WHAT MAKES ONE SOAK OFF UV GEL POLISH BETTER THAN OTHERS? WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN DECIDING ON YOUR GEL POLISH OF CHOICE.
UV GELINA POLISH.
UV GEL POLISH NAILS
If you want gorgeous nails that last long UV Gel Polish is for you! Sure you all knew that already. You also all know that not only does it go on easily but it easily soaks off too, it lasts for weeks and weeks and looks amazing. It is an invention that is almost too good to be true. Finding the best UV gel polish is a little more of a challenge.
What most people don’t know and quite possibly don’t care about, are the dangers of gel polish. This can be minimised or even removed altogether.
WHAT IS UV GEL POLISH AND HOW DOES IT WORKS?
Ok so most of us would gladly skip this section completely as we really don’t care how or why it works. The only thing is though if we have no idea how and why it works how do we get a safe brand?
So briefly without boring you more than absolutely neccessary. UV Gel Polish is a whole bunch of chemicals, many of which are absolutely safe and if used correctly no problem at all. Unfortunately it’s easier and cheaper to use chemicals that are in fact very dangerous indeed! We will deal with them later. Some of these chemicals (good ones and bad ones) cause the product to be flexible, some allow ease of use, yet others give colour. Gel polish it should be noted does not add strength to natural nails at all so no chemical ingredients for that. Other ingredients give longevity. The last ingredient is called a photoinitiator. This is what reacts to UV or LED (actually a form of UV as well), and causes the polish to set quickly.
So without going into more detail we can understand why all these ingredients are necessary. What we need to look out for is the stuff which is dangerous.
THE TOXIC TRIO.
So many confusing names on the ingredient list of your gel polish right? Some are worse than others stay away at all cost from “the toxic trio or the big – 3”. These are formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP). Formaldehyde is a hardener and works well but causes cancer. Toluene also works great it keeps the nail smooth and shiny, it is extremely hazardous and can cause serious nervous system issues, it is bad stuff! DBP makes nails flexible and assists in stopping cracking, It has been linked to reproductive issues and is considered highly dangerous. DO NOT BUY ANY PRODUCT WITH ANY OF THESE!!!
THE REST OF A BAD BUNCH.
This lot is bad enough, not quite as dangerous as the “toxic trio” but definitely not worth using. camphor, formaldehyde resin, xylene, parabens, fragrances, phthalates and animal ingredients. Fragrance is unecessary and if good quality products are used, is also totally unnecessary. Camphor is a plasticiser and in tiny amounts causes increased heart beat, skin vasodilation (flushed skin), slows down breathing, increases perspiration. In bigger doses it is highly poisonous. Parabens are preservatives, they may keep gel fresh for longer but they cause cancer, definitely we don’t want this on our fingers. The rest all serve a purpose but are all toxic avoid them please!
It is necessary to mention that this is a main ingredient in most Uv gel polish. It is a polymer that provides, the adhesion and integration, with base and top, once the polish cures. It’s full name is hydroxyethyl methyl acrylate. You have most probably read articles on this chemical. In fact they refer to methyl methacrylate which is banned in The USA and many other places. There is hard scientific, proven studies regarding methyl methacrylates detrimental health effects, including respiratory issues. There is NO study that shows respiratory issues with Hydroxyethyl Methacrylate. To ease your mind further just try to remember how you are exposed to chemicals in gel polish. Only whilst the polish is drying and evaporating into the air. Thats it! Only a tiny amount is used on nails. So not very much risk at all, probably why we hardly ever see any allergic reaction. It is obvious though that some people will have allergic reactions to chemicals even found in the best UV gel polish. This is unavoidable and due care should be taken, especially with new clients. Antihistamine cream is not a bad idea, it will help allergic reaction. Why not keep some in your salon? By the way we have had no reports of allergy to Gelina.
UV LED LAMPS
Very quickly because this is a little off the subjest and anyway a discussion for a future article. Cheap = dangerous. Simple as that. Sure any UV or LED light is not great for the soft skin of our hands but a good quality lamp helps. Also why not use some gloves with the ends chopped off? If truth be told though lamps are not as bad as some might believe. The sun is as dangerous if not more so and that doesn’t stop us going outside. Like anything else moderation is the key. This is another good reason to use a good quality polish, base and top. The longer a customer can go before the next manicure the better. The new QD lamp is made with high quality parts and is without doubt much safer than anything else on the market.
