DIY beauty trends have only grown in popularity in recent years, as they not only provide us with convenience, but also cost savings from frequent trips to the salon.

In particular, DIY gel nails are now increasingly common, with some shops on platforms like Shopee and Lazada offering polishes and UV curing lamps for under RM30. But while attempting your own salon-quality manicure from home might be tempting, it’s important to note the potential health risks involved.

Here’s what a GP had to say regarding the matter!

Poorly done DIY gel nails may lead to lifelong health issues


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According to a General Practitioner (GP), Dr. Samuel, doing gel nails at home is a bad idea because it increases the risk of developing an allergic reaction.

This is because gel nails contain acrylates, which are compounds that are known to potentially cause allergies and irritation. As different brands and formulas of gel nail polish require different wavelengths and cure times, mismatch between UV lamps and gels, along with inadequate cure times could lead to health risks.

Minor symptoms may include itching and redness around the nail bed, while a severe reaction may lead to respiratory issues, brittle nails, or complete loss of fingernails.

Pretty scary, huh? The medical professional goes on to explain that by then, choosing to stop doing your own nails wouldn’t be enough to cure your symptoms.

“Once you become sensitised to acrylates, that allergy sticks with you,” he explains. The implications of this are concerning, to say the least.

You’ll no longer be able to get composite tooth fillings, or undergo joint replacement surgery, should you find yourself looking to undergo either procedure in the future.

What to do when doing gel nails from home

Credit: Unsplash

To ensure a safe gel nail experience, it’s highly recommended to visit a professional nail salon staffed by trained nail technicians who can provide your nails with the best care.

However, if you’re still keen on trying your hand at achieving a professional-looking manicure from home, it’s best to take the necessary precautions.

Invest in high quality polish

At-home nail kits tend to lack strict regulation, so exposure to irritants present in cheaper nail products might lead to the aforementioned allergic reactions.

Ensure that you only purchase high-quality gel polishes that are of salon quality.

Give your nails enough time to rest between gel nail applications

While some can safely get their nails done every few weeks, dermatologists recommend keeping your nails bare from any polish for at least one to two weeks between manicures. This will enable you to check your nails for any abnormalities, such as discolouration, cracks, or infections.

It also allows your nails to rehydrate, strengthen, and repair itself without being constantly subject to chemicals.

Wear open gloves or socks

Credit: @inside19out/Instagram

Chemicals aren’t the only thing you should be worrying about when doing gel nails. Exposure to UV rays could be damaging to the skin around your nails as well. Experts recommend putting on broad-spectrum sunscreen whenever you’re getting gel manicures or pedicures done from home or at the salon. For an added layer of protection, opt to wear open gloves or socks.

If you’d like a peace of mind and the confidence of a beautifully manicured result, it’s best to approach the nail technicians at reputable salons.

Need some ideas on where to go? Here are some acclaimed nail salons in Bangsar and nail salons in KL & PJ!

Featured image credit: @skingapore