When gel manicures became the new beauty craze, I thought my days of chipped nails were (finally) over. But then I heard some sour news – my beloved gel manicures could be hazardous to my health. So I decided to do some digging. Here’s what I discovered:

The Pros
This trendy manicure keeps nails glossy and chip-free for about three weeks. Sure, you have to be pretty committed to your color choice, but there’s no more worrying about fitting a nail appointment into your jam-packed agenda every other week.

The Cons
According to Dr. Anne Chapas, a member of the American Academy of Dermatology and guest on The Dr. Oz Show, the ultraviolet light used during the gel application process can cause sun damage (and possibly even skin cancer). As for the removal process? The chemicals and scraping can thin nails and potentially cause cuticle infections.

Safety Tips
First, mix in a classic manicure every now and then and get gel manicures in moderation. When you do get one, scope out a salon that uses LEDs instead of ultraviolet lights and have the technician apply sunscreen to your hands prior to application. During removal, rehydrate nails with petroleum jelly.

By Carolyn Schultz, Staff Writer

Do you get gel manicures? Share in the comments below or tweet us at @ruelala, then check out our weekly Mani Monday column.

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August 5, 2013