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Shellac, acrylic or gel: which is more harmful to the nails?
Shellac, acrylic or gel: which is more harmful to the nails?

Which nail design do our natural nails actually suffer the most from? And when do the nails need a break? We asked a nail designer.

Shellac, acrylic or gel: what is the least damaging to the nails?
Shellac, acrylic or gel: what is the least damaging to the nails?

Would you like to have your nails done, but are afraid that your natural nails will suffer too much? Understandable. It can be quite difficult for laypeople to look through all of the nail reinforcements, varnishes and designs. First of all: Regardless of whether it is gel, acrylic or Shellac - your natural nail will be slightly affected. First of all, you need to be clear about your goal.

Shellac, gel or acrylic: the agony of choice

Do you just want a nail polish that lasts well and doesn't split off after a day or two, but not constantly in a nail salon? Then Shellac, consisting of a basecoat, a layer of paint and a topcoat, might be something. This can usually be easily removed with a little acetone-containing nail polish remover and your natural nail is less damaged after removal than with gel or acrylic nails. Since these are nails, they have to be sanded down - and of course you can see that. If you have your nails replaced in the nail salon after a few weeks anyway, that is of course not a problem. Nail expert Sabine Joldzic from the nail studio Sweet Treat in Rotgasse in Vienna knows who is best suited to which nail design, how long Shellac, acrylic or gel nails last and when you should take a break.

Incidentally, we have the SOS guide for broken nails according to Shellac, Gel & Co. here. A Japanese manicure is also really good for natural nails after months of nail designs. Sweet Treat also offers this service.

Which is less harmful to the nails: Shellac, acrylic or gel? And what's the difference?

"To be honest, it has to be said that none of these things are really healthy for the nails. They are chemical products. First and foremost, it always depends on the needs of the customer. The main difference is that acrylic and gel are nail models ie you can lengthen the nails with these two materials - with a tip or a template. Gel hardens under the UV lamp, acrylic dries by itself. The lengthening of the nail is not possible with Schellac. The material is too thin for that and too soft, so Shellac is a permanent nail polish.

So personally, I would not go by what is less harmful, because in principle everything is used responsibly and professionally. A nail modeling is a structure of the nail. The material is applied thicker and after a few weeks you only have to file the acrylate if you want to renew it, i.e. I don't actually come into contact with the natural nail when filing, except at the point where the nail has grown out. If you want to completely remove the modeling, the nail designer has to file or mill the material completely. The natural nails look different then, of course, than with the complete removal of Shellac. The natural nails are thin and sensitive to pain after the gel or acrylic has been completely removed. Shellac can be easily removed with a solvent containing acetone. But that, too, is chemistry that comes up on the nail.

So when it comes to the nature of the natural nail, the method of removal is crucial. Otherwise you should think about what you want in the first place - permanent varnish or an extension of the nail. Shellac looks a little more natural because it can be applied thinner. Acrylic is a little more stable than gel - but this is also noticeable in the price."


When would you recommend a break from Shellac, Gel, or Acrylic? How long should you take a break?

"It is the responsibility of a nail designer to advise and explain to customers when and how long they should take a break. If the natural nail is weakened, a break should be made in any case. As long as you keep the breaks, nail designs are in principle not Topic. When you should take a break is a very individual matter. There are women who wear Shellac all the time for a year. It always depends on the basis, because the durability of Shellac also depends on the natural nail. For some women we do advise after three months to take a break. For breaks, we recommend the Japanese manicure, which strengthens and builds up the natural nail - then you can start again. It is best to take shorter breaks more often - I think that's easier than after a year longer If the nail is only minimally attacked, a break of two to three weeks is sufficient for it to recover, but it can also be breaks of up to come to six months.

You don't need to take a break with gel and acrylic nails because the stress on the nail plate is always the same. As already mentioned, it is never really touched. The material is simply sanded and filled. Gel or acrylic nails could theoretically be worn continuously for years. The nail underneath hardly changes. In the end, only losing weight is harmful if you decide not to have your nails refilled."

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