Gel nails give us our desired length, stability, and beautiful designs. But what are the artificial nails actually made of and how harmful is that? We tell you what you should know about gel nails.
Fake nails are trending like never before. Gel nails in particular are very popular. With them, we can choose our desired length, shape, and color and they are also super stable - regardless of our natural nail condition. But how healthy are the gel nails actually? And what is the difference to other variants, such as acrylic? We tell you what you should know about gel nails.
Gel nails are artificial nail models that use a gel-like plastic to lengthen our fingernails. This is carried out professionally by trained specialists in the nail salon.
First, the natural fingernails are prepared for nail modeling: they are shortened, cleaned, and degreased. Then the desired shape - pointed, straight, long, short - is applied using a template. This is then followed by a transparent, viscous paste – the so-called gel. This consists of plastic that hardens with the help of UV light.
The soft gel can be enriched with colors as desired and also decorated with crystal stones and other motifs.
The applied and hardened gel stays in place on the real fingernail, which means that it grows out with the natural process. Therefore, a so-called refill must take place after two to four weeks so that the gel nails remain attractive. Here the artificial gel nail is shortened accordingly at the top and filled at the bottom.
Permanently attached artificial nails are repeatedly criticized as unhealthy. But what is actually there?
The fact is that attaching artificial fingernails can promote nail fungus. If viruses or bacteria are trapped during the modeling, they are in their optimal feel-good climate - warm and humid. Perfect hygiene is therefore essential when modeling.
In rarer cases, allergic reactions can also occur due to the materials used.
Also to consider is the unnatural hardness of gel nails. The wearer cannot recognize in time that the natural nail is being overstressed, which can result in it breaking or tearing. Professional studios, therefore, try to choose a medium strength for the gel nails. Nevertheless, inexperienced wearers should only start with a moderate lengthening for the time being.
Natural nails are often thinner, more brittle, and softer after a long period of wearing artificial nails because the keratin of the real nail plate was not exposed to the air to harden. In addition, the natural nails are particularly susceptible to germ colonization for some time after the removal of artificial nails. Therefore, treat your fingernails to a phase without artificial nails, in which you consistently care for your natural nails with balm and oils.
However, professionally worked gel nails, which have been professionally applied and comply with all hygiene regulations, will not damage your natural nails.
You should not remove gel nails yourself. The UV-cured plastic layer will not come off with acetone or regular nail polish remover. It needs to be sanded down with fine nail files. This should only be done by professionals to avoid damaging the natural nail.
Gel nails and acrylic nails both refer to liquid plastic artificial nail extensions. However, the material is different and so is the application.
With acrylic nails, the applied plastic consists of acrylic, which is a bit thicker and less flexible than with so-called gel nails. For this purpose, a mass of acrylic powder and modeling liquid is made, which then dries by itself. Hardening under the UV lamp is therefore not necessary for acrylic nails compared to gel nails. Therefore, acrylic nails can also be easily removed with a solvent such as acetone.
Working with acrylic nails is more challenging for nail designers, as they begin to dry while they are being applied. On the other hand, thanks to the hardness of the material, designs, and details can be worked on acrylic in a particularly precise and detailed manner.