It seems like most days I look in the mirror and see another grey hair or spot another wrinkle. I know I’m 47 and not as young as I used to be. That doesn’t mean that I have to like the changes I see taking place as I age. As women, we go through a lot of work to remain young and attractive … at least I do.

But Are We Killing Ourselves To Be Beautiful?

Are we killing ourselves to be beautiful? To what extent will we go to not look our age, to minimize the signs of aging or to appear more attractive? Have you ever squeezed into a pair of jeans that were too small or stood for hours in four inch heels that made you look amazing? I know that’s something I’m guilty of.

While those things won’t kill you, there have been more and more reports in the news lately of things that will. Remember those failed Botox experiments?  How about the “Cinderella Procedure” to narrow women’s feet to fit better in stiletto heels? It’s hardly a new phenomena since women in the 15th century wore corsets in some cases so tightly that their ribs punctured vital organs.  Geishas in Japanese history whitened their face with products containing lead, which could cause death.

While I hope that I would catch anything that was that obviously dangerous, some things aren’t that obvious. A recent study in JAMA Dermatology has shown that the light used in salons to dry your nail polish after a gel manicure can be harming you.  I generally spend about ten minutes with my fingers underneath the glowing light when I have my gel manicures. While ten minutes won’t kill you, nail salon dryers emit radiation which can cause skin damage.  They give off ultra violet light to help the gel polish dry faster. While the researchers say that the risk of developing cancer from the lamps is low, they admit that the risk from multiple visits — such as changing your nail color more frequently during the summer — is not yet tested.

Researchers admit the risk is low however those that change their polish frequently may be at larger risk since this has not been tested.  If you visit the salon for a gel manicure eight to fourteen times over a few years, you can be at risk for skin damage.  It might just be time to re-evaluate my monthly gel manicure.  What do you think? Are there any things you do to look beautiful that you will reconsider?