All types of manicures can potentially; be damaging to your natural nails and in rare instances even pose a risk to your overall health.
But there are certain types of manicures that come with fewer risks.
So in this article, I am gonna share with you the manicures that are the safest and healthiest types with the least amount of risk.
The 5 Safest and Healthiest Manicures are:
- Natural Manicure (Safest & healthiest)
- Standard Nail Polish Manicure (Easiest to remove & apply)
- Gel Polish Manicure
- Dip Powder Manicure (Longest lasting healthy manicure)
- Press on Nails (Safest way to get nail extensions/enhancements)
1- Natural Manicure
Once done correctly a natural manicure is by far the safest type of manicure.
A natural manicure is done to clean and neaten up your nails. It usually doesn’t require the use of any harsh nail products.
Instead, a natural manicure includes:
- Fixing and making your cuticles look clean and neat
- Trimming and shaping your nails
- Buffing the top of your nails with a fine grit nail file to make them look extra glossy.
- Some salons would apply a top coat to give your nails a glossy sheen but this is optional.
Why a Natural Manicure Is Healthier & Safer
Natural manicures tend to be better for your nail health because they:
- Don’t require the use of any acetone which can damage and dehydrate your nail plate
- Don’t require too much filing or buffing which can weaken your nail plate – Natural manicures require only gentle buffing with a fine-grit nail buffer
- Don’t use any nail product which can contain harsh chemicals – Now some salons may apply a ridge filler or a top coat to give your natural nails a nice smooth glossy look. But this is optional and these coats are very safe and are usually gentle on your nails.
You can see how a natural manicure is done in the video below.
2- A Standard Nail Polish Manicure
A standard nail polish manicure is one of the simplest and easiest manicures to do.
And once you use safe and healthy nail polishes a standard nail polish manicure can be extremely healthy and gentle on your nails.
Standard Nail Polish Manicures usually include:
- Fixing and aligning your cuticles
- Removing any dead cuticle skin cells on your nail plate – is usually done by gently buffing your nails with a medium grit nail file.
- Trimming and shaping your nails.
- Designing your nails by using regular colored nail polishes on your nails.
Related Article: How long do Manicures Really take & What to Expect
Why Standard Nail Polish Manicures are Safe
Standard nail polishes are safer than most types of manicures because they don’t require using too much acetone and too much filing during the application and removal process. You see both excessive filing and too much acetone can damage your nails.
And nail polishes usually don’t give off strong fumes during the application process like acrylic nails.
How to Make a Nail Polish Manicures More Safe
If you want to make your standard nail polish manicure even safer you can:
1- Use a non-toxic water-based nail polish – these nail polishes are extremely safe and gentle on your nails. And they are extremely easy to remove you just need to peel them off. This means you won’t need to use any polish remover.
If you are looking for an extra gentle nail polish I recommend Bontime Nail Polishes. They are a water-based nail polish that can be easily peeled off without you having to use a nail polish remover
2- Use a Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover – if you are just using regular nail polish I highly recommend using a non-acetone-based nail polish remover. Instead of one that contains acetone.
Non-Acetone nail polish removers are just as effective as acetone-based ones except they are more safe and gentle on your nails.
I recommend Nailtiques Non-Acetone Remover, they are very effective yet they are more gentle on your nails. You can click here to see the price for a bottle of Nailtiques on Amazon.
3- Gel Polish Manicure
Gel polishes are a safer and healthier alternative when compared to acrylic, gel extension, or polygel manicures.
They are safer because gel polishes are easier to remove and don’t so many require harsh chemicals during the application process.
Now regular nail polishes are safer and healthier than gel polishes. But if you are looking for a more durable yet relatively safe manicure then I recommend a Gel Polish manicure.
You see gel polishes can last for 2-3 weeks without peeling or chipping whilst regular nail polishes can go for 6-8 days.
Safety & Health Issues of Gel Polish Manicures
Now the main issues with gel polishes are:
- Harder to remove when compared to regular nail polishes. And during the removal process, your nails can be damaged
- Requires your fingers and nails to be exposed to UV light – Gel Polishes need a UV Led Lamp to cure and harden.
Related Article – Pros and Cons of Gel Manicures.
