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Are Shellac Manicures Safe?

Posted on April 29, 2014

Gel nail polish is, hands down, the most popular service at nail salons right now. But, many women may not be getting what they think they're getting.

CND's Shellac is a brand of gel nail polish. It was the first to hit nail salons, offering a no-chip, super-shiny nail color lasting up to two weeks.

As popularity grew, so did the competition. OPI and Gelish now offer their own colorful rainbows of gel nail polishes to choose from, but shop owners will tell you no two gel polishes are the same.

Shellac is a brand, just like Kleenex is a facial tissue and Q-tip is a cotton-tipped swab. There are other brands of facial tissue and cotton-swabs, but we often refer to them by the brand names. The same is true for Shellac. I feel Shellac is the best brand if you're main concern is the health of your nail,  it soaks off five times faster than any other brand, and involves less scraping of the nail. The top coat for Shellac is also shinier than its competitors.

Shellac is the most expensive of the gel nail polishes on the market, and the bottles are half the size. The higher cost for the salon owner is one reason I believe other salons might not correct you if you ask for Shellac but choose a different gel polish when picking your color.

OPI's gel polish is easier to match with other nail colors and there are dozens of color options.

But a soak-off takes much longer. It can take 15 to 20 minutes to soak off OPI's gel polish which is concerning to some, because fingertips spending that much time in acetone can dehydrate nails and skin.

There's also more scraping involved during removal, which can be harder on the natural nail.

Gelish's appeal is it's wide variety of polish colors; there are more than a hundred to choose from. But I have  the same concerns about the Gelish top and base coats, they are also are harder on the nail and take longer to soak off than Shellac.

Here's what you need to know if the health of your nails is your top concern:

1. If you want the healthiest gel polish for your nails, you should ask specifically for Shellac.

2. A sure sign you've not gotten Shellac is if it takes longer than five minutes to soak off when you go in for a color change.

The Power is in Your Hands

CND Shellac