We care about your nail health here at Geo. There are so many misconceptions regarding gel manicures and we feel that it is our duty to educate our clients about proper nail care and procedures.  Our Nailist, Joohee, is certified in both CalGel International and BioSculpture USA and has had hours of educational training on how to properly apply, remove and perform gel manicures. We gathered the most common questions, as well as questions regarding our services.

I’ve had a gel manicure before and it ruined my nails!  My nails were so weak and brittle after I took my gel polish off and they kept splitting and breaking. Is this normal?

There are many reasons why your nails are damaged and weak after getting a gel manicure, but the culprit is rarely the gel polish itself.  High quality gel bases do not dehydrate the nails nor cause damage to the nail plate and is easily removed. The damage is usually done during the gel application and removal process.  Here are the top four red flags to watch out for when getting a gel mani.

  1. The technician e-files (that’s the electric drill machine) your nail plate before applying the gel to your nails
  2. The technician soaks your hands in a bowl of acetone or leaves you wrapped with acetone soaked cotton for more than 15 minutes
  3. The technician files the gel polish off instead of using a gel remover to gently soak off
  4. The technician uses a metal pusher and scrapes the gel off using an up and down motion on your nail plate

Many nail salons will file your nail plate using an e-file thinking that it will make the gel polish last longer but this simply isn’t true!  E-filing before your gel application shreds and tears your nail plate and will make your nails significantly thinner, causing breakage and splintering.  Gel polishes are specially formulated to require minimal buffing and “roughening” up the nail plate simply is unnecessary!

Many salons use acetone to remove your gel nails but at GEO, we use a gentle solution specifically formulated to remove gels and acrylic extensions.  Acetone strips your nails and skin of its natural oils, causing dehydration to your nails and the sensitive skin around your nail plate. We use a high quality non-acetone polish remover because your toes deserve gentle treatment, too!

When it’s time to remove your gel polish, we carefully file off the top coat and the first layer of the color (and hard gel when applicable) and ALWAYS leave the base coat intact before soaking.  This carefully done process cuts down the soaking time by half which means less time being in contact with gel solvents and less chance of dehydration!

Your nail is like an onion. It has many thin layers that make up the nail plate and the tiny structural cells grow downward. We use a tool designed to safely remove gel and use only a downward motion. This technique follows the growth direction of the nail plate and does not shred or tear the nail plate. No fuss, no damage!

Why don’t you soak my hands before my gel manicure?  

Your nails are like a sponge.  When it comes in contact with water it expands and can take up to 30 minutes to shrink back to its natural size.  When you soak your hands in a bowl of water before the gel application, you are applying the gel to expanded nails and as your nails shrink back, it causes micro cracks in the gel polish, which can cause chipping and lifting.  

We use a cuticle remover instead to soften the cuticle before gently pushing back all of the dead tissue on and around your nail plate.

Do you cut the cuticle as a part of your cuticle care?

What most people think is their cuticle is actually a live tissue called the eponychium that serves as a protective guardian to your nail matrix (that’s the part of the nail that determines how healthy your nails will grow).  Removing the eponychium can expose the matrix to harmful bacteria and cause irritations and ragged skin around the nails.

We spend a lot of time gently removing the cuticle using a cuticle remover and tools designed to scrape all the dead tissue off of your nails.  We only cut hangnails and excess skin folds if it safe to do so. Some hangnails are so deeply torn that we may not cut it all the way to prevent breaking the skin further which can cause bleeding.

What steps do you take to sterilize your tools?

We love to spread ideas and transfer positive energy at GEO, not germs and bacteria!  We take your health very seriously and maintain the highest standards of sanitation. All of our manicure tools (clippers, pushers and nippers) are washed, and sanitized with hospital grade disinfectant before a cycle in an FDA approved, medical grade, dry heat sterilizer.  Each set is kept individually sealed until your visit. A clean set is used on each client.  The same sterilizer can be found in your dentist’s office. All files and buffers are single use and are yours to take home or is put straight in the garbage bin. 

The tiny bits for our e-files are sterilized by soaking them in barbicide after each service and we use a new sanding band for each client.  

Do you have jetted pedicure chairs or have plastic liners?

Our pedicure bowl is completely jet-less and because it does not have any tubes or pipes that recycle water through them, we do not need liners.  Instead, we thoroughly wash the pedicure bowl using soap, then soak the pedicure bowl in a FDA and EPA approved, hospital grade disinfectant for a minimum of 10 minutes after every service.  We strive to be as earth friendly as possible and believe that we need less plastic in our lives!

If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel to contact us. Nothing is too trivial for us and we are happy to answer them!