Are Semi-Cured Nails Better For You Than Gel Manicures?

In the world of nails, gel manicures are all the rage due to their longevity and how pretty and impressive they look. However, with them comes certain issues. For example, the UV light that is used to seal gel manicures can cause discomfort. And, although there is no direct relationship showing that these UV lights cause skin cancer, they can still lead to worrying cell damage and ill nail health. 

However, if you decide to take a breather from gel manicures, don't be discouraged, because it doesn't mean you can only rock plain nails moving forward. If you want a beautiful manicure without the potentially harmful risks of a gel manicure, one option to consider is semi-cured nails. Instead of traditional nail polish or gel polish that is painted on, semi-cured nails come as strips. 

The strips are partially made from cured gel so they can be formed around the shape of your nail. Once the strips are pressed on, they are cured the rest of the way by an LED light so they will stay on your nails for a couple of weeks. If you're taking a break from gel manicures, either out of necessity or choice, consider them as an alternative that still looks just as cool. 

How to use the semi-cured nail strips

When it is time to apply your semi-cured nail strips, you must first prepare for the process by washing your hands thoroughly, filing your nails, and gently pushing back your cuticles. The nail strip starter kits from Dashing Diva, for instance, come with a couple of prep pads to polish your nails with. Then, you should look through the provided options of nail strips in various sizes to pick the ones that will best fit your nails.

Once you have all the required nail strips, you simply press them onto your nails one at a time. Press onto the center of your nail first and then press around the sides of the nail to safely secure the strip. Remove the protective film over the strip, and trim the strips with nail clippers. The final steps are to cure the nails with an LED light and file off anything extra — you do not want any of the strips hanging off your natural nails. 

Semi-cured nails vs. gel manicures

Although they look really impressive, the American Academy of Dermatology Association warned that "Gel manicures can cause nail brittleness, peeling and cracking" in addition to the skin issues related to spending time under the harsh UV lights. The use of semi-cured nail strips does not have any similar issues — as long as they are removed properly, of course. And even though some brands that manufacture semi-cured nail strips sell UV lights instead of LED ones for curing, you should be able to separately buy an LED light instead if you prefer. 

Also, you keep your nails under the light for considerably less time for nail strips than with gel manicures since semi-cured nails only need to be cured under an LED light for 45 to 60 seconds total. Nail strips also come in tons of different colors and patterns, so you can experiment with designs that you cannot paint yourself or that would be more expensive with a professional manicurist. So, if you're looking for sleek, stunning nails with longevity at a fraction of the cost, or you just want to give your nails a break from gel manicures, semi-cured nails are ideal.