Is Nail Polish Harmful?

Beautiful manicures were once reserved for special occasions, but with today's long-lasting gel polish systems it is now possible to walk around with beautiful nails every day.

Shopping streets are flooded with nail salons and nail polish has evolved into high-tech design. New long-lasting gel manicures are now a major trend, using UV light to harden the nails.

Still, concerns have been raised about the potential harm of these treatments, and there are many scare stories about poorly trained technicians leaving nails brittle, weakened or infected.

Can your manicure cause damage? How can you protect your nails?

Dr. Tamara Griffiths, dermatologist at the British Skin Foundation says: 'You can develop an allergy after years of problem-free use, but once the allergy develops the reaction will be repeated with each exposure to the offending substance. Frequent exposure to chemicals in nail products such as polish and gels can increase the risk. Once an allergy develops, it is irreversible. '

Are only my nails at risk?

Far from it, often it's the eye contour that is the first to react allergically to the polish, varnish remover or adhesives, says Dr. Griffiths. 'Allergy to nail polish can first manifest itself as an itchy, flaky eruption around the eyes, and not the nails. That's why it can go unnoticed for a long time,” she says. This is because we constantly touch our eyes, in this way we transfer the allergens. The skin is very thin there, so allergens can easily penetrate.

Manufacturers have discovered that we touch our eyes about 200 times a day. Wellgel London has now developed a gel nail polish system with an organic ceramic formula for people prone to irritations. Because the composition is completely different from other brands, you can use Wellgel London in most cases without experiencing allergic reactions.

Should I avoid long-lasting gel polish manicures?

While some people think gel manicures make their nails weak, gel nail polishes have become very popular because they provide a shinier, more natural look than acrylic. It is often a somewhat thicker lacquer, which is applied to the nail and then hardened under ultraviolet light, which will create a reaction that completely hardens the colored gel. The damage is not the treatment itself, but poor removal; If you try to remove the gel polish, the top layers of the nail plate may also peel off. Once that happens, the nail becomes weaker until it grows back.

Dermatologists are seeing more and more problems after gel manicures. Dr. Griffiths says: 'The trauma required to remove the gel nails is quite significant. This can cause the nail plate to be lifted out of the nail bed, also known as onycholysis. Once this happens, an infection can set in and cause problems. 'To safely remove the coating, soak the coating for ten minutes in acetone, a chemical used in paint thinner. After this they should come off very easily. Acetone causes nails and fingers to turn white, but the effect is temporary and harmless.

Wellgel London Organic Gel Remover

Wellgel London was created with the problems of regular gel nail systems in mind. We have developed the Organic Gel Remover to remove the gel polish. With this organic gel remover it is possible to remove your gel polish without having to reach for chemical products such as acetone.

Can the UV light used to harden the gel cause skin cancer?

Doctors writing in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology raised fears that UV curing increases the risk of skin cancer. However, many nail brands say that it is no more dangerous than the lighting in a nightclub.

'It's difficult to answer this because there are no good figures yet, but skin cancer can develop around the nail,' says Dr Anton Alexandroff, a dermatologist at BMI Manor Hospital in Bedford. If this thought makes you anxious, rub sunscreen around your fingertips before putting them under the UV. This is how you protect your skin against skin cancer.

Is it wise for my manicurist to remove my cuticles?

'You shouldn't cut the cuticles,' warns Dr Griffiths. 'This thin flap of skin acts as a watertight seal between the finger and the nail. If this is disrupted, small amounts of fluid can build up in the nail or under the skin, leaving you susceptible to a painful, recurring infection called paronychia.

Long-term paronychia can cause abnormalities of the nail plate as it grows out. 'Fortunately, however, the cuticle grows back when cut. 'The cuticle should be softened by soaking it in water and then gently pushing it back,' advises Sam Sweet. 'Don't cut the cuticle, because it grows back faster.'

Some nail polish is 'free-from'. Are the others harmful?

The two main "bad" ingredients that " free-from " nail polish avoid are formaldehyde, a contact irritant, and toluene, a man-made chemical. But both have been tested for safety and are legal for use in cosmetics. Another ingredient, DBP or dibutyl phthalate, was widely used in nail polishes, but has been banned for cosmetics in Europe since 2005. Because these chemicals are used in such small amounts, there is little danger for most wearers, but if you are more prone to irritations this can certainly play a role.

How likely is an infection?

Cuticle cutting can sometimes lead to fungal infections, but these are rare on fingernails as they require warm, moist conditions to develop. 'If you get moisture between the nail plate and the acrylic/gel nails, you could get a bacterial infection. Although this will stain the nail plate, it will eventually grow out and heal on its own. If it is painful, see your doctor.

Do nails need a break from varnish to 'breathe'?

“No,” says Dr. Alexandroff. 'Nails are dead tissue and don't need to breathe or take a break from nail polish. But every time you remove coatings you damage the nail a little, so that's why you might want to take a break. Fingernails grow quickly and are therefore continuously renewed, but toenails take longer, about six months. '

How do I keep nails healthy?

Minimize the trauma to your nails, Dr. Griffiths advises. She says, 'Some people have brittle nails that don't grow properly and split into layers. Typing or gardening can make this worse, as can frequent hands. to wash. Use hand cream and keep nails trimmed. 'Sam Sweet recommends a good quality oil to nourish the cuticle and keep the nail plate hydrated.

Wellgel London, the organic alternative.

If you use Wellgel London, this will be better for the durability of your nails. Because our polish does not contain any harmful chemical ingredients, your nails will remain healthy and you can walk around with beautiful, stylish nails for a longer period of time. In addition, most allergic reactions that can occur with regular gel polish systems will not occur with Wellgel. With almost 100 colors to choose from, there is always a color to suit your style. And when you use it in combination with the organic gel remover