Why You Should Think Twice Before Putting Gel Polish On Your Toes

While often neglected, your feet do everything for you. They provide you with balance, mobility, and much more. That said, your feet deserve to be cared for and pampered too, and getting a pedicure is the perfect way to do this. If you require a durable pedicure with minimal drying time, you might opt for a gel pedicure. Although they are not as popular as gel manicures, gel pedicures are offered at most nail salons. They are, of course, pricier than your average pedicure. However, fans of gel pedicures note that, due to their longevity, they are well worth the price.

Getting a gel pedicure follows the same process as a gel manicure. Amy Ling Lin, the founder of Sunday's Nail Studio, explained the steps involved to InStyle. She said, "The basic outline is cutting the nails, lightly soaking the feet, cutting the cuticles, thorough cleaning, a callus treatment, a scrub and massage, followed by one base coat layer, two layers of color, and a top coat layer." Like a gel manicure, the gel polish is cured with a UV light. But despite all that gel pedicures have to offer, feet experts note that you should avoid them if you want to keep your toenails healthy.

Gel pedicures can damage your nails

Gel pedicures can last up to a month, making them favored among consumers going on vacations or events. Amy Ling Lin told InStyle, "There's just less wear and tear on your toes, even if you're on your feet all day." Nevertheless, experts warn that gel pedicures can be detrimental to your nail health. Buffing the nails before the gel polish is applied can lead to cracking or peeling nails. The lasting power of the gel polish can also be your downfall. The longer you have the polish on your toenails, the less oxygen your toenails will receive, which can ultimately weaken your toenails. If you have the polish on too long, keratin granulation (aka white spots) will appear on the nails.

Furthermore, gel polish can dry out your nails and cuticles. This can cause overall brittleness and lead the toenails to break or peel. This also applies to gel manicures. Instagram user @rosenails03 shows how delicate and thin the nails can become after using gel on fingernails. Because of UV and LED lamps, there's also the skin cancer risk associated with gel manicures and pedicures. Moreover, this exposure can lead to your skin aging prematurely. To avoid this, experts recommend wearing sunscreen on your hands or feet while getting your gel nails done.

How to properly remove gel polish

The biggest mistake everyone makes with gel nails is not removing the polish properly. If you peel off your gel pedicure, you risk peeling off your nail, which can further exacerbate the damage. Experts recommend that you refrain from doing this. Instead, it would be best if you visited your nail salon to get them removed to preserve your nails' health. In a TikTok, user @thewnailbar demonstrates the removal process. First, she files down the polish to create chips. She then soaks a small piece of cotton with acetone and places it on the nail before wrapping the toenails in foil. Lastly, she scrapes off the gel polish using a scraper tool.

If you find that the gel polish has damaged your toenails, you can easily nurse them back to health. Make sure to keep your nails hydrated with cuticle cream. In addition, you can use cuticle oil or even olive oil. You could also purchase a nail strengthener or keratin treatment. Keep in mind that it can take a few months for your nails to recover.

If you want to avoid the aftermath of a gel pedicure but still want your nails to look pristine, opt for a regular polish pedicure or a dip powder pedicure. And if you insist on gel pedicures, experts say the best thing you can do is take a break between each gel pedicure to lessen the damage to your toenails.