Ladies, who doesn’t love a beautiful, well-manicured hand? When gel manicures were introduced, they seemed almost too good to be true. Nail polish that dried instantly and lasted up to two weeks without chipping–Inconceivable! But gel nails are not totally without flaw.
I recently went back to gel nails, but worried about nail dryers that use ultra violet light to “cure” each coat of polish. Sure your hand only sits under the light for approximately 4 minutes (one minute per coat), but your skin is still bathing in UV light that’s only inches away.
I consulted my dermatologist for his professional opinion. He confirmed my apprehension. He warns that even small amounts of UV exposure can heighten your risk of skin cancer and increase the likelihood of age spots and fine lines.
His recommendation: Apply sunscreen before your manicure. I went a step further and asked about wearing gloves to protect hands from the light. He said, “Even better.” (Gloves also provide a barrier between your hands and a potentially “germy” dryer.)
You can buy gloves specifically designed for use during your manicure. But I decided to make my own. I bought a 3-pack of garden gloves from Lowe’s for $5. I simply cut the tips off the fingers and, voila, they convert to UV-protection gloves. Yeah, I know they look funny, but we women do funny things to look beautiful, don’t we?
Just remember: PUT YOUR GLOVES ON BEFORE YOU BEGIN YOUR MANICURE.
I dare those pesky UV rays to travel through that glove. But, just in case..I’ll apply a little sunscreen, too.
(Special thanks to my good friend Beverly, who modeled in her gloves for this photo. And thank you Dr. Leo Conger, my dermatologist extraordinaire.)