The Skin Sisters love a good gel mani; however, there is sneaky UV exposure hiding in all of our nail salons.
In order to set the bonding agent in the gel manicure it needs to be exposed to a light source. These lights are sometimes labeled “UV” lamps and some are called “LED” lamps, and both emit UV radiation. The lamps produce a moderate amount of UVA, which is a more deeply penetrating type of ray, has long been known to cause skin aging and photoaging (wrinkles!) and new research is showing that UVA also plays a role in the development of superficial skin cancers like basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
So, what’s a manicure lover to do? If you are getting a regular polish mani or pedi, simply ask if the salon has a fan available and avoid exposure all together. Since the gel polish requires the light exposure, we recommend to use a broad spectrum sunscreen (bring your favorite right to the salon!) and apply immediately after washing your hands. It’s best if you have at least 20 minutes between application and exposure to light.