If, for whatever reason, you can’t or don’t want to wear a glove for your gel manicure, there are other ways to help keep your hands protected from UV rays. In an Instagram post, board-certified dermatologist Dr. Adeline Kikam (also known as Brown Skin Derm) offered a few tips, including making sure you apply water-resistant sunblock with an SPF of at least 30 before getting your manicure or opting for deep powders that have less UV exposure. She also suggested simply opting for fewer gel manicures to reduce exposure. If you go this route, luckily, there are a ton of tips you can employ to stretch out your mani-pedis, like wearing a base and a top coat and wearing gloves while doing the dishes.
However, if you can get your hands on some UV-protecting gloves, it seems like plenty of experts would recommend doing so. It certainly seems to be the best option right now for keeping you protected, particularly if you try it alongside other methods. “As a physician, if I told you, ‘Oh, just wear sunscreen if you get gel manicures and you’ll be okay,’ I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. Sunscreens are tested with sunlight. This is not sunlight — it’s more intense,” board-certified dermatologist Dr. Chris G. Adigun told The Cut, who recommended using both sunscreen and gloves for maximum protection.