Gel nail polish is a popular choice for a manicure that can last up to 2 weeks with minimal chipping and fading. Although it’s claimed to be a healthier alternative than traditional nail polish, does gel nail polish actually harm your nails?
Many experts agree that the damage caused by gel polish lies in the removal process. To remove it, users must soak their nails in acetone, an ingredient that is known to cause dryness and weakening of the nails. If not removed properly, gel can also lead to white spots on the nails or discoloration.
In addition to potential damage caused by the removal process, regular and frequent use of gel may also put additional strain on your nails due to its more adhesive nature. The strength of your nails may be weakened over time because gel polish requires natural oils and nourishing elements to remain healthy and resilient.
Therefore, before jumping into using gel nail polishes on a regular basis, it’s important to consider possible associated risks regarding this type of manicure. By understanding all of the potential damages associated with long-term use of this widely popular product, you’ll be able to make an informed choice when considering if it’s right for you.
What is Gel Nail Polish?
Gel nail polish is a specialized form of nail lacquer that is cured with a UV or LED lamp. While traditional nail polishes use solvents, gel polish typically has more of a gel-like consistency and is usually applied in thin coats. The intensity of the light used to cure the nail helps the product adhere to your nails for weeks without chipping or fading.
However, because these polishes dry harder than regular polishes, there are a few things you need to know before using them. Gel manicures can cause the nails to become brittle or split due to the harsher chemicals in gels relative to traditional polishes and hardening agents used in gels. Overuse of these products can lead to dehydration of the nails and ridges or white spots on the surface of your nails due to repeated exposure to lamp lights during application. It’s important to carefully follow directions for use as specified by product companies and talk with your medical professional if you have any questions prior to use.
Health Risks of Gel Nail Polish
Gel nail polish is becoming increasingly popular with many as it can give your nails a glossy, salon-quality finish that lasts for several weeks. However, excessive use of gel nail polish has been linked to certain health risks.
In this article, we’ll delve into the potential dangers associated with gel nail polish and provide tips on how to minimize these risks.
Gel nail polishes that require drying with a UV or an LED light may contribute to skin irritation. The UV or LED lights can cause serious damage to the skin that worst over time, including wrinkles, brown spots, and even cancer in extreme cases.
It is not just the exposure to these strong rays during drying that can cause harm. Chemicals such as polyurethane acrylates (found in some commercially available gels) may also pose a risk of skin irritation and allergic reactions.
To avoid irritation from polish removal products, it is best to use peel-off gels which are gentler on the skin. Additionally, moisturizing the surrounding cuticles and applying sunscreen before getting a gel manicure are recommended for further protection from UV radiation exposure.
Gel nail polish is a type of synthetic resin that increases the durability of manicure treatments and reduces the risk of chips and cracks. Unfortunately, there are some potential health risks associated with the use of this product, including allergic reactions.
Any product that contains chemicals can cause an allergic reaction, even gel nails. Allergic reactions to gel nails may manifest as itching, burning, inflammation or redness at the nail site, as well as a rash or hives on other parts of the body. Severe reactions are rare and may include difficulty breathing, chest tightness and swelling of the tongue or mouth.
If you believe you have an allergy to gel nail polish or any other type of beauty product, consult your doctor right away. Your physician is best qualified to diagnose an allergy and recommend alternative treatments that will work for you.
Damage to Nails
While gel nail polishes offer the convenience of a long-lasting paint job, without proper care and maintenance, frequent use can have damaging effects on your nails. Over time, the layer of gel polish can cause nails to become thin, brittle and weak.
As a result, your nails may become more susceptible to damage and be at greater risk for bacterial infections.
Excessive removal of the layers of polish can also cause damage. The nail is not designed to take multiple layers on and off frequently and over-usage can eventually strip away its natural oil layers, resulting in dry and brittle nails. In some extreme cases, excessive soakings in a salon setting or prolonged use may lead to pink discoloration as well as other unsightly patches on the surface of your nails.
Therefore it is important to limit your exposure to gel nail polish applications if you are prone to or have experienced adverse reactions in the past. Taking care of your nails by:
- Removing the product correctly with an acetone-free remover
- Giving them a break between applications
will help minimize any potential damage. Additionally, regular mani/pedis that use nourishing moisturizers after removal are highly recommended for better health and appearance of not just your fingernails but also your hands and feet.
Alternatives to Gel Nail Polish
Gel nail polish can be a great way to get strong, long-lasting nails, but they can also be damaging to your nails over time. Thankfully, there are other alternatives to gel nail polish which can help you keep your nails healthy and looking great. Let’s take a look at some of these alternatives and their benefits:
- Regular nail polish – Regular nail polish is a great alternative to gel nail polish as it is much less damaging to your nails and can still provide a beautiful finish.
