When I return from the nail salon with my manicure intact, I feel confident. As expected, my ego suffers when I my nails crack. My only hope is gel polish.
Gel manicures were a huge success when they first appeared on the salon menu. They are quick and can last as long as car paint. Gel manicures promise a glossy, chip-free finish that lasts for up to two weeks. This is why I started choosing gel for my salon manicures.
These glossy manicures have a catch, just like all good things. Exposure to UV light isn’t good for your skin or nails. If done incorrectly, removing gel can cause damage to your nails.
You may be a diehard gel lover or just tired of chipping your manicure every time you reach for your phone. Here are the opinions of a professional manicurist, dermatologist and other experts on how to get a gel manicure.
What are the benefits of getting a gel manicure?
Gel manicures are available for everyone, regardless of whether they have long or short nails or if you want your tips to be glued. Gel manicures are stronger, last longer and more shiny than regular manicures.
The process is similar to a regular manicure: You will need to cut the nails and soak your hands. After that, you’ll need to trim the cuticles and clean up your hands. You’ll apply the gel polish to your nails. This is because it uses a special type of polish that sets under UV light instead of drying air. After you have applied each coat, place your hand in a UV lamp for 30 seconds. A technician will apply a glossy topcoat, which is also set under a UV light.
Gel manicures last long?
Gel manicures can last for up to two to three weeks. The way you treat your hands after a manicure and for the next two weeks will have a huge impact on how long your gel manicure lasts. Olive & June founder Sarah Gibson Tuttle says that gel polish can be left on for up to three weeks if they aren’t chipping. “But, like all lacquers, breaks between manicures can be a great way for nails to stay strong and healthy.”
What is the cost of gel manicures?
Prices for gel manicures can vary depending on where you are located and what salon you visit. A gel manicure will typically cost $5-10 more than regular manicures. Salons might charge for the removal of gel manicures as it is a labor-intensive process. It can be included in the price of your next manicure. However, some salons will charge for it.
How do you remove a gel manicure?
Gel polish removal requires patience, time, and no picking. You can either get gel removed at the salon, or do it yourself at home. To remove gel polish, first cover each nail with an acetone-soaked cotton balls. Next wrap aluminum foil around each finger to keep the cotton in place. Then let it rest for between 10 and 15 minutes. You should be able to slide the polish off your nails without filing or scraping. A wooden stick can be used for stubborn spots to gently remove the polish.
Can gel manicures damage your nails?
Gel manicures are often viewed as a bad idea for your nails. Gel polish removal can be very damaging. Tuttle says that it is the removal process that weakens nails more often than not. Tuttle points out that many salons rush the removal process. Tuttle says that the nail bed should not be filed or buffed in order to remove gels. This is how cracks can occur and create rough texture. It’s often difficult to spot because clients may use more gels or polishes to fix it.
You should never pick off or peel gels if you are removing them yourself. This is a sure way to cause injury and can lead to problems with future manicures. Picking off gels can cause layers to be removed from your nails. Tuttle says it also makes it more difficult for future gel and polish to stick on.
To keep your cuticles healthy and hydrated between appointments, Tuttle suggests applying cuticle oil. This will protect your skin and your nail beds.
Are UV lights really dangerous?
Gel manicures are criticized for their UV light exposure. This can lead to premature aging and increase your risk of skin cancer. This is a fact that turns out to be true. Joshua Zeichner M.D. is the director of cosmetic dermatology and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. “The ultraviolet light emitted by these dryers actually is much stronger than what would be obtained from sun exposure,” he said. “UVA light is responsible both for skin aging as well as the development of skin carcinomas.” Gel manicures are a good option. Make sure to protect your skin by applying sunscreen to your hands.
He recommends looking for products that are labeled “broad spectrum,” as they will protect you against this type of light.