What should I tell clients who believe that LED lights are safer than UV lights?

March 27, 2015 | Bookmark +

What should I tell clients who believe that LED lights are safer than UV lights? How do I explain the difference and that both lights are safe?


The answer to your question is a slightly complex one because the physics of light are complex. Light is measured in two values: wavelength (measured in nanometers or “nm”) and intensity (emitance measured in milliwatts per square centimeter “mW/cm²”). LED lights are not the same wavelength as UV CFL (compact fluorescent lamps). UV CFL lamps emit low intensity light in the wavelength range from 345 nm into the visible spectrum (400 nm to 850 nm). The low intensity of the UVA spectrum (320 nm to 400 nm) results in a very low probability of damage to the skin of the back of the hand. The intensity of the LED curing lamps is not in the UVA wavelengths because nearly all of the LED curing lights on the market in our industry are 405 nm (violet spectrum), which is very near the top end of the UVA spectrum and emit at a higher intensity. This wavelength is less damaging to the skin because the violet spectrum does not cause skin damage.

We should always remember that our bodies are designed to be exposed to varying wavelengths of light, including UVA and some low levels of UVB light. Our body is also designed to repair itself upon overexposure conditions. It is equally important to understand that as in every other aspect of our lives, we should always use the equipment we have at work and at home in the manner it was designed to be used.

Ultimately, both light sources as they are used in the industry are not damaging to the skin. Each light source is considered safe to use as directed by the lamp and gel manufacturers. Each light source has been found via independent testing to not be a source of skin cancer when the lamps are used as instructed by the manufacturers.

— Jim McConnell, president, Light Elegance (

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What’s the cause of the pinkish-red oval area on the pad of my client’s toes?

I have a client who has a recurring problem with her fourth toes during the winter months. Both of her “ring finger” toes develop a pinkish-red oval area on the pad. Then a month later, when I see her again, the skin has become dry and hard like a callus, with the layers of skin peeling away to reveal a deeper, dark epicenter.  It’s extremely painful for her and, needless to say, we do not touch it. But it clears up in the summer when she’s wearing open-toed sandals, so I suspect it has to be due to the boots she wears in the winter. Plus she never puts lotion on her feet or uses a foot file in between visits. What do you think causes this?

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What are the big white spots on my natural-nail client’s nails?

I have a client who has been with me for about two years. She used to wear acrylic nails but has been a natural nail client for eight months or so. She has these white spots on her nails — big spots that are dry, but not flaky, right in the middle of the nail. I did try to buff them lightly but they do not come off or grow off. I had a new client come in last week who had the same on her toenails. She said it started after she had a pedicure done at another salon. Can you help?

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