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What Is Gel Nail Polish

What These Chemicals Mean For Your Health

How to use Gel Nail Polish

Some research even suggests that some chemicals in nail polish can leach into your body.

In a small 2015 study, researchers tested the pee of 26 women who had recently painted their nails. Compared to placebo manicures wearing gloves and fake nails, TPHP levels increased sharply in every participant in the active nail painting group. Remember, TPHP is an endocrine-disruptor, which means it messes with your hormones.

What’s So Great About Gel Manicures Anyway

Anyone can get a gel manicure, whether you have natural nails , or want to get tips glued on first. Stacked up against a regular manicure, gels last longer, feel stronger, and shine like no one’s business.

Here’s how the process works: Like your run-of-the-mill mani, a gel manicure starts with cutting the nails, lightly soaking the hands, trimming the cuticles, and a thorough hand-cleaning. The polish itself is where things get different: You’ll start with a base coat layer that primes your nails for the gel, which is a special kind of polish thatinstead of air-dryinggets firmed up under a UV light. After each coat is painted on, you place your hand under a UV light for 30 seconds. A glossy topcoat goes on top, take one final minute under the lamp, and you’re done.

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.

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Is Gel Bad For Your Nails Lets Check The Research

One of the most extensive studies to date looking at the side effects of gel nail polish took place in a survey, involving 2,118 respondents. In the self-reported questionnaire, almost half reported side effects while applying the gel nail polish, and 1 in 5 while wearing it.

Potential side effects during the application or wearing gel nail polish include:

  • a sensation of pain and burning
  • swelling, redness or discoloration, scaling, or drying nail fold
  • changes to the nail plate

Less than 1 percent of folks reported a rash on their hands or body, eczema, or swollen lips.

Regulation And Environmental Concerns

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The U.S. city of San Francisco enacted a city ordinance, publicly identifying establishments that use nail polishes free of the “toxic trio” of dibutyl phthalate, toluene, and formaldehyde.

Nail polish is considered a hazardous waste by some regulatory bodies such as the Los Angeles Department of Public Works. Many countries have strict restrictions on sending nail polish by mail. The “toxic trio” are currently being phased out, but there are still components of nail polish that could cause environmental concern. Leaking out of the bottle into the soil could cause contamination in ground water.Chromium oxide green and Prussian blue are common in nail polish and have shown evidence of going through chemical degradation, which could have a detrimental effect on health.

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Revlon Colorstay Gel Envy Longwear Nail Polish

With over 1,000 reviews on Amazon, it seems word has gotten out about this wallet-friendly option. Its built-in base-coat helps it wear like a gel, even though its not technically in that family. Revlon Gel Envy is the only polish I like to use on my toenails now!! Ive gotten many compliments! says k.teacher on Amazon. The cool thing is that when you are ready to remove it, even though it lasts like gel polish, it is easy to remove with regular polish remover. And since at this price you can buy each and every shade that strikes your fancy, you might want to consider these uses for old nail polish for the regular formulas already in your selection.

Are Gel Manicures Safe

UV lights automatically come with the assumption of scary side effects , so some brands have switched over to LED curing, thanks to their lower levels of UV rays. Totty says, “Over the last couple of years, gel manicures have become the most popular service in any salon. There has been ample research regarding damage to skin and nails the traditional UV lamps used for curing these products have different bulbs than traditional tanning beds, and most nail brands are switching to LED lamps simply because they cure the product in 30 seconds compared to two to three minutes using a UV lamp.”

On the other hand, if you love your UV lamp for drying, Gibson Tuttle recommends applying sunscreen beforehandjust in case.

As with most nail polishes, some gels are made with better ingredients than others. While its hard for gel polishes to be completely clean, the biggest ingredients you want to keep an eye out for are dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, and toluene. These ingredients are not only toxic, but some are even carcinogenic. So, if youre mindful about shopping clean, this is something you certainly want to be aware of.

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Youre Not Using Cuticle Oil

According to Hadley, you can assess nail damage based on their flexibility: Normal nails are somewhat flexible, but the harder and sturdier the nail, the more likely it is to break. Since cold weather tends to make skin drier overall, proper cuticle hydration can make a big difference. Additionally, acetone can be extremely drying to the nail bed, causing nails to break or become brittle over time.

To combat nail dryness, experts suggest keeping cuticle oil close at hand . I swear by cuticle oil and personally love NCLA’s, Pulaski tells SELF. I used to think that cuticle oil wasn’t essential, but I started using it about two years ago and I always carry it with me now, especially in the colder months! Adding a few drops of oil to your nails and cuticles in between salon visits will keep them hydrated.

