Will gel ruin my natural nails? (a warning for at home gel nail kits)

We’re in the midst of a national lockdown - the salons are shut (that alone is enough to cause a pandemic!) And you can’t get your nails done anymore...This is something we have all DREADED for all of our lives! But, it isn’t all doom and gloom. With a big thanks to the magical internet, beauty supplies are a click away and can be delivered to your door if you wish to still pamper yourselves at home. But, will you cause more harm than good?

I hear these questions often, “will gel thin my nails?” And, “is gel bad for my nails?” And “do my nails need to breathe?”

I’m going to explain the positives and negatives of using at home gel nail polish kits whilst we are in lockdown, and comparing it to a professional gel application and explaining how gel is good but how it can be bad.

So you’ve decided you want to try doing your own gels at home...
First things first, if you can paint your own nails with nail polish neatly without touching the edges, then an at home gel polish nail kit could be a good option for you right now. If you can’t paint your own nails, I wouldn’t even think about trying to gel your nails at home! Stick to what you know folks and wait for your nail tech to get back to work and have a professional application.

Next up, tools. The tools we use are fundamental to a successful mani. Period. Without them, or bad use of them, will cause bad side effects like nail plate damage and nail thinning. Know your tools and how to use them correctly before proceeding. In the salon we use various tools at different stages throughout treatments to aid in a more effective process with nail health being the number one focus. We do use electric files to aid in faster gel removal and infills, we never use them over natural nails so this will have no impact on your nail plate and cause no damage or thinning. Excessive filing over natural nails will cause thinning and damage and is totally unnecessary if you are following proper treatment procedures. Another thing that causes thinning is peeling your gels off! Did you know, it can peel a layer of your nails off with it!? Curb the habit and spend that extra time to soak them off, your future nails will thank you!

The tools you require at home do not need to be a professional standard - these would be extra sharp and hazardous for you to use without being trained. Look into buying an all in one manicure kit with all the basics. Files of different grits, gentle buffers, cuticle pushers, orange sticks. Use them gently and carefully, sanitising and disinfecting in between uses.

Gel. Gel is beautiful, it is luxurious, it gives a high shine finish every time, with extensive range of pigment rich colours available, it’s truly devine. Good quality gel is expensive, and is hard to apply, this is why a salon quality application is always the best option and there is no denying it. You will have a lot of colour choice and design options available without a big outlay. The brands I use are The Gel Bottle and Bio Sculpture Gel. I choose to use them because they both boast being toxic free, vegan, no animal testing, and last for 3+ weeks. They help the natural nail stay healthy and encourage nail growth. Your nails do not need to breathe if they are wearing a breathable gel - EVO oxygenating gel by Bio Sculpture Gel slams the “nails need to breathe” myth by having the added benefit of improved air permeability, allowing the healthy and natural exchange of Oxygen (O2) and water vapor (H2O) between the nail and its environment whilst wearing it. This is great for brittle and healthy nails, but a breathable gel isn’t a requirement for everyone I just had to make that point.

Correct application of a suitable gel by an experienced gel nail technician, will never leave your natural nails damaged. The damage is usually caused by the person wearing them by peeling them off or breaking them!

With your own research, and by reading HUNDREDS of reviews, you may just find a good at home gel polish alternative during the Coronavirus lockdown. It will reap you the rewards for spending a little more, and checking the ingredients are all safe and non toxic. Your nails are like skin and they will absorb anything you apply over them, bad cheap ingredients can be absorbed and will cause damage. You will be looking for a good quality gel polish kit, an LED/UV lamp and tools. But please do your research and follow the manufactures guidelines for application.

The message of this blog is simple. Gel of a good quality does not ruin your natural nails, it’s actually better to wear it than to not wear it at all. What does ruin your natural nails is bad quality products, misuse of tools and improper removal. Try gel polish at home whilst you can’t get to the salon with caution, it could be the good, quick fixing mood booster whilst in lockdown that you need! But it will never beat professional quality, finish, and long term optimum nail health.

Look after yourselves and your nails, and of course your loved ones during this uncertain time

I can’t wait to paint all of your nails again already!
Kristy x