Painting your nails is one small way of instantly lifting your mood.
Suddenly you feel more polished and adult.
Gel manicures are this feeling, but times a thousand.
Not only are your nails looking amazing, but you don’t need to worry about chipping them or smudging them within seconds of having them done.
However, if you’re a regular devotee of a cheeky shellac, then there’s bad news…
A recent scientific paper by the University Hospital Galway in Ireland, published in the Australasian Journal of Dermatology put a question mark around the safety of the UV lamps used to set the polish.
The study said the UV light required for a gel manicure had “similar properties to traditional UV tanning sunbeds.”
Of course, one counter argument asks is there even enough exposure during a manicure to get a harmful dose of UV light?
The answer isn’t 100 per cent straigtforward.
Some studies have found the amount of light plus exposure time doesn’t amount to a real risk.
Additional research, however, analysed 17 different nail lamps and found that “DNA damage could be reached between eight and 208 visits to a salon”.
Another study also claimed you could receive an entire day’s recommended energy dose in less than 10 minutes, Mamamia reports.
So where does that leave you?
It’s best to play it safe.
The USA Skin Cancer Foundation and the American Academy of Dermatology recommend manicure fans apply a “a broad-spectrum sunscreen to the hands” – a recommendation which is backed up by research.
Apply this 20 minutes before your appointment, and enjoy your manicure.