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Are Press-On Nails Safe? Exploring the Safety of Press-On Nail Products

In the world of nail beauty, press-on nails have surged in popularity due to their convenience and wide range of styles. However, if you’re considering adding them to your beauty routine, you might be wondering about their safety. This concern is valid, especially when considering any product that interacts directly with your body. In this post, we’ll explore the safety of press-on nails, address common concerns, and offer solutions to ensure you can enjoy beautiful nails without compromise.

Understanding Press-On Nails

Press-on nails are artificial nails made from various materials such as acrylic, gel, or ABS plastic. They are designed to adhere to your natural nails using either adhesive tabs or nail glue. The quality and composition of these materials can play a significant role in the safety and wear of the product. Since focusing solely on creating custom press-on nails, I’ve purchased and tested over 20 brands for quality control. There are some that offer pre-etched for better adherence to the natural nail, but made of poor quality and ill fitting. There were others that the quality was great, but still ill fitting and did not give a natural nail appearance.

Chemical Exposure

One of the primary safety concerns with press-on nails involves the chemicals used in adhesives and the nails themselves. Lower-quality nail adhesives may contain harsh chemicals that can potentially irritate the skin or cause allergic reactions. You need to understand that everything has a chemical component and what may not give an allergic reaction in one person may do so in another. Always follow the directions when applying any chemical / product to your body.

Solutions: Opt for press-on nails from reputable brands that specify the use of non-toxic, safe adhesives. Additionally, look for products that are labeled as “free from harsh chemicals” such as formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate, which are often found in nail care products. Another option is using HEMA free gel polish. HEMA, or Hydroxyethyl Methacrylate, is a common ingredient found in many gel polishes and other nail products. It’s used primarily as a bonding agent, helping the gel polish adhere effectively to the nail’s surface and ensuring durability and long wear. The main benefit of HEMA-free products is that they tend to be gentler on the nails and skin.

Nail Damage

Many worry that press-on nails can damage the natural nails, especially if used frequently or removed improperly. If you’ve ever viewed a few of my Instagram posts, you will see me wearing my natural nails and sharing how they are not damaged even after consistently wearing press-ons for over 4 years. I know the press-on nail girlies will not always tell you, but the main damage done to your natural nails happens during removal. You want them removed without soaking for 45 minutes or longer, so you will “pop” them off, pry them off, bite them off, and straight up rip them off. I’ve seen it all and as a licensed nail tech, we know when you’ve done this. No shade.

Solution: To minimize risk, ensure that you prepare your natural nails properly before application. This includes cleaning the nail surface and using a gentle buffer to roughen the nail surface slightly for better adhesion. When it’s time to remove the press-ons, don’t pull them off. Instead, soak your nails in warm soapy water to loosen the adhesive and gently lift the nail off. Using a specific adhesive remover can also prevent damage by dissolving the glue without harsh scraping. Two of my favorite brands to remove your press-ons are Markartt nail glue remover and Kiss Glue Off. Bothe of these products will preserve your press -ons to wear again later.

Long-Term Wear Issues

Wearing press-on nails for an extended period without giving your natural nails a break can lead to issues such as weakened nails or changes in nail structure. The ideal timeframe to wear your press-ons are for no more than 2 weeks. Washing your hands in warm soapy water weakens the adhesion and can lead to “greenies” forming on your natural nails. Water gets trapped underneath your enhancement and causes unsightly nail damage. Also, snagging your hair and clothing can lead to nail damage with extended wear.

Solution: Give your nails a breather between applications. This rest period allows your natural nails to recover and maintain their health. During breaks, treat your nails with nourishing our cuticle oils pens or a hydrating nail serum to replenish moisture and nutrients. Always check your nails to insure they are fully intact to your natural nails without lifting or have spaces.

Press-on nails offer a fantastic way to beautify your hands quickly and affordably. By understanding the potential safety issues and how to mitigate them, you can enjoy the convenience and style of press-on nails without compromising your nail health. Remember, taking the time to apply and remove them carefully, choosing quality products, and giving your nails a rest will ensure that your nail game is strong and safe.