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The Dangers of MMA Acrylic

You may have heard about MMA Acrylic products and that they are bad for your nails but do you really know why?

Laura Camilleri

You may have heard about MMA Acrylic products and that they are bad for your nails but do you really know why? You may be a nail technician that knows that you shouldn’t be using it, but are you aware of the damage it can cause? If you are a client that gets acrylic nails done regularly, are you aware of what products are actually being used during your service and how this can affect your nails?

 Educating yourself and your clients about that risks of using MMA acrylic will ensure that you are putting the health of the nail before the price of a treatment every time.

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MMA (Methyl Methacrylate) is found in some monomers (liquid)used within an acrylic nail enhancement service. Years ago all monomer used for nail enhancements contained MMA. This product is the same product that is used to build and fuse bones within the body and also to build teeth, so it is super strong!

Over the years, it was realised that this product was far too robust for using on nails. If a client caught a nail, it would not break under impact, it was likely to damage and lift the nail plate, causing injury.

So, instead, regulations stated that nail monomer should not contain MMA , but EMA (Ethyl Methacrylate) instead, as it is deemed much safer for nail enhancements.


Purely and simply, MMA products are still used in some nail bars as it is much cheaper to purchase, almost by 75%! These businesses are putting their bank account before the health and safety of their clients. Not good.

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Believe it or not MMA actually makes the product less adhesive to the nail, so the nail plate has to be etched into or “roughed up”for the product to bond effectively. This can lead to nail damage, onycholysis (nail separation) and can set clients up for future problems.

As mentioned previously, MMA acrylic is extremely strong, too strong for nails. It would not break if the nail was accidentally knocked and can lead to serious injury and damage to the nail plate and the nail bed.Not to mention, it would be extremely painful!

Removal of MMA products can take FOREVER! They are resistant to acetone, so no amount of soaking is going to remove it quickly. When an MMA product is soaked it turns into a gel like product that does not come off with ease.

MMA is likely to cause skin reactions. This can be from uncured product, direct contact with monomer and dust when filed.

Overtime, MMA acrylic will start yellowing….not a good look!

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If you are purchasing monomer in the UK, regulations state that no monomer can be sold that contains MMA, so always buy from a reputable company and check the ingredients.

MMA acrylic nail monomer should be avoided at all costs to retain the health and safety of your nails. If the salon you attend raises any red flags, such as cheap services, overfilling of the natural nails or pain during or after a service on the nail bed, think again. Cheap nails are never best.

For accredited acrylic extensions training follow this link: Acrylic Extension Course

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