Acrylic Nails

The Chemistry of Acrylics

Creating the perfect set of acrylics could be considered an art, but the foundation behind it is found in the science. NAILS breaks down the chemistry behind liquid-and-powder in laymen's terms.

 Mixing and Matching=Mixed-Up Mix Ratios (A Bad Idea)

When you mix and match liquids and powders from different manufacturers or product lines, it’s like using the wrong mix ratio. The reasons:

> Different powders have different chemical compositions, including different levels of initiator and catalyst.

> Too little initiator may weaken the enhancement or cause an allergic reaction.

> Too much initiator increases the risk of brittleness and discoloration.

> Mismatched liquid and powder can result in unreacted monomer. This monomer can soak through

the nail bed to cause an allergic reaction.

The composition of a powder particle, like the one shown magnified here, varies greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer.
<p>The composition of a powder particle, like the one shown magnified here, varies greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer.</p>

Chain Reaction

liquid mixed with powder -> the catalyst (in the liquid) breaks the initiator (in the powder) in half, creating two free radicals-> each free radical combines with a monomer, energizing it -> the energized monomer attaches to another monomer creating a covalent bond (the strongest type of chemical bond) >energy passes to the new partner monomer -> the second monomer attaches to another monomer creating a covalent bond, and on, and on, and on, creating long polymer chains -> the chains wrap around and encase each polymer powder bead, fusing the beads into the acrylic nail ->the reaction ends when there are no monomers remaining

Magnified powder beads are shown coated with whitener TiO2 and initiator benzoyl peroxide.
<p>Magnified powder beads are shown coated with whitener TiO2 and initiator benzoyl peroxide.</p>

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