- Nail wraps – Nail wraps are another great alternative to gel nail polish as they provide a strong, long-lasting finish without the need for harsh chemicals.
- Gel-like polishes – Gel-like polishes are a great option for those who want the look of gel nails without the damage.
- Nail hardeners – Nail hardeners are a great way to strengthen and protect your nails while still allowing you to enjoy the look of gel nails.
Regular Nail Polish
Regular nail polish is one of the most popular alternatives to traditional gel manicures. This type of polish is available in an array of colors, treatments, finishes and brands, making it a great choice for at-home manicures. Best of all, regular polish gives nails a glossy finish without the need for exposure to ultraviolet light or long-term salon maintenance.
When applying regular nail polish, use thinner coats to ensure that your color does not chip and apply a top coat every few days for extra protection. That being said, regular nail polish does have a shorter longevity than gel products and will require frequent touchups and reapplication.
Also consider adjusting the materials you use when applying your regular nail polish in order to minimize the damage it can cause to your nails. Invest in quality bristle brushes rather than foam brushes whenever possible as these provide better coverage with less mess. Finally, try adding acrylic powder before your top coat to help thicken the layer’s protective coating and increase its smoothness against skin contact as well as its overall longevity.
Natural Nail Care
Natural nail care is a great alternative to gel or acrylic nails and can help keep your nails healthy. Natural nail treatments leave your nails looking beautiful while also protecting their health.
Begin by cutting and filing your nails in a way that helps them maintain their natural strength. Shorter nails are much less likely to break than long extended ones, so it’s best to try and keep them just above the skin at all times. After cutting and filing, use a buffer to even out ridges, bumps and all-over texture on the surface of your nails.
Increasing blood circulation in your fingers can help boost nail growth, shape them more evenly, and improve their overall health. Use a gentle massage tool or rollerball for this purpose which will also help soften cuticles so it’s easier to remove any rough edges with an orange stick or cuticle pusher. When massaging be gentle with the skin around the nails as excessive pressure can injure skin cells making zig zag lines on the sides of finger tips appear very prominent in appearance.
Ensure good hygiene practices; always clean under the nail beds before pushing back cuticles – using lukewarm water with some antibacterial hand wash should suffice for this task; dry hands right away afterward with a paper towel and always wear cotton gloves when washing up dishes or doing chores – as this is important for preventing dry skin which is prone to damage around fingernails.
Soaking hands regularly in warm coconut oil mixed with natural essential oils such as lavender oil or tea tree oil can help improve hydration levels of fingernails while keeping any fungal infections at bay, which could lead to hangnail growth due to breakage – also making sure gloves are worn when gardening or working around dirt outdoors can do wonders here!
Acrylic nails are one of the most popular alternatives to gel polish. Nail technicians usually suggest this service to clients looking for a long lasting, durable manicure. Acrylic nails are created by combining a liquid monomer with a powder polymer that is brushed over the natural nail and molded into the desired shape. Once they have been properly applied, acrylic nails will remain adhered to the natural nail until they are intentionally removed.
The advantages to acrylic nails include less chipping and durability when compared to gel polish. In addition, once cured, acrylic nails do not require additional maintenance such as frequent cleaning or drying like gel manicures do – increasing their overall lifespan and monetary value for your dollar spent.
It is important to keep in mind that proper application may require more time and attention from a professional than with other methods—which translates into longer appointment times as well as potentially higher costs at the salon. As with any kind of manicure or pedicure appointment, it’s important to ensure you are comfortable with your technician’s skills before proceeding with an acrylic application.
After researching the topic of whether gel nail polish can harm nails, it is possible to come to a conclusion. While many sources indicate that gel nail polishes are safe and generally non-toxic if used properly, consumers should consider the risk factors associated with this type of manicure. Some potential risks that may occur are:
- Contact dermatitis
- Dehydration of nails leading to damage
- Fungal infections
- Weakened nails due to overuse
Considering all the potential risks associated with gel nail polishes, it is important for consumers to understand how to properly use and remove these products. Tips for proper use and removal would include:
- Avoiding extended exposure to UV/LED lights when curing the product on your nails
- Using a non-acetone nail polish remover when removing your gels from natural nails
- Not allowing an overgrowth of your cuticles which can cause damage down the road
- Incorporating weekly nourishing treatments such as moisturizing bases or oils into your regular routine alongside other protective measures
These tips will help keep your nails healthy and strong despite the intense wear that gels require for removal.