MMA VS EMA for Acrylic Nails. How to Spot the Difference?
You may have received or done your own acrylic nails for some time now, and now you’re hearing rumors of EMA and MMA and not sure what to believe. We’re here to let you know the difference between the two and what you should look out for when it comes to acrylic nails.
What is MMA and why is it illegal?
MMA (Methyl methacrylate) is a common ingredient in professional nail products that were used in the early days of the nail industry. This acrylic product is now illegal when being used on the nails, as it can cause permanent loss and damage of the natural nail, as well as numbness in the fingers. MMA is also a powerful monomer that can cause natural nails to break off abruptly, resulting in rapid infections.
What is EMA and why is it safe?
Most professional nail manufacturers widely use a product called EMA (Ethyl Methacrylate) which has been declared safe and approved for use in the beauty industry, because it does not damage the nail plate in any way. This means that it is not likely to stimulate allergic reactions.
How can you tell the difference between EMA and MMA acrylics?
There is a quick test you can do by buffing the shiny layer off the nail and dip the whole nail in 100% acetone for 30 seconds.
When you remove your nail from the liquid and inspect it, if it is still shiny and a little slimy, but has not broken down, it is an MMA acrylic.
If it is an EMA acrylic, after 30 seconds, the acrylic should have started to break down, which is what you want to see.
Another way to tell EMA from MMA is MMA nail enhancements are very hard and have a yellow tinge, a "fishy" odor, and a grainy texture. The enhancements are usually finished by airbrushing the tip white instead of using white acrylic.
What is a product that contains EMA and no MMA?
IntiMD's Professional Liquid Monomer Glamourshield (also on Amazon) is not only a great option to use when applying acrylic nails but also MMA free, making it a safe alternative. It also contains a non-yellowing formula, is non-toxic, and is made in the USA.
Glamourshield delivers a strong foundation with a smoother surface that allows color to be much more vibrant and will last longer.
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