Our team at Urban Beauty Academy have put this article together to answer some of the beauty related myths that exist. Throughout this series we will test some and debunk others. Today’s article is about whether gel is bad for nails? Part of being a beauty therapist means keeping abreast of the latest trends and developments that are taking place within the industry. Also you are required to be able to reassure your clients that when they present you with a question such as is gel bad for my nails, you are able to offer them a educated answer that will keep them comming back for more treatments.  Being quite fond of manicures myself, I used to get gel manicures and then the impatient woman in me decided to switch to acrylic purely for the fact that it’s a quicker process. Looks like I made the right choice! But what is it that makes gel so bad for your nails? Let’s take a look.

The first fact that I found is that gel manicures are also linked to some health conditions like brittle and thin nails, skin irritations and even skin cancer. The brittleness of your nails is caused by the 100% acetone used to soak the layered gel off as well as the chemical-heavy gel formula. The acetone also leads to the skin irritation and dried out nails. Some girls have even reported allergic reactions to the acetone.

But to be quite honest, none of this will make me cancel my appointment at the nail salon. Then I found this: the UV lamps that are used to set the gel polish can lead to an increased risk for skin cancer! PLUS, constantly having polish on your nails could mask any tumours or infections that have already formed, making an early intervention and cure far more difficult.

It is in general not a good idea to leave your nail polish in place for an extended period of time, simply because you can’t see what’s happening underneath the nail polish. However, moderation is key when it comes to gel manicures. If you get this done regularly, you’ll need to educate yourself on the possible consequences and make sure you have the number of a board-certified dermatologist.

I think the biggest problem comes two or three weeks after the manicure. Your nails continue to grow and if your salon beautician is not as clued up, the gel will pull away from your nails and start to lift. It is impossible to not start messing with that little tip that’s lifted and help it along by peeling or filing it off. The top layer of your nail will be pulled off with this gel layer, which leaves your nails thin and susceptible to water damage. Then you’re supposed to actually wait for a new healthy nail plate to grow in before returning for your follow-up at the salon. This could take months and us girls don’t want to do that. Besides, your nails now look crap with the top layer peeled off and it’s so easy to go back to the salon and get that covered up. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really help in the improvement of your nails.


If you’re like me, this will not change your mind about getting those nails done. So here’s some advice – when you need to soak, ask your technician to wrap your nails in cotton that’s been soaked in acetone and then cover your fingertips with foil. This method is just as effective and some girls report that it’s even faster.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to know more. Please visit our website or pop into our salon or academy for more information on how to look your best.

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