The Pros and Cons of Gel Nails

The Pros and Cons of Gel Nails

Gel nails have become increasingly popular in recent years as a way to achieve long-lasting, chip-free manicures. These artificial nails are cured under a UV lamp and offer a durable alternative to traditional nail polish.

However, with the benefits come potential drawbacks that must be considered before deciding if gel nails are right for you.

In this article, we will explore the pros and cons of gel nails. We will examine the benefits of gel nails such as their longevity, shine, and ease of application.

Additionally, we will discuss some of the concerns associated with gel nails including the potential for damage to the natural nail bed and exposure to UV radiation during curing.

By weighing both the advantages and disadvantages of gel nails, readers can make an informed decision about whether or not they should try this popular beauty trend.


Longevity is one of the most important factors when it comes to gel nails. They are known for lasting longer than traditional nail polish, with some people claiming that they can last up to three weeks without chipping or fading.

This is because gel nails are made of a more durable material that is cured under UV light, creating a hard and resistant layer on top of the natural nail. However, this durability also comes with its downsides as removing gel nails can be a time-consuming process which may require professional assistance.

In addition, if not removed properly, gel nails can cause damage to the natural nail bed leading to thinning and weakening of the nails. Therefore, while longevity is a definite advantage of gel nails, it is important to consider the potential risks before deciding whether to opt for this type of nail treatment.


Shine is one of the most attractive features of gel nails. Gel polishes offer a high-shine finish that can last up to two weeks without chipping or peeling, making them a popular choice for those who want long-lasting, glossy nails.

The shine is achieved through the use of UV light, which cures the polish and creates a hard, durable finish. However, there are some downsides to this shine. Over time, repeated exposure to UV light can damage the skin around the nails and increase the risk of skin cancer. Additionally, some people may find that the high-shine finish looks too artificial or fake for their liking.

It’s important to weigh these pros and cons when deciding whether or not to get gel nails.

  • How does UV light affect your skin?
  • Are there any alternatives to achieving a high-shine finish?
  • Can you adjust the level of shine with different types of gel polish?
  • What are some tips for maintaining a shiny gel manicure?

Ease Of Application

After discussing the importance of shine in gel nails, it is now time to move on to the ease of application.

One of the biggest advantages of gel nails is that they are relatively easy to apply. Gel nail polish can be applied quickly and without much fuss, making it a great option for those who want a long-lasting manicure but don’t have the time or patience for traditional nail polish.

Additionally, there are many different types of gel nail polishes available on the market today, each with their own unique set of benefits and drawbacks. Some gels require a UV light to cure, while others can be cured with an LED light or simply by air drying. The wide variety of options means that there is a gel nail polish out there for everyone, regardless of their skill level or preferences.

However, it is important to note that while gel nails may be easier to apply than other types of nail polishes, they still require some degree of skill and practice in order to achieve a flawless finish.

Damage To The Natural Nail Bed

One of the major concerns with gel nails is the potential damage they can cause to the natural nail bed.

The process of applying and removing gel polish involves a lot of buffing, filing, and soaking in acetone which can weaken and thin out the nails over time.

This can lead to brittleness, peeling, and even breakage.

Additionally, if not done properly or with the right products, gel manicures can trap moisture between the nail bed and polish creating an ideal environment for bacteria and fungus to grow.

It is important to take breaks between gel manicures, keep nails well moisturized, and use reputable salons with trained technicians who follow proper hygiene protocols to minimize any potential damage to the natural nail bed.

Exposure To Uv Radiation

Despite the appeal of gel nails, exposure to UV radiation is a major concern among nail technicians and customers alike.

According to a study by The Journal of Investigative Dermatology, the UV lamps used to cure gel polish emit varying levels of UVA radiation, which can be harmful to the skin and eyes.

While the risk may be minimal with occasional use, frequent or prolonged exposure can lead to damage such as premature aging, skin cancer, and eye damage.

To better understand the risks associated with exposure to UV radiation during gel manicures, it is important to consider several factors:

  • The strength and duration of UV lamp exposure
  • The level of protection provided by sunscreen or other protective measures
  • Individual sensitivity to UV rays
  • The cumulative effect over time

Taking precautions such as using high-quality sunscreen before each session and limiting exposure time can help reduce the risk of harm from UV radiation during gel manicures.

However, it is important for both technicians and customers to be aware of these risks and take steps to protect their health while enjoying the benefits of gel nails.


Gel nails have become increasingly popular over the years due to their long-lasting nature and brilliant shine. However, like any beauty treatment, there are both pros and cons that should be considered before indulging in this trend.

One of the main advantages of gel nails is their longevity. They can last up to three weeks without chipping or peeling, making them ideal for those who want a low-maintenance manicure.

Additionally, gel nails provide a high-gloss finish that is difficult to achieve with regular nail polish.

On the other hand, one of the disadvantages of gel nails is the damage they can cause to the natural nail bed. The removal process can leave nails weak and brittle, which can lead to breakage and splitting.

Furthermore, exposure to UV radiation during the curing process may increase the risk of skin cancer.

In conclusion, while gel nails offer many benefits, it’s important to weigh these against their potential drawbacks before deciding whether or not they’re right for you. It’s essential to consider how long you want your manicure to last and how much maintenance you’re willing to put into it.

Additionally, if you decide on gel nails, be sure to take proper care of your natural nail bed by allowing them sufficient time between treatments and limiting your exposure to UV radiation. As Shakespeare once said: ‘All that glitters is not gold.’ … and sometimes what seems like a good idea at first can end up causing more harm than good if proper precautions aren’t taken.