When it comes to doing our nails, we have many choices and I’m not talking color. We can get gel nails with UV or LED at our salon, or do our nails at home with a semi-gel or traditional nail lacquer. Which is best? Which will last longest? Which one is the best cost? Which is safest? Confused yet? Let’s get some answers!
Which lasts longer?
- LED Gel nails (like Gelish by Nail Harmony) claim their polish will last 21 days. Clearly for time, this is the winner.
- UV Gel nails (like Shellac by CND) claim their polish will last 2 weeks.
- Part-Gel nails (like MIRACLE GEL™by Sally Henson) also last 2 weeks.
- Regular nail lacquer will last 4-7 days (longer if you use top coat)
Which is the safest?
- Nail polishes today have many different ingredients so it’s really hard to say which is for sure the safest. Generally, avoid polishes containing: formaldehyde, toluene, and the plasticizer dibutyl phthalate, or DBP. These three chemicals have been banned for use in nail polish in other countries due to adverse health effects. There are also some other considerations as well.
- LED Gel nails- use LED lamps to cure or set the polish. LED lamps are safe for your skin and hands, and there is no connection to skin cancer or other harmful side effects.
- UV Gel nails- use UV lamps to set the nail polish. However, this is a controversy over the safety of UV lamps and whether or not exposure to UV light is actually safe for your hands. We put on sunscreen (everyday, right?) to protect our skin from UV rays and we now spray tan over tanning beds that use UV lights (nod your head yes)? So why would we place our hands into UV rays on purpose?
- Part-gel nails- they need no light and in general their formulas avoid the toxic trio: formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP.
- Traditional nail polish- In America, most major brands have voluntary changed their formulas. However, generic (cheap) polish may still contain these ingredients.
What’s the cost?
- LED Gel Nails can cost $35-$45 for a manicure from a salon
- UV Gel Nails also cost about $35-$45 in a salon
- Part Gel Nail polish can be bought for about $10-$15 per bottle
- Traditional Nail lacquer cost about $0.99-$10.00 per bottle (just remember to check the ingredients!)
Which is the best?
- That’s up to you!