If protecting your clients’ health is your top priority, then changing your UV bulbs regularly should rate equally high on your to-do list. Improper curing — under-curing in particular — can lead to skin sensitivity that may affect both you and your clients, producing symptoms such as skin redness, itching, and water blisters. “It’s easy to be fooled when you see your UV products harden. Many techs incorrectly assume that hardening means nails are properly cured, but in many cases they are not,” says industry chemist Doug Schoon. “UV nail coatings will harden when they cure more than 50%. However, to obtain the best properties and avoid causing skin sensitivities, these coatings should be cured to around 90%. So there are many clients walking around with under-cured enhancements, which are more prone to service breakdown and more likely to cause adverse skin reactions, especially for the nail technicians who are repeatedly exposed to partially cured UV gel dust and filings.”
A thicker-than-normal inhibition layer is one indication that it’s time to change your bulbs. Other signs of under-curing include air pockets underneath the artificial nail coating, as well as dull, soft areas where the coating was too easily wiped or filed away, says Schoon. To prevent under-curing, he recommends replacing bulbs after two to four months of regular use. And don’t forget to clean nail dust from your UV bulbs at least once a week.
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