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There is no single formula for nail polish. However, a number of the same ingredient types are used in all nail polish. The basic components include: film forming agents, resins and plasticizers, solvents, and coloring agents. Different nail polish manufacturers’ formulation depends on the choices made by chemists and chemical engineers.
The primary ingredient in nail polish is nitrocellulose cotton, a flammable and explosive ingredient also used in making dynamite. Nitrocellulose is a liquid mixed with tiny, near-microscopic cotton fibers. In the manufacturing process, the cotton fibers are ground even smaller and do not need to be removed. Nitrocellulose is a film forming agent. In order for nail polish to set properly, a hard film must form on the exposed surface of the nail, but it also cannot form too quickly that it prevents material underneath from drying.
Plasticizers and synthetic resins improve flexibility, is resistant to soap, water and others. Some resins and plasticizers used are castor oil, amyl and butyl stearate, mixes of glycerol, fatty acids and acetic acids. In many cases the solvent such as butyl stearate and acetate compounds can also act as a plasticizer. Early polishes used soluble dyes, but today’s products contain pigments of one type or another. The right pigment and its ability to mix with the solvent and other ingredients are essential in producing a good quality nail polish. Nail polish is a “suspension” product, which means that the particles of color can only be held by the solvent for a limited amount of time, rarely over 2 or 3 years. Shaking the bottle before use helps to restore settled particles to the suspension. This issue of settling is one of the most difficult problems to be addressed in the manufacturing process.
In addition to the usual coloring pigments, other color tones can be added to the polish. Micas (tiny reflective minerals) are a common additive as well as “pearl” or “fish scale”. Guanine can also be mixed with gold, silver and bronze tones. Pigment choices are restricted by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). The FDA’s lists of acceptable and unacceptable pigments change with new findings and re-examinations of colors, and because of this, manufacturers occasionally have to reformulate polish formulas. Nail polish ingredients often include toluene, which has been linked to cancer. Formaldehyde, another ingredient that is in some nail polish, may cause allergic reactions and is unsafe for use by asthmatic people, it is also a carcinogen. Nail polish manufacturers are under pressure to reduce or eliminate toxic ingredients in their products.
Gel systems are much thinner than acrylic nails. They are better than acrylic because acrylic nails can cause odors, lifting and nail damage while gels do not. Gels are easier to maintain than ‘natural nails’ because it does not chip. Gel nails reveal natural beauty in combination with strength and durability.
Gel nails are similar to standard acrylic nails in a sense that one can paint, wear French tips, and airbrush designs on them. Gel nails can be filed into square, round or pearl shapes according to clients desires. The mixture used to make the resin is completely odorless, making it safe for pregnant women to wear artificial nails. It typically lasts for up to one month after application.
Leukonychia Striata/Transverse Leukonychia or the ‘true’ leukonychia. Just like any other variety of artificial nails, there is a risk of developing a fungal infection during the application process. Therefore the nail bed must be cleansed with isopropyl alcohol before application of the gel. Gel nails may be taken care of by moisturizing your cuticles and getting your nails filled regularly.
The application of gels cost more than other artificial nail systems. A professional nail technician needs to fill-in the gel nail where it has grown out (near the cuticle) or file them down and redo the whole gel nails all over again. The nail technician should be careful not to file the natural nail when taking the gel off. For technicians, gels may be easy to learn but hard to master.
If you break an acrylic nail you can almost always fix it temporarily and rather easily by yourself. The removal process is simple and straightforward if done by a professional for the nails can be soaked rather than filed off. Acrylics are very strong. When done correctly and with proper nail care, they can last a long time.
DAMAGE CAN BE CAUSED BY:
A nail tech that uses a file or drill that is too coarse for the natural nail, this removes layers of the nail plate resulting in a sensitive and thin natural nail. A nail tech that misuses 'primer' - a bonding agent used with acrylics, this can cause sensitivity if exposed to the surrounding skin (burning sensations) and possibly allergic reactions. A salon that uses MMA liquid monomer instead of approved EMA liquid monomer when doing acrylics, this can cause several possible complications. When a nail tech removes the artificial product by mechanically forcing it from the natural nail using a pair of acrylic nippers, this unnecessarily removes layers of the nail plate, leaving the natural nail sensitive and thin.
Can cause odors, lifting, and nail damage. They can damage your real nails in a harsher manner than gel nails can. Acrylics tend to look less natural than gel nails, especially if done incorrectly. It can be hard to grow out acrylic nails. Comparing Gel nails to acrylic nails: gel nails provide a more natural look than acrylic nails. They will also cause less damage to your natural fingernails. Gel nails also bring forth a shiny and clear finish. They do not emit any odor unlike the acrylic nails. Gel nails require more maintenance than the acrylic counterpart. They do not chip off.
Often when you get acrylic nails your natural nail is filed down. After months, years or even weeks of acrylic nail application, your original nails will become weak. Many women try to take off their acrylic nails independently, which can completely damage the nail bed. Always have a professional do this. When acrylics are put on to correct a problem, such as nail biting, it doesn’t always solve the problem and can damage already worn nails significantly.
Silk wrap is added to the fingernail to strengthen, lengthen or repair the nail. It can be used to protect the natural nails that have been weakened, damaged or cracked by acting as a brace for damaged nails or bind together damaged artificial nails such as plastic tips that have been cracked. It is very flexible, and looks most like a natural nail. They are healthier since the fibers allow the nail to breathe. Silk wrapping is all natural and even the adhesive can be non-toxic.
It is thinner and more fragile than acrylic or gel nails; therefore it is not usually appropriate for those with an active lifestyle requiring a lot of hand activities or calls for their hands to be submerged in water for long periods of time. Silk nail wraps are not designed to withstand these types of exposure and will come loose and fall off. Silk wrap nails are usually stronger than natural nails therefore it can damage the natural nail depending on the skill of the nail technician, and whether the wrap is applied, maintained and removed correctly. If the nail technician is too aggressive with pre-application filing of the nail or uses too much glue, this can weaken the natural nail. Nail technicians should not lift the natural nail up, which separates it from the nail bed and the risk of fungus growth under the nail increases.
- Dry time- The UV light dries the polish within minutes which
means no dry time, no smudging,no dents.
- Long lasting- Lasts from 2-3 weeks with no chipping.
- Less damaging- no drills or filing down of your nails.
- Works on natural nails- While you can add length if you choose,
can be used over a natural nail like traditional polish.
You can layer polish on top- you can paint right over Soak-Off Gel with regular nail polish and remove it with non-acetone remover.
Nail growth is visible- If you choose a dark, solid color, by week two, growth will be very apparent. Acetone has a dehydrating effect on skin and nail. So you should not forget to apply a good moisturizing cream or Vaseline after removing acrylic nails.
Many manicures with nail art are done on long nails because the longer nail gives a larger canvas for painting and designs, however nail art can be created on short nails also.