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HEMA, MMA, Allergies, Reactions, You and Your Clients

As a nail technician, some clients may approach you with a skin irritation or reaction to a previous exposure to nail enhancement products. This reaction can be caused by overexposure to the product and can develop into an allergy. The good news is that it can be avoided!

In your daily work, you may meet clients who experience a reaction to nail enhancement products which you have performed for them. Their reaction could have been caused by over exposure to the product(s) you use. Unfortunately, this can develop into an allergy, triggered by the products you have used on them.

Each and every one of us has a different chemical make up. Because we are all different, we all react differently. A great example is pollen and hay fever. Some react very badly, some have only mild symptoms and others do not react at all. Some people have these problems from birth and some develop them later in life. Others have them early only to grow out of them later.

The good news is that in using quality Nail Systems which have been documented, thoroughly developed and tested to the Highest European Standards is that there will be a very low risk of reaction problems. The reassurance which accompanies these business practices is great for you and for your clients. You must decide whether it is worth the risk to save a small amount of money on your products vs an Insurance Claim for Personal Injury.

The unfortunate implications of using products of unknown origin and manufacture is that you may cause injury to your clients. This will also cause significant damage to your business and reputation so please consider this when looking at your suppliers.

Where are your products coming from and what do you know about their manufacture?


The first thing to check when sourcing a new manufacturer and supplier is the provision of technical information on the products. Overexposure is caused by prolonged and repeated exposure to a chemical beyond the levels specified as safe by the manufacturer.

What is the safe exposure level for your products?

A clear indicator of over-exposure to chemicals is skin irritation. This is not an immediate sign that you are allergic to a chemical, rather to be taken as a warning that if over-exposure continues, the person may become permanently sensitised or allergic to that chemical. Please consider that they may hold you responsible for this.

Preventing Over-Exposure

  • Check your manufacturers product notes and guidelines.
  • Avoid touching your clients hands with the brush as much as you can.
  • After placing the bead of acrylic, wipe any excess liquid monomer from the brush before working with the bead.
  • Work within the manufacturers recommended mix-ratio when using acrylic.
  • Do not use acrylic monomer (liquid) without polymer (powder).
  • Change your UV bulb lamp for a modern UV LED lamp
  • Change table towels between clients.
  • If there are any reactions, advise your client to consult with a pharmacist or dermatologist.

Allergies & Reactions to Product

An allergic reaction to nail products can be caused by prolonged and repeated direct contact with any product. Note it is the physical product, NOT the vapours. A greater proportion of reactions are caused by the HEMA in nail enhancement products. HEMA ( 2-Hydroxy EthylMethacrylate Agent) is a very common offending ingredient in cleansers and polishes.

Although HEMA is mostly found in some Acrylic Monomers, gels do contain small amounts of HEMA too. Nail Creation UK Platinum Monomers have been developed in our own Laboratories to work perfectly WITHOUT HEMA additives. We have ensured that you are safe to apply to even your most sensitive clients.

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