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What's the difference between LED Gel Nail Lamps, UV Gel Nail Lamps and UV/LED Gel Nail Lamps?

  • 5 min read

Curious about the differences between LED Gel Nail Lamps, UV Gel Nail Lamps and UV/LED Gel Nail Lamps? Want to understand the gel manicure and pedicure products you are using? We've got you covered!

What's the difference between LED Gel Nail Lamps, UV Gel Nail Lamps and UV/LED Gel Nail Lamps?

All Gel Nail Lamps emit UV light regardless of whether they are a UV/LED, LED lamp or an UV lamp. This is how a Gel Polish cures! Older, “traditional” Gel Nail Lamps used UV bulbs, which needed changing regularly and took far too long to cure Gel Nail Polish. Most modern Gel Nail Lamps, including the Gelous UV/LED Gel Nail Lamps use LED bulbs operating on the UV spectrum. The LED bulbs used in our Gel Nail Lamps are much safer than UV bulbs, last up to 50,000 hours and only take 60 seconds to cure each coat of your Gelous Gel Nail Polish!

LED Gel Nail Lamps, LED UV Gel Nail Lamps, UV/LED Gel Nail Lamps and whatever other variations are on the market all emit UV rays and use LED bulb technology.

Why don’t all brands market their lamps as UV/LED Lamps?

Many brands like to remove the “UV” word from their Gel Nail Lamp name due to bad connotations. We market our lamps as UV/LED Gel Nail Lamps simply because we want our customers to fully understand what products they are purchasing off us and how they work.

How does Gelous Gel Nail Polish cure under Gel Nail Lamps?

Gel Nail Polish contains ingredients that react with the UV rays emitted by the Gel Nail Lamp in a process called "curing". In 60 seconds, the once liquid gel turns into a hard coating. Your Gelous Base Coat and Gelous Colour Coat layers will remain slightly tacky after curing so that when you apply the following layer, it sticks to the layer below. Unlike the Base Coat and Colour Coat, your Top Coat layer should be hard, dried and perfectly cured once you have placed your nails under the Gel Nail Lamp for 60 seconds.

As long as you are applying your Gel Nail Polish in thin, even layers and curing each coat for 60 seconds under our UV/LED Gel Nail Lamp, your Base Coat and Colour Coat will be cured. 

What sort of UV rays are emitted from Gel Nail Lamps?

Both UV LED Gel Nail Lamps and LED Gel Nail Lamps predominantly emit Ultraviolet-A (UVA), which is safer for humans than Ultraviolet-B (UV-B).

Should you be wearing sun protection when curing your Gel Nail Polish? Is a Gel Manicure safe?

Sunburn or skin damage will only occur if you are exposed to your Gel Nail Lamp for over approximately 75 minutes at a time. When using for the recommended times of up to 5 x 60 seconds, your exposure is well below this! Dr. Stern (New York City MD, dermatologist and nail specialist) stated in a Marie Claire article “A study quantified the skin cancer risk of these devices and determined that even if you were to have a gel manicure every week, your chances of developing skin cancer would not be increased."

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) views “nail curing lamps as low risk when used as directed by the label.” A 2013 published study indicated that “even for the worst case lamp that was evaluated, 30 minutes of daily exposure to this lamp was below the occupational exposure limits for UV radiation. (Note that these limits only apply to normal, healthy people and not to people who may have a condition that makes them extra sensitive to UV radiation.)”

Still don't like to take the chance? Neither do we! We recommend putting sunblock on 15-30 minutes before using to protect your skin - just as we recommend this before you go out for a walk!

What other safety precautions should you be taking when using a Gel Nail Lamp?

Check your medication before gel manicures or gel pedicures

Before your gel manicure or pedicure, make sure to check whether medications you are taking can react poorly in UV light. An article from Brydie states, “Dr. Stern points out that one common culprit is Doxycycline (used for the treatment of acne and infections). If you’re taking other medications and are unsure of their side effects, Dr. Stern says to consult your doctor to determine risks of photosensitivity or phototoxicity before placing your hands under a UV (or LED) light.”

Only use compatible Gel Nail Polish and Gel Nail Lamps

Our Gel Nail Polish and UV/LED Nail Lamp are designed to be totally compatible, with our UV/LED Lamp curing our Gel Nail Polish within a specific wavelength. Though we use a reasonably generic curing wavelength, we do advise against using different polishes with our lamps, or different lamps with our polish as they may not be compatible.

Use Gelous Base Coat, Gelous Colour Coat, then Gelous Top Coat, curing each coat with the Gelous UV/LED Gel Nail Lamp If you skip the Base Coat or Top Coat, or try to dry without the Gel Nail Lamp your manicure or pedicure will not be effective and could even cause serious damage to your hands or nails.

Other ways to keep your nails and hands healthy and safe before, during, and after gel manicures

  • Apply Cuticle Oil and a Hydrating Hand Cream regularly to keep your hands nourished.
  • Dispose of Gelous Orangewood Cuticle Sticks after use. These cannot be disinfected, so it is unhygienic to use them multiple times.
  • Replace your Gelous Nail File approximately every three months if you’re a regular user. Keeping it any longer can lead to nail damage (as the buffing plates wear down) and a build-up of bacteria.
  • Carefully read our Application & Removal Guide before use. 
  • Remove your Gel Nail Polish according to our Application & Removal Guide. Avoid picking at your Gel Nail Polish, as you will inevitably peel away part of your natural nail, leaving it thin and weak.
  • Avoid getting back-to-back gel manicures. This break will allow your nails to rehydrate and repair. We recommend a break of at least 1-2 weeks.
  • Be careful to not over-file the nail plate, as it may cause sensitivity. 
  • Avoid touching your skin with Gel Nail Polish and if you do, make sure to wipe off immediately before curing. Curing Gel Nail Polish on your skin can cause mild to serious irritation.
  • Do not use if you have extremely short nails or if your nails are in poor condition (thin, dry or split). We recommend using Cuticle Oil, ORLY Hydrating Creme and ORLY Nail Defence until your nails are in a better condition for a gel manicure. 
When used correctly LED Gel Nail Lamps, LED UV Gel Nail Lamps and UV/LED Gel Nail Lamps all pose limited risks. As long as you follow the guidelines we have outlined, you will have a safe, long-lasting manicure or pedicure! 

Get your Gel Nail Kit and Gel Polish now, with free shipping with orders over $100 to Australia including Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and more!

We also ship throughout New Zealand, America and the rest of the world.

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