Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Are Gel Manicures Worth the Risk of Skin Cancer?

When Everything She Wants was offered a gel manicure at a press preview, we couldn't resist.  And since we'd never had a gel manicure before, we didn't know much about them. We should have suspected something out of the ordinary was up, however, when our skilled manicurist asked if we felt any burning while our nails bathed in blue light under a heated lamp.

My Gelish manicure still looked good after two weeks.
Refinery29 did a thorough report on the health risks associated with the gel nail trend, and luckily our Gelish Soak-Off Gel Polish manicure was dried using an LED lamp instead of a UV lamp.  According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, ultraviolet radiation (UV) can cause skin cancer, and that includes gel manicure UV curing lamps. Although the risk for getting squamous cell caricnoma (SCC) from a gel manicure--the second most common skin cancer caused by frequent UV exposure--is reportedly low, we're not willing to take any chances.

Apparently, LED lamps, which are also used to dry regular nail polish, don't pose the same threat because they don't emit ultraviolet radiation.

Although we got plenty of compliments on our fuchsia-polished Gelish manicure that lasted for nearly three weeks, whether it's done with LED or UV light, we're still uneasy about the whole thing. So this was our first and last gel manicure.

What do you think?  Are gel manicures worth the health risk?

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