So there has been a lot of hype lately about gel polish and all the horrible things it does to your nails and then there are the people who rant and rave about them. Due to this I have decided to do a page on both aspects of Gel polish.I read article after article on gel polish and I have to tell you some of them are a complete joke. I feel like some of them were written just to get a rise out of people. I will tell you I do get gel manicures, that doesn’t mean my opinion is biased, it just means I read both sides and made an informed decision. That is not saying my opinion is right, it’s just mine.All that being said, just like with anything in life the bad comes with the good, but it doesn’t always outweigh it. To be bluntly honest I think they only reason people believe all his hype is because they are naive on the subject, they read about chemicals, damage, light, cancer, and instantly go “OMG this must be bad, I’ll never get a gel manicure.” That’s kinda like when the mechanic gets you to buy car parts you don’t need because he knows your not fully versed on the in’s and out’s of cars. Enjoy Reading.

UV LIGHT:

     “Gel nail polish is set or cured with ultraviolet light. Think of the light as baking the polish into the nails. The problem is that ultraviolet light is essentially sunlight and sunlight causes skin cancer” Dr Susan Taylor. WWWOOWW, that’s all I gotta say. Let’s get serious for a moment, they are claiming they are like small tanning beds? New research shows this is a crock. There is no research what-so-ever that shows correlation between the two women’s skin cancer on their hands and UV light from nail salons. The bulbs used in UV nail lamps contain special internal filters that remove almost all UVB which means they are less damaging then natural sunlight. The amount it exposes you to is the equivalent to spending 17-26 extra SECONDS outside a day between nail appointments. Test results show that UVA exposure for client skin is equivalent to spending an extra 1.5 to 2.7 minutes in sunlight each day between salon visits. Those tests are from what an AVERAGE person spends outside a day. Personally, I’m well over the average daily sun exposure and I bet if you looked it up you are too 🙂 If you are seriously that worried over this hype put some sunblock on your hands before your appointment, just make sure your nail tech knows that because sunblock on the nails can actually prevent the manicure from curing.
      *FYI for all those out there who wear acrylics…..that light they put you under to cure your acrylics is the exact same light and you probably have been doing that for years**

ACETONE: 

     I find this one to be my biggest problem with gels. It’s true what they say about acetone it does cause your nails to become dry and brittle. I won’t argue that and I don’t have anything to disprove those statements. However, most nail polish removers you use have acetone in them so even if your just getting a regular manicure you still have to get the polish off. There are nail polish removers out there without acetone but unless your using a water based solvent (personally I feel I have to scrub forever and leaves a hue of the color behind on my nail) even the non-acetone nail polishes have a chemical in them that will dry out your nails. Silver lining, it’s very easy to reverse the damage done with acetone. Just a little TLC involving cuticle oils, moisturizers, and taking your daily vity 🙂 I would also like to add washing the dishes, the counters, doing yard work can dry out your nails as well so a nightly nail treatment is a good idea anyways.

DAMAGE:

Unless you do absolutely nothing to your nails there is always a chance of damaging them. Have you ever actually read the chemicals in a regular nail polish? If you want a way to make your nails hard this is a wonderful alternative to Acrylic nails. Yes they have to buff the top to put the gel polish on but they don’t take a drill and file your nails down to nothing. I used to wear acrylics and now I am all about gels. If you want to talk about damage, put a pair of acrylic’s on and tell me how your nails look after. My nails are durable and shiny and they don’t break like they do with regular nail polish. I don’t see through my nails like I used to be able to do. My cuticles are always pushed back and shaped because you can’t touch the gel polish to the cuticle or it will lift.The damage that is done while your getting gels is nothing more then you would do getting a regular manicure or in everyday life.

 
METHYL ACRYLATE:

Not to burst anyone’s bubble but this is a main ingredient in most nail polishes. It is a polymer that provides the cohesiveness of the coat once the polish hardens. It’s full name is ethyl methyl acrylate. A large amount of the articles you read on this chemical are actually about methyl methyl acrylate which was banned because of the scientifically proven detrimental health effects it causes, including respiratory issues. As of today, there is no study that shows respiratory issues which this chemical. You also need to remember the way you are exposed to this chemical is when the polish is drying and evaporating into the air. That’s a very very small amount if you think of the amount of product that’s used to paint your nails. Also, they talk about allergic reactions near the eye, I am not sure why you are putting nail polish near your eyes but once its cured to your nails it’s fine to itch  your eye. I found that to be the funniest part of the articles. Side note, if you did get a reaction it’s easy to fix with benedryl.

BUTYLATED HYDROXYANISOLE (BHA)

Do you know how many articles I have read with this exact statement?”The chemical, butylated hydroxyanisol (BHA), which is considered a cancer-causing agent, is found in some gel nail polishes. Although we do not know exactly how much exposure you would need for cancer to develop” Key words, SOME and WE DO NOT KNOW. In my word when we group things together based on one detail because they share common characteristics is called stereotyping. Easiest way to avoid this one would be something as simple as asking the nail tech if the gel polish she uses contains this ingredient. If you don’t believe her, read the back label. Remember what I was saying about throwing scary names on things and not having research? Here’s a table about the risks of BHA and cancer, notice how it says lips, last time I checked nail polish was used on your hands. Read all about it CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS 
                                                    Cancer

                         Concern                                        Research
 

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Risk assessment method deficiencies and data gaps – Maximum reported “as used” concentration is basis of safety assessment by industry safety panel (Cosmetic Ingredient Review, CIR) – implicit safe concentration limit in product         
Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments
 
Possible human carcinogen (only for products for use on the lips)
 
NTP Report on Carcinogens, 11th Edition
Possible human carcinogen (only for products for use on the lips)
California EPA Proposition 65
 
Limited evidence of carcinogenicity (only for products for use on the lips)
Int’l Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) – Carcinogens

 

 Nothing is 100 % healthy for you anymore. Honestly if you have ever had acrylic nails on then you should have known about these chemicals already. In today’s society it feels like everything can cause cancer or make us sick, and it’s not because we are putting worse chemicals in products we just have the medical advances and research to see the the correlation between the two, where we didn’t years and years ago. Truthfully, you just have to use your brain. We’re talking about nail polish here!! Not smoking, or drinking, or drugs, or suntanning,which to be deadly honest I believe a vast number of people writing the articles on how horrible gels nails are to your health probably do one of those four things. Which is hindsight is sooo much worse. One day just sit down and google some of the chemicals you find in your food, your soaps, your dishes, your drinks, your clothes, your shoes, your makeup, I bet it will put new light to the words “safe percentage”

Yours Truly,
K

 

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