How to Make Gel Polish Manicures Safer & Healthier
1- Avoid using Acetone to remove your gel polish – There are other safer methods you can use to remove your gel polish.
I have an entire article that goes through 4 different methods you can use to remove gel polish without using acetone. You can click here to read it.
2- Use a Manicure Glove or apply sunscreen – if you are worried about UV exposure I recommend wearing a manicure glove or applying sunscreen onto your hands and fingers when you are curing your gel polish.
I have an entire article on Manicure gloves; where I recommend the best ones and where I explain how they work. You can click here to read it.
4- Dip Powder Manicure
Dip Powder Manicures just like gel polishes are safer and healthier alternatives to acrylic, gel extensions, or polygel manicures.
They are ideal if you want a strong manicure that won’t damage your nails. Dip Powder manicures are very durable and long-lasting they can last for 3-4 weeks without peeling or chipping.
Dip Powder manicures are not as safe as regular nail polishes since they tend to use more chemicals during the application process and they are harder to remove.
But Dip Powder is stronger and more durable than regular nail polishes and gel polishes. And they also help to protect your nails from getting damaged by covering them with a hard protective layer.
Safety & Health Issues of Dip Powder
- If used incorrectly at a salon it can potentially spread infections– You see if a salon reuses the dipping powder or makes everyone use the same dipping jar there is a high chance that the powder can spread germs.
- Dip Powder is very durable and requires more filing and acetone to be removed which if done incorrectly can damage your natural nails
- Allergic Reaction to the Dip Powder Base is common
How to Make Dip Powder Safer
There are two things you can do to make a Dip Powder Manicure healthier and safer.
1- Remove your dip powder manicure without using acetone – acetone will dehydrate and damage your nails. This is why I recommend either using an electric nail file or a soap and oil mixture.
I have an entire article that will guide you step by step on how to remove your dip powder manicure without using acetone, you can click here to read it.
2- Ensure your salon doesn’t reuse the dip powder or have everyone put their fingers in the same jar
Instead, they should use a recycling pouring system, you can check out how it works in the video below.
Now dip powder should only be reused on your nails and after your manicure is finished all leftover powder should be discarded.
Recommended Dip Powder Set
Dip Powder is best done at home and thankfully they are super easy to apply as seen in the video above.
This kit comes with a recycling tool but if you are only using your dip powder on yourself you can dip your fingers directly into the jar.
Gel Polish Or Dip Powder – Long-Lasting Healthy Manicures
Both Dip Powder and Gel Polish are two great long-lasting and durable types of manicures that are safe and healthy. Especially when they are compared to acrylic, gel extension, or Polygel.
Now I have an entire article to help you decide on which one is right for you. It compares the pros and cons of both Dip Powder and Gel Polish – you can click here to read it.
5- Press on Nails
Once used correctly Press on Nails are the safest and easiest way to create a nail extension without damaging your nails.
Press-on Nails are well-designed fake nails that you can easily paste on your nails to quickly create a nicely done manicure.
Why Press on Nails are Safe
- Press on Nails don’t require any harsh chemicals or too much filing during the application process acetone and filing can damage your nails
- Depending on how they are applied Press on Nails can be easily removed without having to do any filing or use any acetone.
How to Use Press on Nails Safely
1- Do not Use Acetone to Remove your Press on Nails – they are several easy and safe methods you can use to remove your Press on Nails.
2- Use Nail Tabs instead of Nail Glue – Nail tabs are special double-sided tape used to paste Press on Nails onto your nails.
Nail Tabs are milder and safer for your nails when compared to using nail glue. Nail glue on the other hand can be extremely harsh on your nails, especially when removing your Press on Nails.
Now the main issue with nail tabs is that they are extremely weak and would only last you for a day without your Press on Nails coming off. But they are significantly safer and healthier for your nails.
Nail Tabs are ideal if you want to protect your nails or if you just want a nice manicure for a one-off event.
3- Apply a Base Coat onto your Natural Nails Before Applying the Press on Nails. – The base coat acts as a buffer layer to protect your natural nails from being damaged.
I recommend applying a base coat only if you are using nail glue.
To learn more about Press on Nails I recommend reading:
Recommended Brand of Press on Nails
Glamnetic has some great high-quality press on nails, you can click here to see the different designs that they have on Amazon.