Should we worry about using ultraviolet lamps to speed-dry nail polish? It’s important to protect ourselves from the ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun, because they cause premature aging of the skin (wrinkles, age spots, etc.), while also increasing our risk of skin cancer. The special lamps used to dry nail polish also use UV rays… so can they be harmful to our health?
According to the American FDA, UV nail-curing lamps only pose a low risk to our health, as long as they are used as directed by the manufacturer. These FDA results are based on a 2013 study that found that even prolonged use (36 minutes, which is well beyond normal use) did not exceed the American occupational exposure limits for UV radiation.
However, some individuals should avoid UV lamps or take additional precautions when using them, particularly persons at high risk of developing skin cancer, as well as those who take medication or natural products that make their skin more sensitive to the sun. If you’re not sure whether your medication increases your sensitivity to the sun, don’t hesitate to consult your pharmacist on the matter.
In order to reduce your UV exposure during the drying time, experts suggest wearing gloves with cut-off fingertips, so that only the fingernails are exposed, or applying sunscreen to your hands. If you opt for the latter, choose a sunscreen with a physical filter (zinc oxide or titanium dioxide), since they are effective as soon as you apply them.
Having nice nails is one of life’s little pleasures – no need to give it up! Simply take a few precautions if you need to limit your exposure to UV radiation.