Well, we probably should have seen this coming. When gel manicures (both salon and DIY versions) started to be all the rage, the main question basically everyone in the beauty industry had was, "Isn't sticking your hands under bright blue lights that emit UV rays sort of, um, not safe?"
Turns out, those suspicions were pretty much right on point: JAMA Dermatology just published a study that proves prolonged exposure to these mani UV lights can definitely increase your risk for cancer.
But don't go freaking out if you just had your nails gel-ified for the first time for prom or spring break. The study also revealed that the individual lights don't emit even close to the amount of joules required for DNA damage, so it's mainly mani addicts that really need to take caution. Eight to 14 visits over 24 to 42 months would reach the threshold for DNA damage to the skin — but that's like going to the salon once every 6 weeks or so, which honestly isn't a completely outlandish amount.
Personally, I'd rather not risk getting cancer in exchange for nail polish that lasts a little longer. If you're not ready to give up your monthly mani habits, The New York Times suggests asking your nail tech to apply sunscreen instead of lotion when they prep your mani, or, if you're super committed, get UV-protective gloves and cut the tips off so you get the minimal exposure to the rays while you dry.