We all love those freshly manicured nails, all polished and shining, ready to slay for a good month (if luck’s on your side). Seriously, that feeling is like a fabulous confidence boost. I’m totally down with the appeal. It’s like when you dress sharp, you’re in the right vibe. Having your nails done? That’s you taking self-care to the next level. But is it really just a manicure, or should we call it a manicurse? Besides dropping a couple of bucks at the salon, let’s talk about the real deal – the physical toll of gel manicures.

Gel polish holds on tight

Gel polish sticks like glue to paper. That means your nails hardly get any hydration for a whole month. Result? Dehydrated nails that might even get a little thin.

Cuticle business

Pushing them back is cool, no biggie. But snipping them off? Hold up, because that’s like stripping your nails’ defence against tiny bad guys. And removing that gel stuff? scary! It involves finger soaking in acetone. Think dryness and irritation, not a spa day for your cuticles. The real drama starts when the polish starts to chip, and we start peeling like there’s no tomorrow. That’s like a horror movie for your nails and cuticles. And yes, more damage means your nails could end up as brittle as a stale cracker.

UV and LED lamps

Yep, those pretty lights that harden the polish. The thing is, they emit UVA rays, just like the sun. Slathering sunscreen on our faces is common sense, right? But here we are, chilling with our hands exposed. Researchers say these rays could lead to DNA damage. These rays love to mess with collagen, and they’re best buddies with skin cancer. So, while those lamps might give you fab nails, they could also tag on a side order of hand skin issues.

Ageing factor

Oh, and here comes the ageing plot twist. Collagen breaks down as we age, leading to wrinkles and sagginess. And guess where ageing loves to make its debut? Yep, on the hands. Gel manicures? They speed up the photoaging show, so you might want to reconsider if you’re aiming for eternal youth.

Tips to avoid the curse

Hold on, I won’t leave you hanging without some solutions. Sunscreen those hands before hitting the salon, tell your nail artist to leave your cuticles (push, don’t chop), rock fingerless gloves around UV and LED lamps, no matter how funky it looks, and back away from that peeling urge.
And for the finishing touch, slather cuticle oil and hand cream like there’s no tomorrow. And, if you’re feeling a bit tired of the gel game, take a vacation from it. Switch to good old air-dry polish or slap on those press-on nails. Your hands will thank you.

Image Credits- Pexels