We all love a manicure. Our hands look so dainty and pretty as the sun catches the glimmer of the freshly painted top coat. Sometimes we opt for the danger and taboo of a design, sometimes candy apple red. Of course I am speaking of the nail polish color being candy apple red – not the cuticle and surrounding nail bed and skin.
This week alone I have met two women in extreme pain. The culprit of said pain – poor removal of shellac and gel nails. Shellac is an awesome product when applied and removed PROPERLY. Shellac will keep your nails chip proof for a 2 – 4 weeks. They have an acrylic base – that is why your nails must be cured under a U.V. light (cured as in hardened – not cured as in healed…sorry, had to clarify, you would be surprised how many times I have had to clarify that point). Gel nails – well we have all heard of those. The majority of gel nail systems are acrylic based, so unless applied and removed properly, damage to your nail may occur. Now – back to the red.
After question upon question posed to these poor souls who could hardly pick up their keys because their fingers were so sore and raw it came down to one common factor – acetone. Acetone remover is what one can use to remove shellac and gel nails – there is one way and there is a proper way. To be clear, I am not a nail tech nor aesthetician. In the training that I have been fortunate enough to sit in on and the demonstrations that I have seen, the better way to remove shellac or gel nails is this;
– soak a cotton pad with acetone
– place it on the nail
– wrap the nail with foil (there are now little finger sleeves available)
– leave on for 5 -10 minutes
– remove foil and cotton and gently remove the remaining shellac/gel with an orange wood stick – gently scraping so you do not damage the nail bed.
* Some systems have their own remover – placed on the nail and then under U.V. to remove
Unfortunately for the two women I met and for countless others, the above method is not used. The preferred method to my horror is;
– put your HAND in this bowl of acetone.
Question – at home, would you pour acetone into a bowl and put your hand in it for 10 minutes? So why are you paying someone to do this to you? Some use this method because they don’t know any better, some because it is quicker. The downside to this method – besides not being able to pick up anything from money to men and hands and fingers as red as a drunk’s nose is there is a possibility of contact dermatitis. The skin around your nails, your cuticle and the pads of your fingers can become flaky and easily irritated and you may become more prone to infection and hang nails – depending on how much the nail bed was damaged.
I know you are looking down at your nails right now, it is alright. Now you know. Take a breath. Knowledge is power my friends.
Remember – Madge had people soaking – but it was Palmolive.