Karen Nails

Every girl knows that your nails can make or break a first impression. When your nails are polished and filed, you give off the vibe that you are, too. A simple swipe of color can change your aura. Some days you’re in a classic, understated mood, so you grab Essie’s conservative “Ballet Slippers.” But the next day you’re getting over a break-up and you need some “Russian Navy” from OPI to remind you that you’re a bold, independent woman who isn’t to be messed with. Some people may think that getting manicures is unnecessary or even superficial. To that I refer you to Elle Woods, who showed the world “never [to] underestimate a woman with a French manicure and a Harvard Law degree.” Beauty and brains are not mutually exclusive, my friends.

Enter gel manicures. Perfect for all of us women who have to balance studying, work, and looking good, gel nail polish lasts longer and is less likely to chip than traditional nail polish. Gels can give you an extra two weeks or more between your salon visits. And believe it or not, they’re pretty affordable. Sound too good to be true? Well… it just might be.

Gel manicures require ultraviolet lamps to seal the polish, while regular manicures use LED lamps that don’t emit UV radiation. On top of that, you must visit the salon to remove the gel polish by soaking your nails in acetone for 10-15 minutes. Recent studies have attacked the gel phenomenon, claiming that it poses dangerous health risks. Let’s start with the small stuff: gel manicures can leave nails thinner. In addition to brittleness, peeling, and cracking, weaker nails are also more susceptible to infections. Gross, right?

Now on to the big stuff. A study released by the NYU School of Medicine claims that gel manicures can cause cancer. (I see you biting your nails as you read this. Cut it out!) Apparently, the UV driers work similarly to tanning beds – and I know I don’t need to lecture you about how damaging those are to your skin. Resting your hands under these polish-drying contraptions can cause skin cancer. There have even been instances of melanoma of the nail bed, which is much more difficult to treat.

Since these studies are fairly new, I grant you the right to take this warning with a grain of salt while more research is done. However, you might want to give your nails a little vacation from gel. As with anything in life, moderation is key. Switch to regular manis for a while, or take this opportunity to try those funky, easy nail stickers like the ones we have from NCLA. There’s a pattern for every personality. Can’t break your gel manicure addiction? Slather some sunscreen on your hands and the skin around your nails before you stick them under the UV lamp. It may sound silly, but you’ll feel a lot sillier if you have to be treated for nailbed cancer. Keep your nails healthy and try a few of these suggestions from Miss KL.

healthy nails - miss kl blog

*Try:

The NCLA x Melody Ehsani Pastel Pantera Nail Wrap

The butter London Horse Power Nail Fertilizer

The butter London Handbag Holiday Cuticle Oil