Why the TikTok-Viral Gel Nail Hack Is Actually Really Dangerous

·3 min read

Now, this is why you have to be careful about trying beauty hacks from just anyone on TikTok. A creator came on the platform last week to share the way she gets her press-on nails to last until she wants to remove them. The press-on nail hack now has more than 7.8 million views. But it turns out, this trick could actually put you at risk for a serious infection. If you’re going to try it, it’s important to know the risks.

“To whoever started the whole ‘curing press-on nails with Gel X’ I owe you my life,” Savannah Linn says on TikTok. “Because my nails always look so good now for so cheap and I did them at home and it’s so easy. I literally got these press-ons from Urban, gel cured them on and these bitches will last me until I take ’em off.” Sounds genius, right? Who wouldn’t want their temporary nails to last longer than a few days?

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TikTok.
TikTok.

But let’s listen to the professionals here. Nail tech @AmberTheNailWhisperer was quick to call this “alarming trend” unsafe. Here’s why. “UV light cannot go through a full cover press-on nail that is colored,” she says. “It needs to be absolutely clear. Sure, you’ll probably get it about 50 percent cured and it’s hard enough and it stays. But 50 percent cured is not fully cured and you are leaving yourself open to developing an allergy to gel products.”

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She goes on to explain that most folks on TikTok are using a “flash cure lamp,” which is giving off even less UV light. “Sure, your nails are staying on, but at what cost?” she asks. Amber promises it’s not an “if” but a “when” you’ll develop this reaction and not be able to use gel products in the future. The issue is leaving the uncured gel on your fingers.

Now, you can do this with clear nails, she says. So put them on first and then paint them. But that takes away from all the cool press-on nail styles you can shop.

Other TikTokers are jumping online to share their horror stories after trying this trend. Karissa Wampler. “My nails looked great until they started itching so bad that I had to literally pour almost boiling water on my fingers just to try to ease the pain,” she says. “Then my fingernails were so squishy underneath, they were falling off.” She reiterates what @AmberTheNailWhisperer is telling us, that the gel cannot cure through the polished nail and you will develop an allergy, causing you to not be able to get gel nails again. Maybe ever.

Other TikTokers site infections, painful peeling and other icky reactions. We’re going to say it’s best to skip this hack and just use the glue that comes with press-on nails. They might only last about a week but your nails will stay healthy underneath.

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