Again a topic for another article. I mention it only because in fact this is, after absolute toxic ingredients, the most dangerous part of any manicure. Infection from dirty equipment is far to common. Sterilise your tools, sterilise your and your clients hands. Keep all equipment clean, try a cuticle oil that has a dropper . If you are a client ensure your tech uses proper cleaning and sanitising protocols. We will discuss this topic in greater depth In a future article.
WHAT ELSE TO LOOK FOR IN THE BEST UV GEL POLISH.
Once we have chosen a non toxic gel polish, the next thing to look for is how it actually works. Choose a highly pigmented polish, some have low pigment and require two or three coats! A good gel polish should form a drop at the tip of the brush, if it does not it will not self level and will be super difficult to apply. Consistency is important a thick gooey polish is not what you want. Find a brand that has colours you like and is constantly introducing new ones. next check the odour, gel polish should not be smelly, it should have that certain odour which is non offensive, you will know what I am talking about if you have smelled a few.
WHAT ABOUT ORIGIN?
Country of origin has become less important with new technology, in all likelihood 95% of gel polish is manufactured in China. If you are fortunate enough to find one that is not, you should be safe. However so many European and American brands are actually made in China. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It is all about ingredients and quality. Do though be wary of chinese mall brands, you have no idea what is in them. I have encountered 100% USA products that frankly are terrible. QD in our search for gel polish, tried ones from 150 factories and of those 149 were not to our liking. Gelina UV Gel Polish has been specially formulated by German tecnologists to be exactly right. It contains no harmful chemicals, is not tested on animals. Gelina has high pigment and usually requires but one coat!
Price is another factor, I would though suggest not looking to deeply into that. Imported “well known brands” have to be made for a brand house in the USA or Europe, shipped to South Africa etc etc etc. All this inflates the price when it arrives. A relatively cheap product becomes expensive once it arrives and is marked up yet again!. We bypass the “mother company” and Gelina is sent from factory to us direct! Once again cheap Chinese brands cannot possibly be made to exacting standards. It is simply impossible for the Chinese shop owner to import, label and sell a great quality product for a few rand.
WHY NOT SIMPLY USE A CHEAP GEL POLISH AND SAVE SOME MONEY?
Why not indeed? Most clients do not question what goes on their nails. Others see a well known, expensive UV gel polish and are happy to accept that it must be good. In this writers opinion there is a happy medium. Let me elaborate. A good quality international brand costs say R400 ($29). You get for example 30 applications out of the 15ml bottle. This is a dollar a client. A cheap and nasty chinese brand costs R45 ($3.2). From this you get say 20 applications from a 15ml bottle. Why only 20? Well in all likelihood you will need 2 or 3 coats so 20 applications is in fact wishful thinking. The cheapy is $0.17 an application.
What did you save? $0.83. Now what do you charge or get charged for a gel polish manicure? The small saving fades into insignificance when you think about it. In any event with a good product not only will you get more applications but a quality finish as well.
THE HAPPY MEDIUM
So where is the happy medium? Gelina UV LED Gel Polish is highly pigmented, safe and fully imported, we find you can get 40 – 50 applications from our bottles, at a price of R230 ($16). This is an amount of $0.40. Frankly not a heck of a lot more than the Chinese market stuff. It just makes sense.
A FINAL THOUGHT ON WHY CHEAP UV GEL POLISH IS A BAD IDEA
On this subject ask yourself, are you happy with a product that takes 2, 3 or even 4 layers to look only ok? What about a product that shrinks after it’s cured? Is this really what you want? Final question (rhetorical of course:)) What do you think when your tech does her work and the above happens? I am sure horrified is the answer, something for all you techs reading this to consider!
WHY NOT MIX AND MATCH?
Using a base and top and prep and primer and lamp, from four different companies and adding yet another gel polish, is not a good idea. You may feel that you can get whatever products and use them together. You may well be right! However using one brand guarantees good results! Even more important if you have a problem who you going to blame? The base coat company? The gel polish? Maybe the lamp? There is just no accountability. Using one brand gives you a single point of contact should you encounter any issue. Furthermore the products have been tried and tested together.
Choose carefully keeping in mind all the above factors. Rather upgrade to a single, good product than land up with 100s of bottles of all types of brands. Keep hygienic, stay away from dangerous chemicals, use a brand with good service and backup. All this will ensure a good andhealthy manicure.
Most importantly be imaginative with your nails and have fun! Or as Hans Christian Anderson quipped “Enjoy life, There’s plenty of time to be dead.”😁
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