The Truth About Gel Manicures

The past decade has seen a surge in the popularity of gel manicures, which are valued for their appearance and durability. If you’re a gel manicure fan you know they beam and shine on your nails, last way longer than a traditional mani without chipping, and dry in what seems like seconds.

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But as amazing as gel manicures are, there is, sadly, a downside–and it has to do with that drying process.

Technically called “curing,” it involves lamps that emit ultraviolet A (UVA) rays, the very same rays you catch outside from the sun (and from indoor tanning beds). And also the very same rays dermatologists are always warning us to avoid if we also want to avoid premature aging and skin cancer.

So, before your next gel mani, use sunblock.. lather up your hands before a gel manicure with broad-spectrum (covering both UVA and UVB light) sunscreen with an SPF of 30 to 50.

Avoid gel manicures if you have weak or brittle nails. They’re more likely to be damaged by a gel manicure.

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