Are gel nails bad for your real nails

10.09.2019
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Are gel nails bad for your real nails like acrylics/fake nails?

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are gel nails bad for your real nails
13 Facts About Gel Manicures You Wish You Knew About Sooner

There's no better way to treat yo self then by splurging on a luxurious manicure. A little nail art, a few rhinestones, and an on-trend hue give you the same boost of confidence as a spot-on outfit or a really good hair day. Unlike those things, which only last a day or so, a solid polish job can last you up to four weeks, if you play your cards right (trust me, I've done it).

You're probably asking yourself "HOW? My nails usually chip after three days!" Well, the answer is simple: gels. Thanks to the quick-dry formula, the application process is quicker than regular nail polish and lasts four times as long. That means you'll have weeks to enjoy your beautiful nail art.

Before you head to the salon, read these top tips from NYC-based celebrity nail artist Miss Pop. She's done manicures on all the hottest celebs, from Gigi Hadid and Ariana Grande to Lucy Hale. Ahead, she spills all her expert tips and tricks for getting the best possible gel manicure and how to make it last extra long. Here's everything you need to know before getting a gel manicure.

1. Gel and acrylic are completely different.

Acrylic nails are made with a powder dipped in solvent. "They're essentially used to lengthen the nail or provide a stronger top layer over the natural nail," explains Miss Pop. Think: the crazy-long coffin nails Kylie Jenner is obsessed with.

Sometimes acrylic nails come in colors, but usually they're clear or natural-toned. Gels, on the other hand, come in nail polish shades, and are made hard by being cured under a UV or LED lamp.

2. Look into different polishes to see which ingredients you feel most comfortable with.

Believe it or not, there are some polishes on the market that are known as "healthier" when it comes to gel manicures. For example, OPI’s GelColor ProHealth Base and Top Coat promises healthier nails and up to 14 days without a single chipped tip in sight.

GelColor Gel Nail Polish 3-Pc Set

OPI walmart.com

$44.95

A lot of salons now offer this polish, but call ahead to see if they carry the gel variety, as well. The base coat and topcoat can be used with any of OPI’s over 140 gel colors.

3. Your nails don't actually need to "breathe."

Many people worry about getting gels because they fear their nails won't be able to "breathe," but nails are actually dead to begin with. The whole idea is a myth, but it is kind of cute to imagine your little nails with micro-nostrils.

4. Gels weaken your nail beds, but it's mostly because of the removal process.

Now that we've gotten past the "breathing" myth, let's talk about what parts of your nails actually do need TLC. Your nail beds and cuticles are what's most important — they're made of living tissue, which is why you need to be careful during the application and removal process. DON'T rip them off. Get gels removed at a salon safely (it usually costs around $10-$20) or remove them yourself at home with acetone, tin foil, cotton balls, and a nail file.

Super Nail Pure Acetone, 16 fl. oz.

Super Nail amazon.com

$12.82

5. Actually watch your manicurist take off the polish.

I know, I know. It's so tempting to just zone off and watch whatever random show they have playing on the salon TV, but be sure to keep an eye on what the nail technician is up to.

Make sure the manicurist is removing your gels carefully. "No one should be scraping your nail bed aggressively. The product should just crumble off," says Miss Pop.

6. You can remove gels at home safely.

If you want to save money and a trip to the salon, you can take gels off yourself. You just have to be extra careful.

Here's how to do it:

Get a bottle of 100 percent acetone or a gel remover (it's less harsh than pure acetone). Place a cotton ball soaked in the remover on top of your nail.Wrap each nail in tinfoil.

Depending on your gel, this can take 15 minutes to an hour. When the gel is crumbling or sliding off, gently use a rubber-ended cuticle pusher to clean the gel off of your nail bed (do not file or scrape!).

Cuticle Stick

OPI amazon.com

$3.95

7. Keep your nail beds hydrated.

Miss Pop recommends using cuticle oil and moisturizer. "Even if you don't have a gel mani, those products will help your nails stay healthy and strong, not to mention stave off hangnails," she told Seventeen.

8. UV radiation can be dangerous to your health.

"Those purple-colored lights that help your nails dry are actually UV lights," explains Miss Pop. "Conventional wisdom says unnecessary exposure to UV rays is bad for you, but they have been part of salon services forever."

Luckily, there have been huge improvements in gel technology, and many brands have converted to LED curing, which doesn't have the side effects UV rays have on your skin.

SUNUV SUN2C 48W LED UV nail Lamp with 4 Timer Setting,Senor For Gel Nails and Toe Nail Curing

SUNUV amazon.com

$39.99

Ask your salon for that option. If you love your UV lamp for drying, put on sunscreen before – just in case.

