• Give a Gift
  • Customer Service
  • Promotions
  • Videos
  • Blogs
  • Win
  • Games

Are Gel Manicures Worth the Risk?

Posted in:

Are Gel Manicures Worth the Risk?


There's nothing I hate more than getting a fresh manicure, and within a couple of days (or hours, in my case), having my once perfect polish-job fall victim to tons of ugly chips and smudges. So, I excitedly made an appointment for my first gel mani just in time for my big trip to Miami. However, I had my concerns.

Gel manicures seal with the help of a UV light. Each coat dries under the light for two minutes, which means each hand is super-close to the rays four times. I wondered if the repeated exposure to UV lights could be safe, especially to hands, the first part of the body to show signs of aging.

The solution? Carry a tube of SPF30 or higher to apply to hands right before each burst of light. Broad-spectrum sunscreens work best as they protect from both UVA and UVB rays.

With this new piece of safety information, I was ready for my appointment. I sat down at the manicure booth and began what was a fairly speedy process. First, my nails were cleaned, filed, buffed and polished with UV Base Coat. Then, the manicurist applied the neon orange and silver glitter colors I chose, followed by a UV topcoat to seal the deal.

I was hesitant to dig around my handbag for my wallet immediately afterward, but to my surprise, my nails were bone-dry. For the first time ever, my impatience and quick moves weren't going to ruin things.

It's been a full week since my gel mani and as you can see from the photos above, the polish is perfectly intact and as shiny as ever! While this is a major manicure game changer, I'm keeping gel manicures a special-occasion-only habit to limit the amount of unnecessary UV exposure. Besides, giving myself manicures is a hobby I could never really give up.

Lindsay Leff is a beauty industry veteran who created Kiss and Wear to showcase her favorite products, dissect celebrity beauty looks, and teach others how to live with style.

Connect with Marie Claire:
daily giveaway
Go to the Beach

Go to the Beach

enter now
You Know You Want More
Special Offer
Link Your Marie Claire Account to Facebook

Marie Claire already has an account with this email address. Link your account to use Facebook to sign in to Marie Claire. To insure we protect your account, please fill in your password below.

Forgot Password?

Thanks for Joining

Your information has been saved and an account has been created for you giving you full access to everything marieclaire.com and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your username and/or password or complete your profile, click here.

Your accounts are now linked

You now have full access to everything Marie Claire and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your settings or profile, click here.