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Do Gel Manicures Damage Nails?

Are gel manicures bad for your nails? Although gel nails look good, there are a few reasons why you might want to avoid getting gel polish.

Dr. Kline & Green Team
8 April 2020
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Gel Manicures are insanely popular and give your nails a unique look— However, at what cost? Unfortunately, gel manicures are more often than not, too good to be true. Gel nails are different to regular polish in that they are longer lasting, with less chipping, but require drying between coats under a UV lamp. Although gel nails sound good, there are a few reasons why you might want to avoid getting gel polish.

7 Most Common Ways Gel Manicures Damage Your Nails

Without further ado, here are 7 ways that gel manicures may be harmful to your overall nail health.

1. Nail Thinning

Gel manicures are more likely to thin your natural nail, specifically the nail plate. This can cause drastic effects over time. This is likely due to the harsh acetone soak your nails have to go through to remove gel nails. Regardless, it’s important to understand that the gel formula is different and more intense than traditional nail polish. While regular nail polish is still not recommended as it damages your nails, it’s likely less damaging than more vigorous treatments like gel manicures.

2. UV Exposure

Unlike other nail treatments, gel manicures require that your hands and nailbeds are exposed directly to UV light. UV light can cause premature aging effects and dry out your nails and hands pretty drastically.

3. Dehydration

One of the best ways to keep your nails in good spirits is by hydrating them properly. Gel manicures can easily dry out your nail beds and leave your nails in disarray. To combat these effects, you might consider trying out a nail strengthener such as Hydrate by Drs. Kline + Green. Moreover, the skin around the nail is likely dehydrated after being exposed to acetone in the process of gel removal. Undoubtedly, the best way to keep your nails in top shape is to avoid gel manicures all together.

4. Picking and Peeling

With long gel nails or acrylics, you may feel inclined to peel and pick at your artificial nails. This can cause nasty bacteria and fungi to get in between your natural nail and gel nail and harbor an infection. Moreover, it’s possible that picking at gel manicures can pull off some of your natural nail in the process. This can significantly wear out your nails over time and thin your nails as a whole. Even when properly removed by a nail technician, gel or acrylic nails can leave lasting damage.

5. Allergic Reactions

Unfortunately, sometimes gel, acrylic, or powder dip formulas can cause harsh reactions in the user. Even worse, you may not even see symptoms until days after the initial manicure. One of the signs to look out for an adverse reaction is a swollen, red cuticle. You may also see some sort of discoloration on your natural nail once the gel nail is removed. Regardless, the best course of action is to avoid gel nail polish altogether.

6. Harsh Removal Process

Gel manicures can be pretty inconvenient since they require an extensive removal process. However, this is more than just annoying. Removing a gel manicure exposes your body and nails to harmful acetone which can dry out the surrounding skin and nail beds. It can also cause painful peeling of your actual nail which is extremely detrimental to your nail’s overall health.

7. Restricts Your Natural Nails

Gel sits right on top of your natural nail which makes it more difficult for your nails to properly breathe and self-regulate. This can make it hard for your nails to properly adjust even after the gel has been removed since they’ve been restricted for an extended period of time. The same can be said for traditional polish, nail polish remover and topcoat. These can also damage otherwise healthy nails if overused.

While gel manicures may certainly look fun, they’re overall pretty damaging to your natural nails for the few benefits that they do provide. Instead, take care of your natural nails and get a “naked” regular manicure at the nail salon instead, to get that signature polished look from your manicurist, while keeping your nail health in mind.

If you’re been using gel manicures and have damaged your nails, you can restore your nails to health by using one of the products from our range. Hydrate can help resolve issues with dry nails, and Clear + Restore can help reverse nail damage.

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