9. At-home gel kits DO work.

Well, kind of. Brands like Sally Hanson, Ciate, and Kiss make at-home kits now with tiny little LED lamps. Try them out if you want to save money on your weekly manis.

Salon Pro Gel Starter Kit

Sally Hansen amazon.com

$48.91

At-home gel kits last a bit longer than a regular manicure — maybe 10 days — but are definitely not salon quality. You have to follow the instructions to the last detail and have a pretty steady hand to get a perfect gel nail.

10. Gels cost anywhere from $35 to $120.

How much you're going to pay for a gel mani really depends on where you live, but also what kind of look you want. Basic one-color gel manis start around $35, which is more than a regular mani, but it also lasts twice as long. If you want crazy celeb-level nail art, it could end up costing up to $100 or more – and that's not including the 20% tip.

11. Gels generally last 2-3 weeks.

The best part about gel manis is how long they last. If you have a bunch of events coming up back to back like prom, internship interviews, and family vacays, gels can be the perfect solution. They last about two full weeks with zero chipping – four if you're really careful with your nails.

12. Watch out for "toxic trio" ingredients.

Some polishes include potential cancer-causing chemicals like dibutyl phthalate, toluene and formaldehyde. Read the ingredients label on the polish bottle or on the company's website to avoid them.

13. Cuticles trims can put you at risk for infection.

Most salons don't cut cuticles anymore, but you should still ask your technician about it before she starts on your nails. Don't increase your risk of infection by getting your cuticles cut – just ask to have them pushed back, instead.



I had a dip powder manicure and it didn't chip for a whole month — then it wreaked havoc on my nails
  • I got a dip-powder manicure and my nails didn't chip for a month, but they were weak and brittle.
  • INSIDER consulted Dr. Dana Stern, a New York City dermatologist and nail specialist, along with nail technician Elaine Ling Lee who works at Valley — a quality salon in New York City that does not offer the dip-powder manicure service.
  • Lee said that a dip-powder manicure uses colored powder with a resin-type glue to create a long-lasting manicure.
  • According to Dr. Stern, this type of nail enhancement has been around for a long time.
  • The process involves dipping each nail into a jar of powder, which poses sanitation concerns.

It's not often that I leave the house without my fingernails painted. From classic French manicures to foiled metallic gels, I thought I'd experimented with everything — until I discovered long-lasting, chip-free dip-powder manicures.

As it turns out, dip-powder manicures are not actually that new.

Dr. Dana Stern, MD, a dermatologist and nail specialist in New York City, told INSIDER that powder nails have been around for a long time, but have risen in popularity lately — "most likely due to their 'Instagramability' coupled with their new name: 'dip mani.'" Stern noted that they used to be called "glue manicures."

At first, I was sold on the concept of longevity, but the manicure actually wreaked havoc on my fragile nails.

The service started with clear base polish that the nail technician applied to my nails before dunking each finger into a small container of powder

My bare nails before the powder.

When my nail resurfaced from the jar, the technician gently tapped away any excess powder while what remained on my nail was sealed with a special polish. This process was repeated a few times per nail with the powder in my selected shade.

By the end, my nails looked glossy, but I wondered how sanitary the process was as I considered how many other fingers were dipped in that same jar.

Dip powder nails appear thicker than gel nails.

After three weeks passed, my manicure seemed invincible

Despite cleaning, taking a boxing class, and coming into contact with other daily elements, my nails were perfectly intact. I was impressed.

After two-and-a-half weeks, the outgrowth became very obvious.

One week later, the polish started to lift at the base of one nail in the same way that gel manicures do when the polish begins to loosen

I couldn't immediately get to a nail salon to have it properly removed, so I decided to pull the residue off in the same way that I occasionally do with gels. This was a mistake.

My nail started to peel at the base.

Unlike gels, the layer of powder did not peel off in sections. It was so solid that it remained intact and came off in one piece that retained the curved shape of my nail, almost like a shell. Left behind was a thin nail that can only be described as flimsy, brittle, and weak.

Valley, a New York City-based nail salon that specializes in nail art, intentionally does not offer dip-powder services

Valley nail technician Elaine Ling Lee provided INSIDER with more insight about the manicure.

Lee said that "a dip-powder manicure is when colored powder is used with a resin-type glue to create a long-lasting manicure."

It's designed to last for up to eight weeks, but Lee cautioned that it's never healthy to keep anything on your nails for an extended period of time without removing and replacing it. She said that this is one of the reasons Valley does not offer the powder service.