Keeping my nails looking good, with or without polish, is definitely a priority. So while I probably wont give up on gel nail polish altogether, Ill definitely think twice before trying to stretch my manicure for longer than two weeks at a time.

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 it’s 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 you’re 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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What Is The Difference Between Shellac And Gel Polish: Feedbacks

Feedbacks on the Internet are different in sympathy for these products. Many women believe that the shellac coating is more gentle and safer, as removal and application procedures are similar to usual lacquer and require no additional impact on the nail plate. On the Internet you can find thousands of options of the shellac coating and choose pictures of the favorite design. But more women choose gel polish.

The difference between shellac and gel polish can be described taking into account three things: price, brand and time of wearing. Now one of the most popular brands of shellac is Blue Sky, as its properties and characteristics attract many women.The CND Company is unique in a variety of colors and a large palette. To choose the design you can watch special videos and learn how to apply these products. Training-videos will help both beginners and experts complement skills and techniques of the ail art.

Red Carpet Gel Polish Pro Kit

This system from Red Carpet is a great way to start because it has everything you need , including easy-to-follow instructions, starfaerie shares on Amazon. Ive now used this two times with beautiful results. Looks just like the salon! Once dry, top with a daily coat of this cult-favorite cuticle oil, which is a must for anyone with dry cuticles and weak nails.

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Is Gel Nail Polish Fake Nails

No. This is a common misconception. Acrylics are what is usually referred to as fake nails. Acrylics apply on top of your natural nail, usually with some type of glue or adhesive, and can be harmful if worn frequently.

On the other hand, gel polish is a real polish applied to your natural nail. It can look as dramatic as fake nail or as subtle as professional normal polish. Gel polish does not damage your nails the ways fake nails can, despite their long-lasting formula.

How To Remove Shellac Nails

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It’s always going to be best to head to a salon to have your gels or Shellacs dissolved by a pro. If you do want to do it at home, however, know that because shellac is a polish, its easier to remove than gel and kinder to your nails as you dont have to buff your nail plate to break the bond.

When you remove gel nail varnish, you file the top layer off and then soak your nails in acetone, but when you remove shellac nails, you simply soak in acetone. Pro tip: cover the skin around your nails in Vaseline before, to stop it from drying out from the remover.

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Growing Your Nails Offers A Safe Alternative

Dr. Lipner says the best way to remove gel nail polish is to let your nails grow out. Clipping them once a week will remove the gel nail polish and help prevent the nails from catching on clothing and other objects. If you choose this option, you need to resist the urge to pick at your gel nail polish. Picking and scraping off the polish can damage your nails.

Letting your nails grow is a slow process. Dr. Lipner says, It takes about six months to grow out your fingernails. Toenails need 12 to 18 months to grow out.

To properly trim your nails, follow these tips from board-certified dermatologists: How to trim your nails.

Related AAD resources

How To Remove Gel Nails

Again, you can ensure a fuss-free removal by heading to the salon to get them removed by the pros, But, given that this takes an hour-ish out of your day and costs around a tenner, plenty of people prefer to DIY it.

First off, you need to break the bond between the gel and your actual nail. Very, very gently, buff the nail. This will break the gel’s seal. Next, cut out ten pieces of cotton pad, one for each nail, and soak in acetone nail varnish remover. Cut out ten pieces of tin foil. Pop each cotton pad piece on top of a nail, then cover with one of the tin foil pieces, twisting at the top.

Chill for 15 minutes, unwrap and gently push off, using a cuticle stick.

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Are Led Nail Lamps Safe

After your nails get a coat of gel paint, theyll bask in the glow of an LED nail lamp to harden and set.

The LED bulbs emit ultraviolet radiation but think sunlight rather than Chernobyl. Over time, exposure to UV radiation can damage your skin, leading to premature wrinkles and age spots, and could even lead to skin cancer.

But a 2013 study suggested that the limited exposure youd get at a nail salon isnt a big deal. These LED nail lamps are generally considered low risk by the FDA as long as theyre used as directed.

FYI: If youre more sensitive to UV radiation you may want to pass on this exposure.

Gel nails typically take a little longer than a regular manicure. You can expect to spend about an hour, but it does depend on the state of your nails and if youre already wearing gel polish when you arrive.

