Gel Manicure Safety: Anti UV Fingerless Gloves

There has been a lot of buzz about the safety of using UV and LED lights for gel manicures and whether the exposure is enough to cause cancer.  The media has definitely put a negative spin on the topic and is creating a bit of a panic.  Studies have shown that there is very little risk associated with the use of these lights.  However, little risk does not necessarily mean no risk.  There are two very easy preventative things that you can do to protect yourself during a gel manicure:

1. Apply a broad spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UV-A and UV-B rays prior to your manicure.

2. Or, use anti UV fingerless gloves during your manicure.

Esther’s Nail Center sent me a pair of these gloves to try out.  They cover your whole lower arm all the way up to the elbow leaving only your fingertips exposed.  They’re super easy to use… you just have to remember to put them on BEFORE you start your manicure!

Gel manicure safety - two simple preventative measures you can take

You can see here that just my fingertips are exposed.  The fabric actually was very close to my nail on the ring finger, but it didn’t get in the way or cause any problems at all.

Gel manicure safety - two simple preventative measures you can take

Gel manicure safety - two simple preventative measures you can take

Ta-da! A perfect gel manicure using Gelish Plum and Done.

Gel manicure safety - two simple preventative measures you can take

12 Responses

  1. Sheeba says:

    i want to know what is the cost of these gloves for uv lights ? and how much i have to order and what is the procedure of shipping ?


  2. Sheeba, they cost between $5-$15 per pair and can be bought on, just check shipping options, many companies don’t ship outside the USA.

  3. PO says:

    Hi – Thank you so much for your article and info! I have done a ton of reading and am unfortunately still confused about the difference in safety between UV and LED. I read an article on your site that explained one isn’t “safer” than the other. I also saw some articles online describing that LED is safer that UV and the gloves wouldn’t be necessary with LED.

    However, I then read that LED bulbs still emit UV, it’s just a different type of bulb.

    So, I am just trying to figure out why so many articles are saying that LED is a safer option and can be used safer without gloves… if it still emits the same UV? I am having trouble figuring out if one is “safer” than the other?

    I realize you have addressed this in your article, so I guess what I am trying to figure out is how it was concluded since I am finding mixed information on one being safer than the other? For me, the price and drying time aren’t a factor, I’m just looking for the “safest” option.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you so much! :-)

    • Andrea says:

      Both types of light use UV technology to cure the polish. LED lamps work faster so you’re not exposed as long, although I’ve heard some say that the intensity of the exposure could be higher. I’m not an expert on the subject so I can’t say with 100% certainty, but if you’re worried about UV exposure I recommend taking precautions.

  4. Rosie says:

    The studies show that the LED lamp is lower-risk. Since I use my Royal Nails UV lamp every week for my gel manicures, I’m not concerned about a safety risk, but I AM worried about premature aging of my hands due to the light exposure. I’ve only been doing gel manis at home for a couple of months, but my hands are already darker from the light exposure.

    I guess I will probably buy sunscreen and put it on 15 minutes before I start the manicure. I have the gloves, but I hate using them because they are tight on my hands and impede movement so it’s harder to apply the gel polish perfectly. I love having a gel manicure, but I don’t want to end up with premature aging on my hands, which is caused by UV light exposure from LED and UV lamps. I know there are loads of products and cosmetic procedures you can get later in life to make your hands look younger, but I’d rather just take care now. Maybe I’ll upgrade to the 18g lamp.

  5. Lexie says:

    Could you double up your protection by putting on sunscreen then wearing the gloves as well?

  6. Katharine in Brussels says:

    Thanks a lot for explaining that both lamps use the UV spectrum, I’ve had skin cancer biopsies (negative) before so took no risks and used fingerless gloves even with an LED lamp. Not sure the fabric is actually UV-blocking, since opacity and fiber type determine that, and these are simple white polyestor-type gloves, not high end Supplex poly fabric and they aren’t even black. But–really they are probably blocking out so much of that short time under the LED anyway it’s probably quite ok.

  7. Sofi Reyes says:

    just wondering, do you think any other types of gloves with the tips cut off the fingers might work?

  8. Diane Toth says:

    They all CLAIM their gloves give the best protection from ultra violet light , etc. How would I know which is true?; thanks