Dr. Stern echoed Lee's concern for keeping the nails covered. And it's not because your nails need to "breathe," she said.

"The nail is a window into our health and so covering the nail hinders the potential ability to see if there is an issue going on," Dr. Stern said. "Sometimes people intentionally cover an ugly nail abnormality in order to cosmetically camouflage it." Recalling a memory from earlier in her career, Dr. Stern said a young woman in her 20s came into the clinic with "advanced nail melanoma" that she had been covering with an acrylic.

If salons don't take precautions, dip-powder treatments can be unhygienic

"Sanitation is absolutely a concern — if handled improperly and product is reused from client to client, bacteria can certainly develop," Lee told us.

Fortunately, Dr. Stern said that many salons take precaution by "either pouring the powder onto the nail, painting the powder on, or dipping the nail into individual disposable containers of powder."

Getting the polish properly removed is just as important as the application

Like gels, dip-powder nails are soaked in acetone for removal.

One of the reasons that Dr. Stern does not consider powder manicures to be healthy is because of the removal proccess, which she said can damage the underlying nail plate.

"If a 10 to 15 min acetone soak is not doing the trick then the nail will likely become thin and damaged from scraping or filing," she said. "Many salons are using an electric file before soaking and this can definitely damage the nail."

Thankfully, I had the rest of my polish professionally taken off at the time, and although the removal was not as scary as it was when I peeled some of the polish off by myself, it felt like the powder had taken its toll on my fingers.

When nails feel damaged from nail enhancements, it's best to give manicures a break

If you want to keep your nails healthy, Dr. Stern first advises nail-enhancement users to lay off the manicures once a month.

She also recommends tending to nails with her three-product Nail Renewal System for Nu Skin, comprised of a glycolic acid, a priming wand, and a hydrating gel-oil.

Visit INSIDER's homepagefor more.

Are press-on nails bad for your real nails?
Press On NailsNail PolishManicuresNail CareNails (anatomy)Beauty Products and CosmeticsHuman Body

Are press-on nails bad for your real nails?

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(Continue Reading)Pamela ReedPamela Reed, B.A. Education Special Needs Education, Southeast Missouri State UniversityAnswered 8w ago · Author has 2.6k answers and 373.8k answer views

Thank you for the A2A!

I don’t wear fake nails, or any cosmetics, so I had to research for you. Here’s what I found at Artificial nails: Dermatologists’ tips for reducing nail damage

Hope it’s helpful!!

Artificial nails: Dermatologists’ tips for reducing nail damage

Nail technician applying an artificial nail: Covering up brittle, soft, or damaged nails can worsen existing nail problems.

Artificial nails can lengthen short nails, making your fingers look long and slender. They can also be hard on your nails.

To get acrylic nails (a type of artificial nail) to stick, the surface of your natural nails must be filed until they feel rough. This thins your natural nails, making them weaker. Chemicals in the products used to apply artificial nails can irritate the skin around your nails and elsewhere.

The list of health risks doesn’t end here. To remove artificial nails, you often need to soak in acetone or file them off. If you want to wear artificial nails for more than a few weeks, you’ll need touchups every 2 to 3 weeks to fill in the gaps that appear as your nails grow. Frequent touchups can seriously damage your natural nails.

In short, artificial nails can leave your nails thin, brittle, and parched.

Still, some people love the look of artificial nails. If you’re one of them, these tips from dermatologists can help you reduce the damage:

  • Choose soak-off gel nails instead of acrylic nails. Gel nails are a little easier on your nails because they’re more flexible. This means your own nails are less likely to crack.

    You’ll want to ask for gel nails that soak off rather than ones that must be filed off.

  • Go to a salon that uses an LED curing light rather than a UV curing light. Gel nails require ultraviolet (UV) light to harden. LED emits lower levels of UV radiation than a UV curing light. An LED light also cures more quickly, which reduces your UV exposure.
  • Ask your nail technician to skip the cuticle trimming. Cuticles are often trimmed when you get any type of manicure. That’s a problem. Cuticles protect your nails and the surrounding skin from infection. When you trim or cut your cuticles, it’s easier for bacteria and other germs to get inside your body and cause an infection. Nail infections can take a long time to clear.

    Cut cuticles also tend to feel rough when they grow back, so a nail technician may continue to trim your cuticles to keep them smooth.

  • Reserve artificial nails for special occasions.If you love the look of artificial nails, getting them only for a special occasion can reduce nail problems. Time without artificial nails gives your nails a chance to repair themselves.

When you’re not wearing artificial nails, a regular or French manicure can leave your nails looking fabulous.

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