Gel manicures became an instant beauty phenomenon: They're quick, they're practically bulletproof, and the shiny, glossy color won't budge for at least two weeks.
Now that we have said the good, there are some pretty scary sides to the gel obsession.
Try to limit your exposure to the gel manicure light.
Although the jury is still out on whether or not UV light radiation from gel manicures can cause cancer, it's best to stay away as much as you can.
An additional concern is the popularity increase of LED lamps used on nails.
LED lamps have become popular as much for their faster curing times as the belief that they're safer than UV lamps, but that 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.
UVA radiation causes signs of premature aging like dark spots and wrinkles on your hands and wrists.
The truth is, when you still need to get that gel fix, you'll need more than just a simple sunscreen, as sunscreens are not typically great at protecting against UVA rays.
Plus, the UVA light from the nail lamps is stronger than the usual exposure you get from the sun. Applying sunscreen during a manicure is simply difficult.
By the time the hand-care portion of the manicure is finished, prior to the application of the gels, sunscreen would need to be applied, and then the consumer and the manicurist would need to wait the recommended 20 minutes prior to applying the gel.
Who’s going to actually do this? No one.
BUT! There is a product that exists called YouVeeShield Gloves. They protect your hands against UVA radiation as well as protecting the entire digits and wrist, is truly one-size-fits-all, and is economical.
Gel manicure UV lamps are not all alike.
It is important to note UV lamps are not regulated, so each one might affect you differently. The strength of the bulb varies from one manufacturer to the next, which makes it very difficult to assess the risk level at different salons. You might be telling yourself that the amount of exposure is so short and infrequent, but your visits to the manicurist add up.