Are UV nail lamps safe?

To harden nail gels and gel polish, the use of UV light is necessary. An American study was recently published in Nature Communications, about the safety of UV lamps and that they may increase the risk of skin cancer, after which the Dutch Cancer Society advised limiting the use of UV nail lamps (ie UV nail dryers).

However, various studies from 2010 until now show that the extra exposure of the skin to UV radiation is minimal when curing gel nails with UV light. According to the FDA, nail dryers with UV light are safe when used according to the instructions for use.

UV nail dryer and beautiful green nails

How does curing of UV gels work?

A gel applied to the nail forms a tight, solid structure under the influence of UV light. A nail dryer is used to ensure that the curing, the so-called ‘polymerization reaction’, proceeds quickly and properly.
Various types of nail lamps can be used to harden nail gels. Classic UV lamps (or ‘fluorescent’ lamps), but also the newer LED lamps. Both work in the same way: they use wavelengths in the UV spectrum.

Risk of skin cancer due UV lamps is very minimal

The intensity of the UV light, the duration of exposure and how often the exposure takes place determines the degree of risk from the UV light. Calculations show that the risk of skin cancer from the UV light in nail drying lamps for applying gel nails is very small. This applies to curing by both UV lamps and UV/LED lamps.
As a an extra precaution you can protect the skin with a broad spectrum SPF30 or higher.

What is the difference between UV and LED lamps?

UV lamps can cure all gel nail products, LED lamps only cure LED specific gel nail products. The entire UV gel and gel polish range from CNC International can be cured with LED light. LED lamps are more expensive than UV lamps. On the other hand, these types of lamps cure much faster (30-60 seconds vs 60-120 seconds), have a longer lifespan and are also safer.

Which is less harmful to health: UV or LED lamps?

Cure the gel with a classic UV lamp
UV lamps (also called fluorescent lamps) emit a wider range of wavelengths. The emission spectrum of the fluorescent lamps falls between 300-410nm with a peak emission at a wavelength of 375nm. The curing process with a UV lamp takes on average 60-120 seconds and in some cases even longer.

Cure gel with a UV/LED nail lamp
LED lamps have an emission range at a higher wavelength, namely 375-425nm with a peak emission at 385nm.3 Due to the narrower, more focused spectrum of LED lamps, the gel cures faster than with a UV lamp: 30-60 seconds.

The higher the wavelength of the UV light, the lower the energy that the UV light carries, and therefore the less harmful to the skin. In addition, curing under a LED lamp will go a lot faster, so that the skin is exposed to UV radiation for less time. Conclusion: with a LED lamp you play it safer!

All UV gels and UV gel polish nail products from the CNC International range can be cured with LED nail lamps.