Gel Nail Polish: Harmful or Helpful?


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A new popular alternative to acrylic nails is the gel nail polish. Gel nail polish is said to be less damaging for nails, and it also lasts up to weeks longer than regular nail polish. Upon learning of gel nail polish, I decided to give it a try, and was pleased with the results. My nails seemed thick and strong with the polish on, and also the polish did last significantly longer than regular polish without chipping.

While reading a Huffington Post article about the new craze, gel nail polish, I was disappointed by some facts that have been uncovered about it. Dr. Susan Taylor uncovered five negative side effects of gel nail polish. One can develop a rash known as contact dermatitis because of a certain chemical that some gel nail polishes contain. The chemical is methyl acrylate which can cause a red, itchy skin reaction that can even spread to areas of your body that one might rub, for instance eyelids. A second chemical found in gel nail polish is actually cancer causing.  Butylated hydroxyanisol is found in certain polishes, and can be avoided by checking polish ingredients before application. A third negative side effect and most obvious, is the fact that the polish must be dried using ultraviolet light. UV light is notorious for being connected with skin cancer, and so it is important to realize that any exposure to it is damaging. Now I let my gel polish come off on its own, but if you go to the salon to have them take it off, they will use acetone to rid your nail of the polish. After it is taken off, your nails are weaker and thinner than they were before. So the myth that gel polish makes nails stronger is only true when the gel polish is actually on the nail. So be aware. The final negative effect of gel nail polish that Dr. Taylor uncovered is related to the last effect, in that before gel polish is applied, your nails are filed down to create a smoother surface, for the gel and in turn making your nails ultra-thin. Not just thin, but this could lead to infection according to the article.

So as I jumped on the gel nail polish bandwagon, like a lot of women I know, I feel like some of these negative side effects outweigh the positive ones of gel polish. I am wondering what all you ladies think about this information, and if you have any opinion on the polish craze.

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4 Comments

I really enjoy this article because I love getting my nails done, just many other girls. I have gotten gel nail polish before and actually was not to happy with the results. I had a really hard time getting the nail polish to come off completely after it began to chip. All my friends got it and that is what made me get it. But, after that experience and reading this article, I do not think I will be getting gel nail polish again. I will be sticking to a regular manicure!
I got interested in the topic of if getting your nails done is bad and stumbled upon this article: http://www.totalbeauty.com/content/gallery/nail-salon-secrets
Now I am weary to just get my nails done!!!

I recently heard about the cancer-causing potential of gel nails as well! I've never gotten them because 1. I'm too broke and 2. I rarely get my nails done, and when I do I get acrylics. Women everywhere are constantly looking for new and "better" fads to remain up-to-date with fashions, and gel nails are certainly no exception. Who says women have to get their nails done? No one... So why do we spend $50 on a gel manicure? Because women in society (as a whole) does. It's amazing how what's popular as a culture influences us so much. Do we get our nails done because we enjoy it, or do we do it so others notice? It's important that we understand the potential dangers behind these trends we are partaking in regularly.

This is actually so helpful to hear, I never knew any dangers related to gel nail polish. I have never got it done, but I have been considering it for a while. Yet I have had acrylics before and acetone is used to remove them also probably leading to the same dangerous effects. Women are so quick to just get their nails done, no one stops to research what certain types of manicures may do. I rarely get my nails done at all, but am now weary of getting gel polish or even acrylics. With further research I found an article on more dangers of gel manicures: http://www.elizabethstreet.com/style/Shellac-And-Gel-Manicure-Dangers

Jordan I really enjoyed this article because I absolutely LOVE getting gels. The first time I tried it was maybe a year and a half ago and I would get them redone pretty much every two weeks for almost a year. I know what you're thinking, you're thinking that I'm crazy and that my nails must be destroyed. In all fairness I really didn't know much about the negative effects of gels until my mom saw something about it on the news and tried to get me to stop. My response to my mom was that I was "addicted" and I wasn't going to stop. The truth is my nails have never been longer and stronger with and without my gels and I have never noticed any adverse effects. I eventually did my own research on it and learned the same things that you did and I now rarely ever get them and when I do I always peel them off myself. Judge me if you want, but I believe that in moderation they are an okay thing. So if it's your birthday or the holidays or you have an event to go to, I say why not I mean they DO look amazing and last for 2 weeks!

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