We all love some of the benefits of a gel manicure. Your nails look almost blindingly shiny. The polish doesn’t chip at all, not a bit, for at least 2 weeks. It just doesn’t come off till you have it taken off. What a great invention, right?
Recently The New York Post, no shrinking violet among newspapers, ran the headline “Doc warns that popular gel manicure is ‘cancer risk’.” http://bit.ly/12t82p9 The Post quoted Dr. Chris Adigun, Assistant Professor of the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at NYU School of Medicine, as saying that frequent gel manicures could increase the risk of skin cancer. The increased cancer risk is due to the UV light used to cure the gel polish. Regular nail polish is dried by LED lights. The concern with UV is that there are no guidelines on the amount of UV exposure from the UV lamps. And the UV drying lamps aren’t regulated, so they may emit different amounts of UV.
The online beauty site, the Daily Glow, contacted Dr. Adigun for further details and clarification. She told the Daily Glow, “There is a risk, but the risk is small.” The light emitted by a manicure lamp is much less than the UV light from a tanning bed. However, most of us know enough to avoid the tanning bed. The Daily Glow goes on to report that, “According to a 2012 report from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, it would take 250 years of weekly gel manicures to equal the exposure of one session with an FDA-approved UV phototherapy lamp.” OK then.
The article goes on to quote Dr. Adigun as suggesting that if you do get frequent gel manicures to wear gloves with the fingertips cut off to protect the skin on your hands or to put sunscreen on your hands before the polish is applied — but you can’t get it on your nails, right? Hmmm. What about the skin on your fingertips that are really exposed to the UV light?
At what price beauty?
While I love the look of the gel manicure and the fact that I know that my nails won’t chip right before a big event or while I’m away on a business trip, I limit the number of gel manicures that I get. I found that there were some negative consequences for me that had nothing to do with the UV light. The pre-manicure “rough up” of my nails with a file weakened them a bit to start off. When I returned to the salon for the polish removal, the heavy-duty acetone dried out the skin around my fingertips and my nails became brittle. Is that due to the process or to the fact that my “mature skin” and nails are drier to begin with? Shortly after the acetone bath to help scrape the polish off, the nail on my thumb split vertically, and it still hasn’t completely healed. 🙁
So now, I only get a gel manicure for special occasions, sigh. Everyone has to make up her own mind about the gel manicure. What’s your opinion? Are you still in, or have you gone back to regular manis? How often do you get a gel manicure?