Several years ago I wrote an article entitled, “Seven Secrets to Curing UV Gel Nails”, which explained that UV gel enhancements are often improperly cured, which can lead to service breakdown and natural nail damage.
“Under” cured UV gel nail coatings may contain significant amounts of unreacted ingredients that can trigger skin irritation or allergic contact sensitivity. This occurs when skin is repeatedly exposed to dusts, filings, dissolved residue in the remover solvent, etc., that come from under cured UV nail coatings. Unfortunately, these same issues continue today, largely because of misinformation. Even so, skin irritation and allergies are avoidable if the proper steps are taken.
To clear up the confusion, I am providing seven “more” of my little known Secret Facts – which really should be WELL known facts! So PLEASE, share this information with everyone you think will benefit. You’ll be helping the entire industry if you do!
Seven Secret Facts
1. Both LED and traditional UV nail lamps emit UV energy to cure UV nail products, so all types of nail curing lamps are considered “UV nail lamps” and all are considered safe as used, as discussed in an earlier educational update (see link below).
2. UV nail lamps vary greatly in two important ways;
(a) total output of UV, and (b) the specific type of UV emitted, as described by its “wavelength”. Note: different designs/brands will vary greatly for both (a) and (b) which means they can’t properly cure many brands/types of UV curing products.
3. “Wattage” is not important to curing, except for marketing purposes. NEVER purchase a nail lamp because of its wattage.
4. It is important to only use the nail lamp recommended by the UV nail product/coating manufacturer, otherwise proper product performance is not assured. Lamps must be properly maintained and the UV bulbs replaced regularly.
5. Using the incorrect nail lamp can either “under” or “over” cure the UV nail coating. An incorrect lamp may appear to “harden” the product, but nail damage and adverse skin reactions may still plague your clientele. It’s not possible to make a UV curing nail product that “properly” cures with any type of nail lamp.
6. Nail filings/dusts, inhibition layer and product dissolved in solvents are an increased skin risk when UV gel enhancements are under cured. Avoid under curing and wear disposable nitrile gloves to help prevent skin contact with uncured and improperly cured product.
7. Gel manicures are more likely to be difficult to remove if they are over cured, which can lead to nail damage (e.g. surface white spots) created during the removal process, as described in last month’s educational update.