Why Do My Gel Nails Peel Off After One Day

OPI Gel nail polish DIY tutorial (how to do gel nails)

The gel top coat usually peels off if it isnt cured properly, or has been applied over a colour gel or acrylic nails that have been wiped down with isopropyl alcohol. Each layer of gel is sticky and bonds to the next cost, if the tacky layer is removed, the next layer of polish will not adhere and peel off.

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How To Safely Remove A Gel Manicure

Gel is a very general term, so you should always ask your tech what type of gel they are applying and how to remove it, Lim explains. For example, she shares that soft gels should be buffed and soaked off Japanese gels and SNS dip powder should be filed down with an electronic file hard gels should be filed off completely before soaking, and all other gels and traditional polishes can be soaked off without any buffing.

With products constantly coming into the market, no one procedure fits all, Lim says. As such, she reiterates how important it is to know whats on your nails, if not for your own sake, for the manicurist who removes it.

As a general rule of thumb, if soaking your nails in acetone isnt cutting it, its time to take a file to your nail plates. Ever so gently , file off the topmost shiny layer of nail polish. This is important to allow the acetone to penetrate to the deepest layer and speed up your removal process, Lim explains.

If you dont have an e-file on hand, Lim says the best tool for removing gel polish is a 100/180 grit filesomething you can find at most drugstores. You should only use the 180 side when removing the shine, but you may need to use the 100 side to break down multiple layers of topcoat, builder gel, or nail art, she instructs.

Is Base Coat The Same As Clear Nail Polish

A base coat is a clear polish that is applied on nails before applying any varnish. Clear nail polish is just like any other nail polish. It is as vulnerable to chipping and peeling as any common polish just that is is devoid of colour. Top coat is applied after you are done with colouring your nails.

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Nails Inc Gel Nail Polish

This highly pigmented hybrid formula has a high-reflection resin system that gives it a lovely sheen. But whats better is that its packed with botanical extracts to moisturize and strengthen as you wear it. One Sephora reviewer writes, Being in quarantine has made me experiment with many different polishes and this one was a hit. It goes on smooth and has full coverage. It doesnt chip .

Think Of Gel Polish As Liquid Acrylics

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Ever wonder exactly how gel manicures stay so perfect for so long? “The chemical compositions for gel polish and regular nail polish vary with each brand, but the major difference is that gel polish will only dry under direct UV or LED light contact, while regular nail polish can air dry,” explains celebrity nail artist Yoko Sakakura. “Gel polish applications cure under a lamp, creating a hardened layer of polish that makes it more durable and longer-lasting. The removal process for gel polish is more complex as well, requiring the nail to be soaked in acetone to properly dissolve the formula off of the nail.” So not only will they last longer, but they’ll look harder and shinier while you’ve got ’em, too.

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Hot Baths Or Showers Can Cause Gel Polish To Lift

“A gel manicures worst enemy is hot water, says Rita, hence why soaking them is the most effective way to get them off. “Long baths, showers, or time spent in a hot tub can cause lifting, so try your best to avoid these or keep them to a minimum and always wear rubber gloves when you do the dishes! Duly noted.

What Are The Two Types Of Nail Polish

From Price to Quality to Longevity: Heres Your Official Guide to Every Type of Manicure

  • Basic Polish. You know the one.
  • Shellac. This is probably what youre getting when you book a gel mani.
  • Gel. Also known as hard gel, it can be applied over natural or fake nails.
  • Acrylic.
  • Paraffin manicure.

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Regular Manicure & Gel Polish

Gel polish is fairly new and it can be a bit difficult to handle it in the beginning. Salon gel manicures are, therefore, highly recommended if you dont have experience and require help.

If a regular polish costs, say $20, at a salon, the price for a gel polish manicure may double or triple given the salons standards. So, make sure your pocket is full!

Regular manicure may only stay for about a week and is prone to chipping off as your hands get busy, but a gel polish manicure can stay intact for up to three weeks.

This is because the gel in gel polish makes the polish endure a lot more than what the regular polish can. As far as the drying process for gel polish is concerned, you do not have worry about keeping your hands in the air to let it dry. You can simply get up and go home once the gel polish is done.

Regular nail polish may come off with the help of a regular nail polish remover but the same is not the case with gel polish. Gel polish only comes off upon being soaked in acetone for at least 15 minutes and with a little bit of scrubbing.

While regular nail polish may only leave some yellow marks on your nails if kept on for too long, gel polish can damage your nail bed and/or cuticles due to the removal process being a little harsh.

If you get it done from a salon with proper care, of course, the damage will be minimal but present regardless. So, prepare yourself for some, not too harsh, side effects if you intend to use gel polish.


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