Long-lasting Nail Color Comes at a Cost

Everyone loves a good manicure, but there’s nothing worse than a massive chip the day after a salon visit. For this reason, more permanent, durable nail treatments such as acrylic and gel manicures have grown in popularity. Acrylic and gel can keep your color lasting for weeks, but it’s not uncommon to find your nails in a desperately dehydrated, brittle, and breakable state after the color is removed.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, acrylic and gel manicures can only stick to natural nails if the surface is rough. In order to do this, nail technicians buff away surface layers of the nail which compromises its strength. The safest way to remove color requires soaking the nail in acetone for 10 minutes and scraping the color off with a metal tool. No wonder our nails are left begging for mercy!

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Keep these things in mind next time you get an acrylic or gel manicure:

Never try to remove your gel or powder manicure at home. Peeling off the color yourself actually peels off protective layers of your nail along with it, damaging your underlying nail plate. Dana Stern, a New York City dermatologist who specializes in nail health, tells Allure Magazine that “by peeling off a gel manicure, you’re not only removing the gel, but also the top layers of delicate cells.”

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Apply cuticle oils and moisturizers around your nail buds religiously. Regardless of if you’re wearing polish or not, supplementing your nails with moisture and vitamins increases their strength and health. Northstar Dermatology recommends giving your nails a moisture boost at least every night before bed.

After a few weeks of gel or dip, give your nails a week or so to breathe. If you stop wearing polish, “your nails can heal and repair themselves in several weeks,” says Stern.

If you prefer gel manicures, avoid UV lighting and opt for LED lighting to dry your polish. UV exposure can lead to premature aging and may increase skin cancer risk, according to the AAD.

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Looking for a non-toxic nail salon in the Dallas area? Check out these local spots that put safety first:

Vivian’s Boutique Spa – Lowest Greenville

Pink Pedi – North Oak Cliff

Adore – Uptown

Mary-Bennett Sigal

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