Gel manicures seem heavenly: they dry quickly and last for weeks without chipping or losing their sheen. If this sounds too good to be true, that’s because it is! The UV light you put your nails under to get the gel to harden is like a tiny tanning bed, which brings the threat of sunspots on your hands and, possibly, skin cancer. Plus the acetone soak necessary to remove the polish can cause heavy damage to your nails and cuticles.

Our advice? Take a break from gel manicures! There’s plenty of polish in the sea. 

MORE: Non-Toxic Nail Polish Guide