By Michelle Procida, Public Relations Assistant
Ultraviolet (UV) Safety Month is just around the corner, next week, as the heat rises in July. While the outdoors provides plenty of sunshine—and UV rays, this isn’t the only place to stay protected from harmful light.
Nail salons have become increasingly popular for providing gel manicures. At salons nation-wide, hands are placed under ultraviolet rays for up to ten minutes to quicken and harden nail polish, leaving customers with a longer lasting polished nails as opposed to the average manicure.
However, with ultraviolet rays so close to the skin, (just inches away in nail salons) it leaves me to wonder how safe these manicures really are.
The UV lamps in manicure stations are said to have a much weaker bulb than places such as tanning salons, making them a bit safer. Using it once can impose a small risk, but if gel manicures are part of a regular, monthly routine, the risk from exposure increases.
Artificial UV rays are more damaging than natural UV rays from the sun—which is why doctors strongly urge people to avoid tanning beds for a quick fix for color. If gel-manicures are too difficult to give up, try applying sunscreen to the hands as a lotion, prior to starting a manicure. This can block out some of the harmful UV rays.
Overall, it is best to avoid any health hazards if possible. In this case, I’d say opting for a standard manicure, free of UV rays is the best choice—even if it means having chipped nails sooner!