Gel manicures have proven themselves insanely popular in recent years because of their major draw over regular polish manicures: they don’t chip for up to 3 weeks! Every busy woman understands the benefits of this; with our crazy schedules it can be really hard to find the time to fix a chip in our mani. However what many people don’t know are the health risks that accumulate over time with repeated gel manicures. The UV light your hands are exposed to when curing a gel manicure can increase your susceptibility to skin cancer.
Any exposure to UV light will increase your risk of skin cancer, particularly if it is an artificial source that is directed closely to the skin. Many studies into the danger of UV light exposure during gel manicures claim that the amount of UV light that the skin is exposed to each time they visit the salon isn’t damaging. Renee Albera, creator of a new product called ‘YouVeeShield’ emphasises the accumulative danger of gel manicures, “We all know UV light is harmful. It is a fact that UV light damage is accumulative. A little exposure over time equals a lot of exposure.” Many salons have begun using LED lights instead of UV lights, claiming that this decreases the clients’ exposure to harmful UV, however Renee says this isn’t true – “I have interviewed hundreds of nail technicians across the United States. Almost all of them direct people who come into the salon stating they do not want to be exposed to UV but want a gel manicure to a LED lamp. They incorrectly believe these lamps do not use UV to cure the gel. They not only use UV to cure but they use more UV to cure which is why they cure so much faster!” Albera however, doesn’t want to panic consumers, as she says “there is no need to worry as long as your skin is protected”, and her new and innovative product YouVeeShield does just that!
Even though nobody wants to increase their risk of cancer, we all crave a chip-free manicure that lasts for more than 3-4 days! For those readers that want to get the look of a gel manicure or pedicure but without the health risks associated, we have rounded up some wonderful alternatives! CND have a polish called ‘Vinylux’ which sets like a gel manicure without curing under a UV or LED light and lasts for a whole week! And for the CND Shellac lovers, 60 of the 71 shades available in the ‘Vinylux’ range are an exact match of their Shellac colors. Another alternative is using a ‘gel-look’ topcoat which gives the staying power of a gel manicure without having to be cured under UV or LED light and can be used over any of your regular polishes. We love Dior Gel Coat, Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab and Julep Freedom Polymer Top Coat .
– Mette Jorgensen