Dangers of Shellac

   Though there are always many trends in the fashion and beauty world, nails have been taking center stage for some time now. From patterns to glitter to the new long “almond” shaped acrylics, there’s no better time to do something bold.

   Shellac manicures, also called gel manicures, have been getting attention over the past several years. There’s no drying time, the polish won’t chip for weeks and they won’t damage your nails the way acrylics can. But there’s one thing that isn’t being talked about: the LED lights that are a large part of the manicuring process.

   As a fair-skinned person myself, I have had my share of freckles; they are much more noticeable, however, after several shellac manicures in a row. LED lights, the same lights used in tanning beds, produce skin-damaging UV rays. Sunspots, freckles and even skin cancer can develop because of the exposure to such light. With your hands being under LED lights for minutes for each manicure, is it really safe to be using them?

   Furthermore, the removal process can be quite daunting for your delicate digits. Acetone soaks followed by scraping leaves cuticles cut up. Nails can be damaged or, at the very least, end up much thinner and weaker than before the manicure was taken off.

   If you are going to get a shellac/gel manicure, I suggest giving your nails, as well as your hands, a break in between manicures. Go for a shellac manicure for a wedding, vacation or other special event, then try something new for the next two weeks. Glitter polish is a great choice; though it’s hard to remove, it’s also less likely to chip. Accent fingers are also all the rage. These are great for hiding chips; when one nail isn’t looking as fresh as the others, simply paint it a different color! From nail foils to nail art, you are sure to find another option to try. A second recommendation would be to wear sunscreen on your hands. With the manicure process some of it may come off, but try a waterproof formula to protect your hands. Be sure to take extra special care of your nails in between manicures as well: try cuticle care, such as Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream. At under $5, your wallet will thank you too.

Happy pampering!


by Caitlin Mccolloch