Should You Get a Gel Manicure? 5 Things to Know

Gel manicures are very popular right now. They dry quickly, don’t chip, and last longer than a regular manicure. But there are some downsides to opting for gel polish instead of regular polish. Here‘s what you need to know before you get a gel manicure.

1. Gel manicures last a long time.
One of the main benefits of getting a gel manicure is that you won’t have to worry about your nails for a long time afterwards. A properly-applied gel mani can last up to three weeks – that’s two or three times as long as a regular manicure! If you hate chipped polish and touch-ups, a gel mani might be a good option for you.

2. Yes, a gel manicure can damage your nails.
You might have heard that gel polish can damage your nails. This is true – but the extent of the damage will depend on how good your manicurist is and how gently you remove the polish. The removal process is generally the most damaging part of a gel manicure. If you pick at the polish or try to scrape it off, you can seriously weaken your nail beds. On the other hand, if you get the polish professionally removed, you can usually minimize the damage.

3. UV and LED lights can be dangerous.
Gel polish needs to be cured under a powerful UV or LED lamp, and these lights can be risky for your health. Contrary to popular belief, LED lamps are just as dangerous as UV lamps. While there’s no way to make the process completely safe, you can minimize your risk of complications by applying sunscreen to your hands before your appointment and wearing a UVA-blocking sleeve during your manicure.

4. You can remove a gel manicure at home.
It is possible to take off a gel mani yourself, although it might be a little hard on your nails. To take off the paint, soak cotton balls in either acetone or a nail polish remover made specifically for gel polish. Place a cotton ball on each fingernail and wrap your fingertips in aluminum foil. The polish should come off easily in 15 minutes to an hour. Remember, don’t scrape the gel off!

5. Your nails need special care after a gel manicure.
You can minimize the damage of a gel mani by giving your nails some special care afterwards. Use a heavy moisturizer or nail oil to restore hydration to dried-out nail beds. It’s a good idea to give your nails a couple of weeks to breathe and recover before you get another gel manicure.

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