Gel nails: Reiterating the importance of a safe, legal and qualified industry

by | Apr 20, 2023

Last week, the British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) highlighted the risks associated with at-home gel nail kits. This triggered widespread media coverage of the possible allergic reactions that can be caused by gel manicures

In the statement, the BAD said: ‘The British Association of Dermatologists (BAD) has today reiterated its warning regarding allergic reactions linked to artificial nails following several high-profile reports. The BAD first issued a warning about these products in 2018, following reports of a steep rise in cases of allergic skin reactions linked to (meth)acrylate chemicals in these products.’

It goes on to highlight that an increasing number of allergic reactions to gel manicures occurred due to the closure of nail salons throughout the pandemic. This meant more people were doing manicures at home, without the sufficient training needed to apply products safely. 

Allergic reactions to manicures often occur when the (meth)acrylate chemicals in polishes and gels are not cured properly under a UV lamp. 

On the increasing coverage, The Federation of Nail Professionals (FNP) wants to re-assure those working in the industry, saying: ‘While many nail techs have been aware of this situation, and sadly too many are experiencing it first hand, the consumer must be aware of the potential dangers and issues around allergies to some gel products, particularly to those using home kits and cheap products.

‘We are aware that the reporting has caused some panic that will damage our industry and turn customers against gel polish for fear of allergic reactions. However, the message has been clear and will continue to be clear in that the use of gel polish is for professional use only and that clients should always go to a professional for this service.’

The FNP is urging nail professionals and salon visitors to read its Consumer Awareness Safety Checklist, which outlines the qualifications that professionals should have before carrying out treatments, and the health and safety measures that all salons should follow.  

‘The British Beauty Council is currently working with the Office for Product Safety and Standards as part of the Department for Business and Trade to see what further steps can be taken to give reassurance to the public and industry,’ said Victoria Brownlie, Chief Policy Officer.

To close, she says: ‘If we’re going to continue raising the reputation and standards of the industry, then ensuring that only safe and legal products, used by qualified professionals, are used in our services is an absolute must.’

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