Does Shellac Ruin Your Nails? Is It Safe?

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If you’re a nail enthusiast, then you’ll know that not all manicures have been created equal. You can choose a simple manicure with lacquer polish, or press-on nails, or go all out at the salon and have a technician apply a gel or acrylic that will see you through a couple of weeks without chipping.

But here in this article, we’re going to take a closer look at the shellac manicure. This semi-permanent manicure is known for its long-lasting quality, but the patent formulation does have its naysayers.

So, does shellac ruin your nails? Authentic shellac nails are much gentler on your nails than most other manicure procedures. We’ll go deeper into that below.


Does Shellac Ruin Your Nails?

CND Shellac Nail Polish

Many people get shellac and gel nails confused because they can both last for a couple of weeks without chipping.

But sometimes shellac gets a bad rap because many of the unbranded gel polishes on offer that call themselves shellac contain harmful ingredients that may be hard to remove.

This is where authentic shellac gets bonus points, though, because the removal process is really simple. It is also far less damaging to your nails than regular gel manicures.

This is where authentic shellac gets bonus points, though, because the removal process is really simple. It is also far less damaging to your nails than regular gel manicures

All you’ll need is some acetone-based nail polish remover, which can sink into the ‘tunnels’ formed in the shellac to allow for a seamless removal.

The acetone causes the shellac coating to break into tiny pieces, making shellac the easiest of all nail gel products to both apply and remove.

And this is where the idea that shellac ruins nails come from.

However, it is the acetone-based remover that can cause issues with your nails. And that’s because the continued use of acetone on your nails strips them of their natural oils, which will make them more dry and brittle over time.

Acetone will also irritate your skin and, therefore, cause damage to your cuticles if it is overused.

So, although the shellac itself isn’t a problem for your nails, you need to keep an eye on any damage that can be a result of removing it with an acetone-based remover.

So, although the shellac itself isn’t a problem for your nails, you need to keep an eye on any damage that can be a result of removing it with an acetone-based remover.


What Is Shellac Made Of?

Shellac is a brand of patented long-lasting nail polish that was created by Creative Nail Design (CND). It consists of an acrylic base that undergoes a chemical reaction when your nails are cured with a UV lamp.

It’s a regular nail polish and gel hybrid that binds together with UV and combines both properties to offer protection of the manicure from wear and tear (the gel part), as well as an amazing range of colors, and a gorgeous and glossy shine (the nail polish part).

Shellac manicures have grown in popularity over the past couple of years. This is primarily because CND’s patented formula doesn’t contain any of the chemical nasties that are part of the formulation of many nail polish brands, like formaldehyde, camphor, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate.

Shellac manicures have grown in popularity over the past couple of years. This is primarily because CND’s patented formula doesn’t contain any of the chemical nasties that are part of the formulation of many nail polish brands, like formaldehyde, camphor, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate.

It’s also great to use on shorter nails as you’re waiting to grow them out.


Shaping Up

Of course, we all want healthy and strong nails. So keep in mind that the worst thing you can do when you want to remove shellac nails is to pick or peel them off, or even use a nail file to scrape them off — no matter how tempting that may be.

Doing so can cause all sorts of damage to your nail bed. You will risk peeling off the protective top layers of your nails, which will make them much weaker and prone to splitting.

And since acetone-based remover will do the trick for you, it is best to take the time to remove the shellac properly and safely. All you need is a bit of time and patience to do so.

And since acetone-based remover will do the trick for you, it is best to take the time to remove the shellac properly and safely. All you need is a bit of time and patience to do so.

After you remove the shellac, it would be best to give your nails a break for a day or two at least. If you’ve been wearing shellac manicures for a while, then every couple of months you should give your nails a week-long break so that you can nourish the nail bed back to optimum health after having been exposed to harsh chemicals, like acetone.

It’s always a good idea to reassess your nails after removing a finish, and give your nails a break, particularly if they’re acrylics.

During your break, use a nourishing nail and cuticle oil that will penetrate and hydrate the nail bed, as well as soften up dry cuticles.

Karma Organic’s Coconut Blue Cuticle and Nail Oil  will instantly nourish your nail beds and cuticles to make way for a perfect manicure while you take a break from the shellac.

Karma Organic Coconut Cuticle Oil - Vitamin E Enriched Treatment for moisture and softness - Manicure Nail and Skin Care Nourish, Soothe & Moisturize, Cruelty Free 100% Pure
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It has been specially formulated with coconut kernel oil to revitalize and condition your nails, without leaving a greasy residue, as well as vitamin E, argan, borage, almond, sesame, tea tree, and grape seed, jojoba, and evening primrose oils.

These organic-based oils all work to strengthen your nails while softening your cuticles. Plus, it contains essential oils, including lavender, lemongrass, and rosemary, so it smells great and doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals, making it superior oil to other cuticle oil brands.


Beauty At Your Fingertips

Keeping your nails healthy is the most important thing you need to do so that you can enjoy your favorite kind of manicure without worry.

Does shellac ruin your nails? Not if your nails are in good shape, to begin with, and you’ve used a shellac base coat and top coat, along with your shellac color of choice.

You also need to keep in mind that the overuse of acetone-based nail polish remover to clean off your shellac can cause your nails to become weak or damaged.

If this is the case, then it would be wise to take a break from any sort of manicure, including normal nail polish, to get them back to their best. That way, you’ll be able to enjoy any sort of manicure that you choose in moderation.

Written by Kayla Young

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