They say “it’s what’s on the inside that counts,” but there’s nothing wrong with a woman’s outer beauty matching her inner beauty; however, it’s important to make sure the approach is healthy one. So when it comes to manicures and pedicures, here are some things for women to look out for the next time the head to the salon for a gel-based mani-pedi.
While gel nails are preferred by many women because they are supposed to have less wear-and-tear and last longer, there negative health consequences can last even longer. Nerve damage is one reported side effect exhibited in electric shock-like pain in the forearm.
It is theorized the damage can come from the overuse of nail files use to prepare the nail for layers of paint, as well as salons mixing acrylic polish in with the gel polish, or simply the use of cheap gel polish. Other known side effects are also shortness of breath and irritation of the eyes and skin.
Use of methyl methacrylate
Another reason for said negative health consequences is the use of a compound called methyl methacrylate, which is banned by the Food and Drug Administration. And if you’re asking yourself: But if it’s not approved by the FDA, then how would the gel polish have it as an ingredient? It’s because of a loophole in the system. Cosmetics and nail products do not have to undergo clinical trials before they are available for purchase, which means some products may have this dangerous ingredient despite it’s harmful side effects.
While regular nail polish can dry simply with the waving of the hands or blowing of air, gel nails require an ultra-violet lamp in between each layer of coat in order for the gel to set. These UV lamps are no different than those used in tanning beds associated with an increased risk for skin cancer. One study found two women that acquired skin cancer on their hands from exposure to nail lamps. It is suggest that gel nail users look for a salon that uses LED dryers instead.
Hope on the horizon
A company called CND developed a hybrid nail product called Shellac, which combines gel with traditional nail polish. While currently only available at salons, the hybrid version requires less layers and less exposure to acetone upon removal.