Next time, skip the gel manicure

I have been doing my own nails for a few months now and staying away from gel or shellac polish. I found this article from Bustle that explains exactly why I chose to do so:

1. Gel polish weakens the nail bed.

Celebrity manicurist, Miss Pop, told, that a thick coat of gel polish does not allow your nail beds or cuticles to breathe. Routinely getting gel applied can dehydrate your nails and thin out your nail plate.

2. Gel polish can affect your nail health.

Gel manicures can begin to lift and peel. When this happens, water can seep under the gel. As the polish locks in this moisture, bacteria and fungus can form underneath, celebrity manicurist Jenna Hipp told Teen Vogue.

3. UV lamps have risks. 

Gel manicures are cured with a UV lamp. While these lamps are responsible for these instant dry coats we love, any kind of UV radiation exposure to our skin always poses a risk. Dr. Lyndsay Shipp told NPR that UV lamp exposure varies from one machine to another.

4. The removal process can be damaging. 

Technicians generally soak cotton in acetone and wrap them around your nails with foil to soften the polish. This process is harmful: Acetone dehydrates your nails and if a nail tech is not gentle enough when scraping off the product, this weakens your nails further. Repeated use of acetone causes the nail to become brittle and peel, according to Dr. Susan Taylor.

5. Gel and Shellac are practically the same.

Shellac, invented by the Creative Nail Design company, is another product offered in salons that works just like gel polish. Shellac is also cured under a UV lamp and lasts for weeks. According to The Apprentice Beauty Blogger, Shellac is more of a permanent nail polish while gel is simply that: a gel in the form of a polish. Nevertheless, both have beautiful finishes and can do their fair share of damage if not treated properly.


For me, after getting shellac and gel polish on my nails for a number of years, I started noticing that they weren’t as strong and would get discolored underneath. Also, I have never been tanning and understand the dangers of UV light. I began to realize the damage I was doing to my nails.

This is when I realized that painting my own nails was the way to go. Sally Hansen has two different types of polish that I love because it lasts longer than regular polish (in my opinion) and it dries quickly. These are: Color Therapy Argan Oil Formula which can be found at your local Walmart for $6.99 and Miracle Gel Nail Color for $7.46 at Walmart.

Of course, putting either polish or gel on your nails does not help the health of your nails. However, polish is less damaging than gel or shellac. This brings me to my next point and something that I always try to do as well; which is to take polish breaks.

In between painting my nails, I will let them “breath” and go without polish for a few days at a time. This let’s them recover from any small damage that might occurred while they were painted.


After a few days without polish, I can tell that my nails are just as strong and healthy as they were before I painted them. However, after gel or shellac polish, my nail strength could not recover even after a couple weeks of letting my nails “breath” in between salon visits.

If you are terrible at painting your own nails and still want to go somewhere to get them done, check out one of these five nail salons located right in West Lafayette.

Either try a little DIY manicure at home or check out one of these salons. But if you go into the salon, do your nails a favor and opt for regular polish instead of gel.

Hope you had a happy Sunday!


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