Harmful Effects of Acrylic Nails

*Disclaimer: This post is NOT to hate or throw shade to anyone who chooses to get their nails done with acrylics. I know many of us ladies love getting our nails did. This post is to put the information out there, so we can be aware and make an informed decision ourselves if we choose to*

Women get their nails done differently, some like to constantly get them done and have them ‘fresh’, others only on special occasions and others once in a while when they feel like. Though acrylic nails may look good, the process of getting them is loaded with harmful chemicals that we breathe in and absorb for as long as we have them on.

Process involves a number of harmful chemicals- exposure to the nail for a prolonged period of time
SOME of the chemicals related to acrylic nails (can be found in the polish, glue, remover or acrylic formula) are:

  • Toluene: can cause headache, irritation, damage to liver and kidneys. Very high on EWG’s overall hazard scale. It is a neurotoxin and can severely impact the fetus of pregnant women.
  • Acetonitrile: can cause irritation, breathing problems nausea and vomiting. Long term exposure can affect the nervous system. Also found as a solvent for lithium batteries.
  • Formaldehyde: can cause breathing problems, allergic reactions, eye, throat and skin irritation. This one is at the highest level of EWG’s scale under overall hazard and cancer. It is toxic to the organs and is considered a carcinogenic. It is also an endocrine disruptor meaning it interferes with our hormones. It can also have an effect on our reproductive and immune system.
  • Dibutyl phthalate: can cause nausea and irritation with eyes, skin, mouth and throat This one is also high on the overall hazard scale. It has been classified as a reproductive and developmental toxicant.
  • Ethyl acetate can cause: irritation with eyes, skin, mouth, throat nausea and vomiting. Its main purpose is a synthetic solvent. Its also used for fragrance, it gives nail polish its smell. Its an effective poison for insects. High concentrations of exposure can affect the liver and kidneys.

Depending on how often or how you get your nails done—acetone the remover is used often on the nail which causes drying of the nail (stripping its oils)

When you bang your fake nail onto something that strong glue pulls your real nail off of the nail bed, leaving a gap. Gaps between fake and real nail can provide a warm environment for bacteria to grow.

MMA methyl methacrylate is a chemical banned by the FDA but still used in unregulated salons

Why you see nail technicians wearing face masks and have fans blowing—to alleviate the fumes

Healthier options:

-Using ‘Three Free’ nail polish (free of toluene, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate)
-Use acetone free polish remover
-Organic Spa or Nail salons
-Give your self a manicure at home- healthier atmosphere (not filled with chemical exposure all day) and it saves you money


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