Choosing the right gel lamp

Offering opportunities to strengthen, sculpt and enhance, the gel system is a big hit with those seeking a hardwearing, long-lasting glossy nail finish. Gel systems boast a multitude of uses: natural nail gel polish overlay or a hard gel overlay to protect the natural nail, while clients seeking length can benefit from application of a hard gel over a tip.


There are new variations of the system and techniques storming the nail world, meaning there’s never been a better time to hone your gel knowledge, skills and technique. However, correct application is imperative to ensure a safe, long-lasting gel service that is vital to your reputation and your  client’s health. This includes using the correct equipment, which means using the lamp recommended by the manufacturer of your chosen gel system.


Scratch magazine asked industry experts why it is so important to use the same brand for both the gel and lamp when carrying out any gel service…

  Nataliya Al-ta’ai, CND education ambassador, says…

It is important to use the lamp that is designed and tested to be used with your brand of gel to ensure precise curing.   Complete curing requires exposing UV/LED gels to the correct wavelengths at the right intensities for the proper length of time. If the lamp does not produce sufficient wavelength intensities to properly cure the gel formula, it will result in under-curing of product. The fact that the gel appears hard does not indicate that the gel appears hard does not indicate that it is properly cured. Using the incorrect lamp can also lead to over-curing that will result in service breakdown and may burn sensitive tissues of the nail bed, leading to onycholysis.

To ensure proper curing of gel coatings, use the correct lamp based on the manufacturer’s recommendations. There is no such thing as a universal nail lamp that will properly cure all available gel products, neither is there a gel product that can be cured in any lamp. Gels are formulated to cure best with a specific nail lamp, that has been carefully designed to emit correct wavelengths and deliver precise intensities for the proper time.


  Karolina Tryc, Crystal Nails UK absolute international educator, says…   

 To achieve the best result, we should stick to the instructions given to us by the brand on the training. If you start mixing products from different brands and there is a problem, your educator or distributor won’t be able to advise what went wrong. If you decide to mix products, you need to be prepared to take responsibility for any problems you might experience because of that.

Sometimes, your insurance company might require that you follow manufacturer instructions regarding the products you use, meaning you must use the specified lamp with your chosen system. If you fail to do this and begin mixing brands, your insurance might not be valid if problems arise.


  Lisa Dunlop, Cuccio elite educator, says…

Gel lamps go through such rigorous laboratory testing to ensure that, when a new gel is launched, it adequately cures all the way through the gel. Without this equipment it is impossible to know if there has been a sufficient cure all the way

through the product. Everything is taken into consideration with the lamp design, bulb placement, distance between the bulbs and the nails, nano metres, irradiance and UV emittance. Crossing brands is dangerous for the client and will lead to insufficient curing, which will in turn lead to allergies.