Gel manicures: Protecting your skin from harmful UV light - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Gel manicures: Protecting your skin from harmful UV light

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(WMN photo) (WMN photo)

Getting a gel manicure has changed the way women get their nails done. The polish can last for two weeks, keeping nails looking fresh much longer than just a regular manicure.

But because salons use UV light to set the polish, the skin on your hands can get damaged, leaving some women wondering what they can do to protect their hands.

Gel manicures keep nails strong and shiny for up to two weeks. But the process that goes into this magical beauty trend can be harmful to your skin. The nail polish used for this process is hardened by UV light.

“We know that excessive UV exposure can increase our risk for sun damage as well as skin cancer,” Doctor Yolanda Lenzy, owner of the Lenzy Medical Center in Chicopee, said.

She adds that the jury is still out on how damaging this process is. The exposure is only one minute at a time, but that can add up.

“It's a very short exposure, but many people get this done every two weeks over a long period of time. More research is being done,” Lenzy explained.

Some women have reported premature aging, like Renee Albera. She’s the founder of YouVee Shield, and said her hands had damage after years of gel manicures.

“When I realized that it was the nail lamps that were doing this, I still didn't want to give up my gel manicures, so I tried to find a way to block the UV light and there wasn't any. So I invented YouVee Shield,” Albera explained.

The shields pop on and keeps the hands protected under the light, something dermatologists say is a great way to prevent any damage.

Many people won't have any issues from this short light exposure. But for others, their skin type or medication can make them even more sensitive.

Dr. Lenzy told Western Mass News that she gets these manicures herself and tells her patents to says protect their skin, too.

“There are definitely things that I recommend to my patients to protect their hands,” Lenzy said. “Like definitely wearing sunscreen on your exposed part of your hands like SPF 30 or higher, or there are gloves that protect your hands with the fingers cut out.”

Sunscreen is great and many women apply sunscreen 20 minutes before their manicure. But sunscreen can affect the manicure or get washed off during the process.

Which is why Albera wanted to create YouVee shields. “If they're done right, these gel services are beautiful. And my product takes away any worry of prematurely aging your skin during a beauty service.”

Salons don't typically supply any type of protection, but Albera hopes that with time this mindset to protect your skin while being pampered will become the new norm.

Copyright 2018 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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