From experience, we at Beyond Yourself Beauty & Wellness Clinic realised that there is a reason why gel manicures have become an avant-garde beauty mainstay. They have proven to be basically indestructible, tremendously shiny and provide an opulent coverage. The most alluring aspect of a gel pedicure? Virtually no risk for chipping the polish the minute you put on your shoes or walking barefoot in the garden – not to mention the finish lasts for several weeks to come.
An industry expert explains that gel polishes contain more potent ingredients that grasp the nail tighter than traditional lacquers and are therefore strong enough to stand the daily wear and tear without chipping because it is more flexible. Dr Stern explains that the gel technology is unique because although it applies like a traditional poli, the gel has a chemical composition that enables it to harden (cure) to a glossy finish under a UV or LED lamp. You, therefore, don’t have to wait for it to dry. Traditional polishes, on the other hand, cure in oxygen and you have to wait for ages for it to dry properly.
The UV threat isn’t as scary as you’d think.
Some people seem to be anxious about the use of UV lights because they think the lamps can contribute to skin damage. Don’t worry! A recent study quantified the skin cancer risk of these devices and determined that even if you have a gel treatment every week, your chances of developing skin cancer is not increased.
Does gel damage your nails?
It seems unlikely that there is a product on the market that genuinely lasts longer than nail polish. Some people believe that gel polishes are not great for the nails. There are no statistics available for South African users, but it is estimated that more than 100 million people in the United States use gel polishes. One hundred million people cannot be wrong!
We believe that the damage some users experience is not because a gel system in general wreck natural nails, it may well be of the following reasons :
Whether or not you opt for a gel or traditional polish formula, the truth is that regular manicures/pedicures of any kind can weaken your natural nails if you do not implement a proper aftercare regime.
The manicure process can lead to dehydration and thinning of the nail plate,” says Dr Adigun. Make sure that you use cuticle oils, good quality hand creams and ensure you use additional nutrients through the use of multivitamins and minerals.
You know the importance of drinking plenty of H2O for your health – and the same rules apply when it comes to nail health. Also, hydrate your nails as much as possible in between salon visits.
Picking the product from the nail
It seems that it is a pretty prevalent condition among gel groupies is the picking process. When the product begins to lift or grow out, you may be tempted to remove it yourself, almost like you would do with a scab. As peeling and lifting begin, water can seep into the nail, which in return can harbour bacteria and possible cause fungus. Once the peeling phase start, it’s very tempting to pick at the polish. By ripping it off, you are taking some layers of your nail. When applied and removed correctly, gels are entirely safe to wear on an ongoing basis
Prolonged exposure to hot water
A gel pedicure’s greatest foe is hot water. Avoid long baths and showers because it speeds up the lifting process. Trapped moisture between the product and nail may cause bacterial outbreaks as mentioned earlier on.
Mediocre and outdated product.
A gel is not a gel is not a gel. Not all products are created equal. There are two different types of gel; soft gels and hard gels. “Hard gels are the traditional gels of the 1980s that are impermeable to acetone and need to be filed off, while soft gels are the newer ‘soak-off’ gels that can be removed without aggressive scraping,” says Dr Stern. Unsurprisingly, hard gels are way more damaging than soft gels, although even soak-off gels will likely cause some issues from the 10-minute (or more!) acetone soak. At our salon, we use state of the art, modern products that will not damage your nails.