Does gel nail polish damage nails?
If you’re wondering whether or not gel polish will damage your nails, then I’m sorry to say that the answer isn’t exactly a straightforward yes or no.
There are a lot of factors that can cause damage to your nails when using gel polish. So I will explain those issues in this post and then I will show you how to have gel nails without any damage. In fact, it’s actually possible to improve the health of your nails while using gel polish!
Some gel polish formulas have harmful ingredients
There have been some seriously nasty ingredients used in nail polish formulas over the years. Some toxic ingredients can cause neurological damage, cancer, birth defects or skin irritation either by contact with the skin or inhalation.
So to avoid that nastiness, look for a 5-free nail polish. 5-free means the nail polish does NOT have Toluene, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, or Camphor. Luckily, a lot of the reputable brands nowadays are 5-free.
My favorite gel polish, GelMoment, is non-toxic and is actually 5+ free. That “plus” is a big deal because it doesn’t include the ingredients above, but it also does NOT have lead, latex, solvents or gluten.
Improper removal can damage your nails
If you go get a gel manicure at a salon, then they will send you home with no way to remove the polish yourself. So you will either have to go back for another manicure, PAY to have the polish taken off professionally, or buy your own removal supplies.
A common option is to soak your nails in acetone, but acetone is very drying and can make your nails super brittle when not used properly. Aside from damaging the nails, acetone can also cause the skin around your nails to become extremely dry.
As a last resort, you may end up picking and peeling the polish off your nails and that’s really bad for the nails because you will end up peeling off layers of your own nail along with the polish.
To make matters even worse, if your nails are already damaged, then it can be even more difficult to remove gel polish and the whole unhealthy cycle just keeps on going.
Make sure you apply and remove gel nail polish safely
The best way is to do it yourself with a nail polish formula that you trust. As I mentioned above, GelMoment is a non-toxic 5+ free gel polish. It also happens to be vegan and cruelty-free!
Cure your gel polish with an LED lamp instead of a UV lamp to limit UV exposure. Even though UV exposure with a regular UV lamp would be pretty minimal, an LED lamp is even safer if you’re worried about it.
When you remove your gel polish, use remover pads to limit the amount of acetone used. GelMoment remover pads include calcium to counteract the drying effect of the acetone, so they are a much healthier way to remove the polish without damaging your nails.
All you have to do is wrap a remover pad around your fingernail for 5-10 minutes and then gently push the polish off with a cuticle pusher or an orange stick. (If you use a metal cuticle pusher, be very careful to not accidentally gouge out your nail)
Another benefit of GelMoment polish is that it doesn’t require a base coat or top coat, so there are fewer layers to actually remove from your nails. That makes the removal process much easier and way faster!
What can I do if my nails are already damaged?
If your nails have already been damaged, either by using a harsh gel polish or improper removal, it is possible to restore them back to a healthy state.
Make sure all nail polish has been removed from your nails and then treat your nails with a nail and cuticle revitalizer. The Revitalize from GelMoment’s Nail Spa line has a lot of really good ingredients, like Vitamin B, Peppermint Oil, Green Tea Extract and Aloe Extract. The ingredients promote healthy nail growth and they also invigorate the surrounding skin to promote microcirculation.
Alternate applying the revitalizing treatment with a Moisturizing Nail Oil. You can apply both daily, or even multiple times a day until you feel ready to apply some nail polish.
Once you have polished your nails, continue applying the revitalizing treatment and nail oil. They will help ensure that the new nail growth is healthy and strong.
One benefit to using a healthy gel polish while you are working on restoring your nails is that, since the gel cures hard, it will help reduce the risk of your nails tearing while they are still fragile.
And once your nails are healthy, the gel polish will be so much easier to remove!
Have you had your nails damaged from a salon manicure before? Or did you damage them by not having the right removal products at home? Tell me your story in the comments below!