One simple thing that makes me feel super girly is having my nails done. Can anyone agree?
Back in the day I would be at the salon every two weeks getting my gel nail fix, and at the time I didn’t consider that those pretty nails were costing me more than just half my paycheck.
I mean, I knew that gel nails weren’t that great for my nail beds, but I didn’t consider I was exposing myself to carcinogens and possible reproductive damage.
But you live and you learn.
For a few months I stopped wearing gel on my nails all together and let me tell you, those were some dark days.
I started experimenting with some natural nail polish, but it’s just not the same as that thick, shiny gel, am I right?
Then I stumbled across Bio Seaweed Gel. I don’t want to get too dramatic but it changed everything.
Bio Seaweed Gel
Bio Seaweed Gel is a healthier gel polish. It can be purchased by you or me and applied in the comfort of your own home (or on your sundeck, more on that later). There are a few ways this gel has blown my mind, take note:
Better for Your Nail Beds
Unlike other gel polish, there is no filing or bonders required when applying the Bio Seaweed Gel and that means less damage. All you need to do to prep your nails is wipe them with 70-99% alcohol.
You also won’t have any staining or weakening of the nail beds, and the base coat actually serves as an additional nail strengthener.
Bio Seaweed has two gel systems: the 3Step system, and the Unity all-in-one system. The Unity system is a one step gel with no need for a base or top coat. It wont hold up as long as the 3Step system on your fingernails (beause you use them all day long) but it is amazing on your toenails. It lasts weeks on my toes!
Cured in the SUN!?
Ok this is where Bio Seaweed takes it to a whole new level: you can cure the Unity gel in direct sunlight!!
So you can be pretty much anywhere and as long as the sun is shining, you can apply your gel. Crazy, right!?
Or, you can use your UV or LED lamp to cure them as well, totally up to you.
I haven’t had a warm enough day to try this out, but I will update you when I do!
Before I get into the ingredients of this gel polish, I want to put an emphasis on the word healthier. Don’t be fooled by this word. And don’t be blinded by the term Big-5 Free.
Yes, this gel polish is a lot healthier than its competitors and yes, it is free of 5 toxic chemicals that are in competing gel polish. But that certainty doesn’t mean it’s natural or 100% safe.
There are petroleum products in this gel and there are health concerns with some of the ingredients. (And they contain no seaweed products!)
Bio Seaweed Gel is free of these five toxic ingredients:
Formaldehyde, Toluene, BHA, DBP and Solvents* (*does not specify)
The first four of these ingredients score “high hazard” on the EWG database and have known toxic effects to the body, so I’m certainly all glad they don’t put these in their products.
I’m still on the hunt for something more natural in the way of gel polish. I like to have my nails done and so far, this is the closest to non-toxic gel that I’ve found.
After doing a quick google search I’ve found that many of the ingredients in the Bio Seaweed Gel have health concerns, and not many are listed on the EWG database.
Ingredients in the Base/Top Coat: Aliphatic Urethane Acrylate, Aronmatic Urethane Acrylate, Phenylbis (2, 4, 6-Trienthylbenzoyl), Phosphine Oxide, Isopropylthioxanthone
Ingredients in the Unity All-In-One: Polyurethane Acrylate Oligomer, Ethylene Glycol Methacrylate, Polymer Acrylate Oligome, 1-Hydroxycyclohexyl Phenyl Keton, Trimethylbenzoyl Diphenylphosphine Oxide
Please don’t mistake this as a “natural gel polish”.
The Application & Removal
This gel is super easy to apply and has a very smooth consistency. I’m very happy with the brush applicators, they make it easy to apply an even layer.
On their website, they warn about over-curing, this could lead to chipping nails. And when applying the layers, they say thin layers are better for longevity of the gel.
I usually get a solid week of no chip wear out of this gel but you can see in the photos above (first is after one week, second is after two) that they do start to chip in layers, so from a distance they look great, but up close they look chipped. I could wear them for two weeks, but by then there are some chips and they start to lift from my nail around the edges. I usually wear them for 7-10 days until they drive me crazy and I pick them off.
They say to remove the gel by soaking in acetone. This is very effective, but personally, I don’t like the idea of having acetone on my skin and if I can avoid it, I will.
Instead, I wear the gel until it has started to lift on the edges then I will peel it off without soaking. This is not recommended my Bio Seaweed because it can lead to damage to your nails but to me, it’s the lesser of two evils.
Like I mentioned, this is in no way a “natural gel”, it does contain toxins that you would be better off avoiding, but if you’re going to wear gel polish, this is better than others.
Do you have any recommendations for a healthier gel polish? I would love to hear your thoughts!