This is concerning UV gel manicures as they have been discussed a lot in the media as to the level of safety, both in the chemical composition and in the use of a UV lamp to cure the gel polish. There have been a few articles I've read but I find them full of holes and the informed consumer needs to be able to read between the lines. It makes me wonder if all of the "research" was paid in part by the nail polish manufacturers that are loosing money due to the popularity of some of the Gel Polish brands. It's not that some of the polish companies have a bad product, in fact, I'm certain that are many excellent products currently on the market, it's just that some of the reports that I read seem biased. We'll let you decide for yourself...
Gel Polish SafetyOne of the problems that are mentioned are that the gel polishes contain ingredients that are considered hazardous due to reproductive harm or cancer causing ingredients. Some ingredients in the gel polish brands may be listed in California's Proposition 65 list (this lists the ingredients that may be considered hazardous), I'm certain that the manufacturers have kept the chemicals well below the limits listed. For those of you who do not know about Proposition 65, it lists chemicals known to be carcinogens and reproductive toxicants. The list shows numerous ingredients that can be found in almost any product, some of the most recent being tape measures, belts, art kits, footwear, etc, etc, etc. (You get the idea.) Any intelligent manufacturer of nail products would be diligent in making certain that any ingredient needed would remain below the recommended "parts per million" as designated by Proposition 65. Why would they take the risk? The manufacturers are not stupid enough to have chemicals that could prevent the sale of their product.
UV Lamp ExposureThe second concern seems to be the UV exposure while curing the gel polish. The amount of exposure required to cure the gel polish with a UV gel lamp equates to approximately 20 minutes per month which would be much less than it would be to drive your car daily. According to Nails Magizine ("UV Nail Lamps Are Safe, Say Industry Experts", Nov 2010);
- "UV-B output for both UV nail lamps was less than what was found in natural sunlight... the amount of UV-B to which client skin is exposed is equal to what they could expect from spending an extra 17 to 26 seconds in sunlight each day of the two weeks between nail salon appointments"
- " UV-A exposure is much lower than suggested in the dermatologists’ report...Test results show that UV-A exposure for client skin is equivalent to spending an extra 1.5 to 2.7 minutes in sunlight each day between salon visits, depending on the type of UV nail lamp used."
For Those Still Concerned by Chemical Ingredients and UV Exposure
For those concerned about chemicals, remember this, everything is a chemical, water is a chemical. Water is extremely good for the body but too much can kill a person, even drinking too much. Everything in moderation. As for the UV exposure, if you are concerned, there are gloves available that inhibit UV exposure to the hands while still leaving the fingertips exposed for curing the gel. And for those concerned with both... just use regular polish, you can keep it on for up to 10 days with a little effort and knowledge on your part. For those who don't know how, (and here is my own little marketing plug) get the book "The Secret to Beautiful Natural Nails" by Alicia Lyons.