Gel Manicured Nails… Dos & Don’ts

nails_blackhands The last time I had a manicure, the manicurist shared with me that her customers who were having Gel manicures without using the UV lamp appeared to have more problems with weaker and chipping issues.  In fact, she suggested that her customers who had Gel/UV lamp manicures had stronger ‘natural nails’.  Then I heard that UV lamp manicures could be dangerous because of the ultra violet light, since this light was similar to the ultra violet light used in tanning salons, and could cause serious problems, for example nerve damage!  Needless to say this caused me some concern, and I decided to some research on my own.  My findings are summarized below.  As always, you can click on the links provided to read more details.

Gelish versus Shellac Manicures

Formulation:Gelish is a mixture of gel and pigment. Shellac is a mixture of gel and polish. Both products offer a minimum of 2 weeks of chip free nails and no dulling of the shiny finish.

Application: Buffing the natural nail is the main difference between Gelish and Shellac nail polish for fingers. With Shellac, the natural nail is not buffed at all. With Gelish, the natural nail is buffed before applying the first product in the Gelish process.


 Before removing Gelish the “surface” must be broken by buffing.

With Shellac there is no buffing involved, though the soak off procedure is similar.

 Gelish takes an extra five minutes to soak off, which means an extra five minutes with the finger exposed to acetone. via Gelish versus Shellac

What is the Danger of UV Light Used on Nails? nail_shock

The following is a summary of  findings that were written by, Doug Schoon, the Chief Scientific Advisor of Creative Nail Design, and Jim McConnell, Chemist Light Elegance Nails:

 UV (ultraviolet) light has been widely used for curing artificial nail products over the past 25 years. UV nail lamps should really be called UVA nail lamps, because they are designed to produce UVA light, the safer form of UV light.

 Undercured UV gel nails will be prone to staining, discoloration, lifting, breakage and increased risk for clients to develop product-related allergies.

The exposure time of your hands to UV light during the service will range from 10 minutes to maybe 15 minutes (one hand at a time).

 Here are the facts, fluorescent lights office lights put out a tiny amount of UV light. [During] UV nail related salon services, … clients will be exposed to more UV light from fluorescent bulbs in an office setting than during the salon service.

UV nail lamps are not significant source of UV exposure.via Are UV Lamps Safe for nail services?.

sunblock_nails Suggestions for a safer Gel/UV manicure are:

A nail-industry sponsored study conducted at the Lighting Sciences Inc., an independent lab in Scottsdale, Ariz., found that getting a gel manicure every two weeks is equivalent to spending an extra two minutes in the sun every day.

Just as dermatologists have long advocated wearing sunscreen on a daily basis, they now also recommend wearing sunscreen on your hands when you go for a gel manicure. via 10 Tips to Keep Your Gel Manicure Safe – ABC News.

LED lights are believed to be safer for the skin than UV nail lamps (though some do have UV bulbs) because they cure the polish much faster–meaning less time under the light. In some of the devices, like the Red Carpet Pro Light, the entire hand is not placed completely inside. via Tips for a Safe Gel Manicure.

I hope this is helpful !

helpful sun

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