LED lights are less harmful to your skin due to not using UV rays. If you plan to use gel polish regularly, it may be worth considering an LED light instead, so make sure that LED can cure your favorite polish.

Which cure lamp you choose, protecting your skin beforehand is always a good idea especially if youre planning to do your nails often. There are special gel manicure gloves you can wear to protect the skin around your nails, or use the traditional UV-ray protection method: apply lots of SPF.

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Gel Nails: 12 Points You Need To Understand About Gel Manicures

Theres a reason that why is gel nail polish so bad for your nails? have ended up being a modern charm mainstay: Theyre virtually indestructible, impossibly glossy, as well as provided at the majority of nail beauty salons. The most enticing facet of a gel mani? Zero danger in cracking your polish the minute you dig with your bag to inspect your phone in addition to, for numerous weeks to come.

Gel gloss are included stronger components that realize the nail tighter than traditional lacquers and also are solid sufficient to withstand day-to-day wear and tear without damaging, discusses Essie Global Lead Instructor Rita Comment. A few distinctions in between the formula and also your normal lacquer? Gel polishes are much more adaptable, so they withstand chips Gels are treated under a UV or LED light and brightens treatment in oxygen. Gels have to be eliminated by soaking in acetone for at the very least 10 minutes, while polishes can be quickly wiped away with nail gloss cleaner.

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Can You Remove Dip Nails At Home

As long as its done the right way, Terrell says dip powder can easily be removed at home. This doesnt mean youre free to pick or pull it off though. When its removed like that, the top layers of the nail bed can come right off with the powder, which thins out the nails, Terrell says. The correct way to DIY it is to first file or buff off the shiny top coat to allow the acetone to penetrate. Then, soak your nails in a small bowl of pure acetone for 10 to 15 minutes. Terrells pro tip: Place a steaming hot towel over the bowl to speed up the process. After 15 minutes, take an acetone-soaked cotton ball and wipe of any remaining dip powder.


Still All Gel Manicures Can Mess Up Your Nails

Addio Bad Nails, Ciao Great Nails Gel Nail Polish

Yup, sorryits true. Theyre not great for your nails. A study out of Miami School of Medicine used ultrasound to demonstrate that that gel manicures do cause nail thinning, says Dr. Stern, noting that the exact reason for the thinning was unclear to the authors, though its likely due to either the acetone soak thats required to remove the gel, or the actual chemical composition of the gel polish.

Another cause may be if the gels are incorrectly removed, she says. Which, if youve ever scrubbed at your regular polish with some acetone, you already know how drying it after just a few minutes. My personal opinionand what I have observed in my practiceis that most of the damage is from the removal process, especially if manufacturers instructions are not followed, or two different brands are mixed and used.

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