Are gorgeous gel manicures actually bad for your nails?

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Before choosing to get a gel manicure on your next me-time day, don't forget these guidelines!

For many mums, getting a manicure and pedicure is the best way to spend a day of me-time pampering. More and more mums are discovering gel manicures, which don’t just look great, they also last longer than the average nail polish.

Though pricier than a regular manicure, gel manicures are recommended by many nail experts.

“The gel coating on top of the nail serves as a barrier from excess water absorption,” says Dasha Minina, CEO of Maxus Nail in an interview with Yahoo. “Nails are extremely porous by nature and absorb water like a sponge. The more water, the softer the nail, and the more likely it is to peel and break.”

Before getting gel manicures, here are 5 things mums should know…

gel manicures

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1. UV light exposure has been linked to skin cancer

There has been some concern over the possibility of increasing cancer risk due to UV light exposure.

After getting a gel manicure, nail technicians usually subject fingers and toes to UV light in order for them to dry faster. 

“These lamps are not to be underestimated, even though the exposure times are brief. They are very powerful and are emitting UVA rays far more powerful than those emitted by the sun,” Dr. Chris G. Adigun, MD, dermatologist and nail specialist, tells Reader’s Digest.

2. Gel polish removal could weaken nails

As mentioned above, gel manicures make nails less breakable by acting as a shield to moisture.

However, nails can still be prone to breakage because of the removal process of gel polish, which involves scraping off polish. This can cause dehydration and thinning of nails.

There are gentler ways to remove gel manicures.  This involves buffing the top layer first before soaking it in acetone. 

3. Some types of gel manicures are better than others

For pregnant or breastfeeding mums, getting a manicure or pedicure is generally safe. But caution must be taken when it comes to choosing the type of nail polish.

Experts recommend going for gel polish that is non-toxic or 5-free. These types of gel polish don’t contain toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), formaldehyde, and camphor.

gel manicures

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4. You shouldn’t have gel manicures done too often

In order to give your nails time to recover, try not to get these types of manicures too often. 

You can alternate between regular polish and gel polish, or you can get manicures and pedicures just once a month.

For alternative options for me-time pampering, you can try these instead.

5. You have to pamper nails after gel manicures

Pampering shouldn’t end once you’ve had your manicure or pedicure! Continue caring for your nails by moisturising them with oils or balms to help repair and maintain healthy nails and skin. 

There are everyday ways to care for your nails, mums! Try to wear gloves when doing household chores. Or apply hand cream each night before bed, to maintain your hands’ soft, supple quality.

How do you care for your nails, mums? Let us know in the comments below.

Sources: Reader’s Digest, Yahoo, The Atlantic

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