Q&A

Will mixing company ABC’s monomer with company XYZ’s polymer give my client an allergic reaction?

Q.

Will mixing company ABC’s monomer with company XYZ’s polymer give my client an allergic reaction?

A.

This is absolutely possible, and I have been warning nail technicians about this for 20 years. The polymer powder contains an ingredient called BPO (benzoyl peroxide), which is the same ingredient used in drugstore products to fight acne. It is also used to make liquid monomer harden into an artificial nail.

It’s all about having the right ratio of liquid and powder.  The concentrations of BPO in different manufacturers’ powders can vary by as much as 50%. Each manufacturer’s monomer liquid is designed to work best with a specific amount of BPO, so too much can cause the artificial nail to discolor, become brittle, or create bubbles; while too little BPO can make the enhancement weaker and may lead to skin sensitivity. Too much or too little monomer liquid can create the same issues as using the wrong amount of BPO. Usually, that will mean using a bead that is not “dry” and not “wet,” but instead “in between” or “medium.” — Doug Schoon, chief scientific adviser, CND

Have a health question? (about salon safety and sanitation, nail disorders, science, etc.) E-mail it to [email protected] and check back here for an expert answer.

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