February 10, 2023

"Gel Nail Hell" Follow Up: Didn't I tell you not to do it?


In my highly acclaimed article, “Escape From Nail Gel Hell: Words From a Former Addict,” (published “In the Age of Empathy,” June 14, 2022), I went into how gel nails are applied and removed. 

Basically, you breathe in your nails from the Dremel polishing off the top layer. Then, to achieve the multi-layers of polish: first layer is applied, followed by the UV light. Second layer is applied, followed by the UV light. You get the idea. It’s done at least five times.

Then, you can wait up to three weeks or so to have those gorgeous nails removed. Cotton pads are soaked in a high-octane potion and secured onto your nails with aluminum foil, like little potatoes at a clam bake.

Now everyone is talking about the dangers of gel nails. In a new study published in January 2023 in the journal “Nature Communications,” they examine how the UV light used in most salons affected the cells of humans and mice. The research suggests that ultraviolet light is like radiation that penetrates the skin more deeply. It has been found to damage the DNA in cells, which increases the risk of early-onset skin cancer.

There’s still not enough data to conclude that it’s time to ban gel manicures for good. “We can’t qualify the risk,” said Chris Adigun, a dermatologist told the New York Times in “Are Gel Manicures Dangerous?” (February 7, 2023). “But the data is mounting that UV radiation emitted by nail lamps could be potentially dangerous.” 

Cigarette, anyone? How about a tanning bed? 

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