If you have a weekly mani on your schedule, you could be increasing your cancer risk.
The problem stems from the machine at the salon, which uses ultra violet light to dry nail polish and harden nail gels. Similar to tannings beds, the devices emit UVA light, which contributes to skin aging and cancer, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
A new study in the journal Jama Dermatology tested 17 different UV nail lamps found in salons to see just how much radiation is emitted. The researchers found that the doses, measured in joules per centimeter squared, ranged from less than one to eight while DNA damage that leads to skin cancer occurs around 60 joules per centimeter.
“There is a vast range in the amount of light coming out of these devices,” said Dr. Lyndsay R. Shipp, the study’s lead author and a postgraduate resident at the university’s Medical College of Georgia, told The New York Times. Researchers noted the “risk from multiple manicure visits remains untested,” there’s a relatively low risk.
While the occasional mani/pedi doesn’t hurt, those who hold regular appointment can take precaution and try alternative by taking a bottle of sunscreen to the salon the same way you would with your favorite polish. You can also try an LED gel manicure, like Red Carpet Manicure, or a gel-like alternative like CND’s Vinylux range. After all, a safe mani is a great mani.