If you remember being a little girl than you probably remember getting your nails done at a salon for the very first time. Your mother got her nails done every two weeks, your older sister and even some of the older girls at school. You longed for getting your first set of tips and couldn’t wait to feel like a grown up. Without a care in the world you flaunted your nails for everyone to see not knowing the dangers and damage you were actually doing to your own nails.
Today, celebrities play a large role when it comes to nail art. You can always catch your favorite celebs from Beyoncé to Iggy Azalea to Rihanna and Emily B., with the most elaborate nail designs. They’re addicting; aside from looking really nice they’re convenient and aren’t hard to keep up. They’re also a great aid in assisting nail growth. But many women fail to realize the health risks of long term usage of acrylic and UV gel. Take a look at the difference between the two as well as some of the health risks that your nail technician may have not warned you about.
Acrylic consists of a liquid and a powder that hardens once it hits the air. You may notice a really strong smell but it isn’t too harmful provided the salon has proper ventilation. Whether you have acrylic tips on or acrylic over your own nails taking care of your nails can be dangerous if your aren’t careful.
- Accidentally catching on to something can cause your nail to separate from the acrylic leaving you prone to bacteria, fungus or yeast. Take a break from acrylic and tips and wear your natural nails for a month or two.
- Exposure to the chemicals in acrylic can result in complete nail loss
- There’s also a risk of allergic reactions
- Acrylic also dries out your nail’s natural oils, weakening the nail causing splitting, cracking and breaking
Similar to acrylic but the gel almost has the consistency of nail polish. After each coat you place your nails under UV (ultraviolet) light for a few minutes allowing the gel to harden. Although your nails aren’t exposed to the UV light for very long during each session, over time there have been reports of a skin cancer risk.
- Having your fingers and hands exposed to the UV light increase the risk of skin cancer, especially nail bed melanoma which is a difficult type of skin cancer to treat.
- Some gel manicure products contain toxic chemicals such as BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) a carcinogen and methyl pyrrolidone which may cause harm to your reproductive system. Believe it or not these are actually printed on the package.