Gel Nails

Are Gel Nails Safe? The Truth, Revealed

For those of us who suffer from dry, brittle nails or who can’t kick the biting habit, gel nails are a dream. They give us the illusion of long, healthy-looking nails, of pretty hands when our usual nails are anything but.

There’s a reason why all the celebrities wear them. And why beauty salons are booked out in the weeks leading up to Christmas, Valentine’s Day and wedding season during the summer. It’s because gel nails add a touch of glamour to any look. Worn in a French Manicure style, with a muted beige or a daring red, these babies help to make the statement you want.

But are gel nails safe?

It’s a question that many people ask; especially in recent years, when the option of gel-based polish has become quite popular.

And this question is usually concerned with the UV rays, which are used in the nail lamp during the manicure. Some people worry that they can cause skin damage, premature aging and possibly even cancer. However, researchers have found that the risk of this is extremely low. Although the rays are indeed quite strong, you’re only subjected to them for a very short time.

So no, there is no reason to be concerned that gel nails can lead to cancer.

Other concerns

However, gel nails can cause damage to your real nails. The harsh chemicals used, especially in the acetone polish remover, can thin your nail plates over time. This is particularly true for those whose nails are in a bad condition to begin with. So, for this reason, gel nails might not be for everyone.

Precautions to take

Gel nails are perfectly safe if you’re smart about their application. Firstly, always choose a reputable salon to apply your gel nails (instead of a DIY application). Secondly, allow enough time between applications for your nails to “rest”. A few weeks should be enough; just make sure you’re not getting back-to-back applications.

Finally, always apply sunscreen (or a moisturizer/hand cream with UV protection) to your hands before your treatment. This will minimize any threat that the lamp might pose to your skin during the drying process; however short it may be.


Gel nails can give you a confidence you didn’t know you had. The ability to look and feel great is indeed in your hands!

However, like any beauty treatment, you shouldn’t put it above your own health. Make sure that your nails are in a suitable condition before getting your gel nails and you won’t have any trouble. Enjoy weeks of beautiful, unchipped nails, before getting them removed at a reputable salon. And always leave at least 2 weeks before your next application.

Follow this advice and rest assured that yes, gel nails are perfectly safe!