Dangerous Nail Fad- Gel Manicure

Why do people get manicures? First, changing your nails can ultimately change how you feel about yourself. By selecting your color or the shape of your nail, treating yourself to a manicure can be uplifting. Second, the process is undeniably relaxing, from the hand massage, to the careful attention put to each finger. Regardless of the reason for the beauty treatment, a manicure forces you to set aside time for yourself. The yearning for beautiful nails has powered an entire industry of nail salons and has been the inspiration for new trends in nail care.

Beautiful french manicure and rose petals

Gel polish is the current frenzy. It offers the long lasting wear of acrylic nails minus the accompanying nail damage. These new gel manicures are becoming more and more popular because the coating of the polish is thinner and therefore looks more natural. Another plus is that there requires no dry-time or smudging. Right after the manicure is finished, the nails should stay shiny and chip-resistant for weeks. Should great doesn’t it?

Truth: This latest beauty treatment, gel manicures, carries with it a number of potential health risks.

These health risks may include:

#1-These “no-chip” nails are, in reality, a form of artificial nails. This means the same chemicals used in acrylic nails are also used in gel polishes.

Why should we be concerned? Acrylates can cause allergic and irritant reactions. Contact dermatitis, which is known to cause skin itching, burning, scaling, hives, blistering, and even eczema, has been shown to be associated with these compounds salon workers use as well as salon customers. Therefore, if customers and salon workers have had problems with acrylic nails, they too will have problems with gel polishes.


#2- The gel process involves applying pre-mixed gel acrylic to the natural nails, followed by curing the nails under UV light after each coat is applied. The acrylic polymer is linked by the action of the UV light which dries it. There are about three separate coats of gel, followed by 2-3 minutes of curing under the UV light after each coat.

Gel manicure UV lamp istock

Why should we be concerned? UV light is a known human hazard which can cause skin cancer. A cancer known as nail bed melanoma, is a particularly difficult type of skin cancer to treat. Dermatologists have even warned against the regular use of gel polishes due to this constant UV light exposure.

Several sites explained that the “drying” or setting process for gel manicures is done by cancer causing ultraviolet rays.

What else aren’t they telling us about these “perfectly safe” gel manicures?

  • Gel nails leaves nails thinner, causing brittleness, peeling, and cracking.
  • In order to remove the ultra-resistant gel manicure, one must have the polish soaked in acetone for anywhere from 5-15 minutes to be able to scratch it off easily.
  • When removing the polish, sometimes it is hard to scratch the gel polishes off the natural nail, so there may also be filing down with an electric file to get the gel polishes off which is very damaging to the nail.

“There have been some reported cases of nerve damage related to the chemicals and vibrations of the electric file.”

What should we do then if we desire having a gel manicure? Take a few simple, safety precautions before getting a gel manicure. In this way, we can lessen the harm and dangers of the ultraviolet rays on both our nails and skin.

Apply Sunscreen

Before you leave the house and head towards the salon, apply a generous amount of sunscreen on your hands and rub the lotion onto your skin. Dousing the skin with sunscreen before getting your nails done with gel polish can protect the delicate skin from the cancerous assets of ultraviolet rays bulging from the lamp.


Bring Fingerless Gloves

Another way to protect your skin from this harmful UV light is to put on a pair of ultraviolet resistant fingerless gloves found at any beauty shop. These gloves will act as a protective agent to your delicate skin. Wearing these gloves and applying sunscreen onto your skin will allow you to enjoy your manicure free of unnecessary worry.


The Truth About The Meat You Eat

Truth: Chemical Additives and Preservatives are used in Meat Processing.

The rates of cancer, childhood illness and auto-immune disease are on a fast rise, and it is the food we ingest that is to blame. Processed meats are related to many poor human health conditions. Many fresh meats including beef, chicken and pork can test positive for being injected with steroids and hormones. Why is this? Many animals are injected with growth hormones and steroids with the purpose of increasing their meat production.

Processed meats are meat products that can stay on the shelf for a longer amount of time because of preservatives.  Chicken is heavily packed with additives to extend the refrigeration time. Sodium nitrate is an additive that many meat processing companies use to color the meat. This happens by making the meat look fresh by turning it the color red.


“Nitrates such as sodium nitrate, however can be extremely harmful to many of our internal organs such as the pancreas and the liver.”

Keep in Mind! While one small serving with these preservatives may not cause any damage, these chemicals can stay in your system for years and toxic levels could build up in your body.

Other types of processed meats include:

  • Bologna
  • Bacon
  • Deli meats
  • Hot dogs
  • Meats used in canned spaghetti or ravioli
  • Pepperoni used on pizza slices

MSG is another chemical that is found in many of our processed meats. MSG can lead to many neurological problems such as migraines, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s. It has also been associated with causing obesity and infertility.



Chickens live in filthy environments. After they have been slaughtered, chickens are then injected with preservatives, including sodium lactate and potassium lactate. Bromelain and ficin are often used to help make the meat tender.


Dried meats, such as beef jerky, as well as ground beef, steaks and roasts are all injected with preservatives. Beef jerky contains butylated hydroxytoluene, which stops the meat from turning rotten. Ground beef contains chemicals such as carrageenan to help the beef stay composed. Roast beef might be injected with an unspecified water solution to keep the meat juicy.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as of today lists 3,000 food additives approved for food use in the United States. These food additives may harm our health.

In 2010, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) stated that the FDA is not guaranteeing the safety of many chemicals put in our food.

Preservatives- fall into one of two categories: those used to avoid bacterial or fungal growth and those that prevent oxidation which leads to the rotting of food.

Food Additives- The federal government defines food additives as being of unknown.

Hint! If you can’t pronounce something on an ingredients label, it is probably a food additive. Here are some common additives found in many processed foods.


• Benzoates (used to kill microorganisms)

• Potassium Sorbate (used for killing mold)

• Carrageenan (used to create a smooth texture and thicken foods)

• Propylene Glycol (thickener and texturizer, also used as antifreeze for cars and airplanes)

• Calcium Pantothenate (calcium supplement)

• Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B supplement)

• Aspartame (sweetener)

• Disodium Guanylate (flavor enhancer)

• Cochineal (Red coloring)

• Titanium Dioxide (white coloring)

Did you know?

  • Some food and color additives have been linked to cancer, asthma and even birth defects.
  • In August of 2006, the FDA permitted the process of stopping the foodborne disease listeriosis by spraying bacteria-eating viruses on processed meats and cold cuts.

What You Can Do

  • Eat fresh, unprocessed foods grown by local farmers.
  • Check labels for additives when shopping at your grocery store.
  • Buy more whole foods and fewer “convenience foods.”