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Protecting Gels From the Sun

How to protect gel colour from the sun


It’s that time of the year again, summer & holiday season has arrived!

Our gels cure using UV light, which as we know, the sun also emits. Over-curing the gel can cause the pigments in the gel to become destabilised and lose colour - this can lead to colours softening or even fading drastically. Whenever the gel is exposed to UV rays, it continues to cure and can, eventually, become ‘over-cured’.


So how can we stop this?

Unfortunately, we’re constantly exposed to UV and it is not something we can prevent completely. In the summer, the UV rays are much stronger which is why we notice colours changing more in the summer time or while on holiday. The sun’s ‘bleaching’ effects are to be expected and it is important to advise clients, that they may find their gels soften in the sunshine. Think of the way hair lightens, fabric colours soften if placed in direct sunlight and our swimming costumes return from holiday shades lighter than when we purchased them. Overall softening of some gel colours is normal with exposure to sunlight.


What about when the gel completely loses colour or there is a ‘bleached’ effect?

If you or clients notice patches of discolouration, or a complete ‘bleached effect’, this usually indicates that a chemical has met the surface of the gel and has completely bleached it of colour. Chlorine is one of the main culprits of this. Chlorine is a strong bleaching agent, and when it reacts with the sun, this bleaching effect is increased. There is also an insect repellent used in most sun creams, and can interfere with colour stability and longevity of gel products.

Bleaching effects can also be caused by household cleaning products at any time of the year. Always recommend gloves when using products around the house or at a hair salon if your client is a hairdresser or works in a hair salon washing dyes or bleach from other’s hair.


How to reduce the sun’s effects on the gel?

Although, it’s not possible to completely prevent colours lightening over time, you can reduce its effects by protecting the colour gel from products and the sun. It’s important you advise your clients there may a chance their gels lighten during the summer.

After applying colour gel, we would recommend doing two thin layers of clear gel on top - it will take longer for the sun to work through two layers of clear to hit the colour.  Application can also affect how well the colour holds; try not to paint the gel too thinly, each layer should have a wet + true layer. If the gel is too thin, the pigment may breakdown which is why sometimes you see a lighter colour around the edge of the nail.


Always finish with a UV top coat in the summer.

Our UV nail varnish top coat has UV absorbers, this adds protection and absorbs the sun’s rays before it has a chance to work through the layers of the gel. It is important to reapply your top coat every 1-2 days when you spend time in the sun. Think of it as sun cream for you nails, you need to reapply your sun cream for it to work effectively, and you should do the same with a UV top coat.


How to minimise risks while on holiday

When going on holiday, it’s important to not leave sun creams or tanning oils on the surface of the nails. Wipe creams off the gel, so it doesn’t seep into the layers of the gel and try applying a UV top coat every day.


Not all colours are susceptible to fading.

We use a range of different pigments and although most of our colours hold their colour extremely well; certain colours can be a little more sensitive to the sun. Soft Pinks, Oranges & Pastels can sometimes soften in the sun, it’s important to advise your clients that softening may occur during the summer or on holiday in direct sunlight and how they can reduce these risks using the guidance above. Ensure you retail a UV Top Coat to all clients during the summer months.

Retail the 6ml UV Get Protect Top Coat for £6 (6ml) or £10 (14ml)

If you buy 10 top coats of the same size, you get 2 free!

Shop UV Top Coat Bulk Deal

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