Do you love getting your nails manicured? You probably never thought that you were doing anything dangerous. However, new research has shown that gel nail polish manicures may not be completely safe. Here are three potential dangers from using gel nail polish during your manicure.

1. The way gel nails are dried could potentially cause skin cancer. The UV (ultraviolet) light used to dry nails can slightly increase the risk of skin cancer.

2. Research shows that gel manicures require fingers and nails to be soaked in strong acetone to remove excess gel residue. This may cause the original nail plate to separate from the nail bed and create a gap where moisture can accumulate, causing bacteria like yeast to grow.

3. Some nail polishes may contain cancer-causing chemicals. If you see BHA on the label skip and choose another polish. The chemical butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), a cancer-causing chemical, can be found in some gel nail polishes.

Fortunately, these dangers don’t mean you need to skip the manicurist completely. Simply look for these safe, healthy alternatives.

Safe Manicure Practices:

  1. Try using organic polishes. Polishes made with organic materials greatly reduce the risk of cancer compared to compounds with BHA.
  2. Let your hands air dry. Air-drying eliminates the risk of skin cancer caused by UV rays.
  3. Find a salon that uses LED lights. If air-drying just is not fast enough for you, try finding a salon that uses LED lights instead of UV lights to dry nails. LED lights do not put off as much radiation as UV lights.
  4. Make sure you pick an experienced and licensed manicurist that can give you a healthy and safe manicure.