Acrylic Nails

Are Acrylic Nails Bad for Your Nails, Skin, and Environment?

Are Acrylic Nails Bad for Your Nails, Skin and Environment

If you’ve ever been to a nail salon, chances are you’ve partaken in acrylic nails. The popularity of these fake nails is for more than just an aesthetic reason, but for the convenience and longevity too.

Acrylics can last for weeks at a time, depending on how well you take care of them.

Are acrylic nails bad? You’ve heard that they’re bad, but what on earth is it that makes them bad? Are they really bad for your nails, or might there be another reason?

If acrylic nails are bad for you personally, how can you prevent nail damage from these commonly used fake nails.

Learn more about are acrylic nails bad for your health, environment and personal body.

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The Positives

Women have been wearing acrylic for years. Despite some misconceptions and environmental concerns, acrylic nails have some positives.

They Shield Your Nails and Even Skin Underneath Them

Acrylic nails provide added protection against damage to your natural nail beds and fingers.

If you have weak or brittle natural nails that easily break, acrylics nails can protect them from further damage while giving them added strength.

Since acrylics cover the entire nail surface, they take pressure off your skin beneath them as well.

In other words, acrylics shield both your finger tips and the areas underneath them from friction caused by everyday activities like typing on a keyboard or holding objects with your hands.

Acrylic Protect Your Natural Nails from the Harsh Chemicals

Acrylic nails protect your natural nails from harsh chemicals. If you like doing your own manicure at home, then it is important that you protect your natural nails from harsh chemicals.

Acrylic nails also provide a protective barrier between your natural nail and harsh chemicals that can cause damage and breakage.

Acrylic nails are great for protecting your natural nail while giving them a beautiful look. Acrylics can be used as a base coat so that your polish will last longer and not chip off as quickly as it would without it.

The coating will also protect them against breakage due to chipping and peeling away from the nail bed.

The Negatives

Acrylic Nails Can Be Hard on Your Natural Nails

If you have weak, thin or brittle nails, the acrylic overlay can cause even more damage to your natural nail plate.

The acrylic is thicker than your natural nail plate and may cause the cuticle area to lift up as well as the free edge of the nail plate.

This can lead to peeling and splitting of the free edge and other problems such as ridges in between the cuticle area and free edge.

Acrylics Can Make Your Nails Brittle

Acrylic nails are made from a mixture of liquid monomers and polymer resins that harden when they dry. They’re applied in layers, with each layer being soaked off with acetone at the end of the application process.

As you might imagine, this repeated soaking process can cause damage to your natural nails.

The most obvious sign of damage is splitting or chipping of the acrylics themselves. This is usually caused by lifting or lifting at the cuticle area where the nail is thinnest.

Removing Acrylics May Damage Your Natural Nails

Related: How to Remove Acrylic Nails At Home – 4 Tips & Tricks.

Removing acrylic nails can damage your nails if not done properly.

The process can be very damaging to the natural nail plate, and it’s difficult to keep the nails looking good for any length of time.

If you’re thinking about removing your acrylic nails, don’t do it yourself! Removing acrylics can be tricky, and if done incorrectly it can damage your natural nails.

To remove your own acrylics, follow these steps:

Artificial Nails Can Lead to Nail Fungal Infections

Artificial nails are a great way to make your fingers look longer and more beautiful. But they can also lead to nail fungal infections.

Nail fungus is an infection that causes the nails to become thick, discolored and brittle. It’s caused by a fungus called dermatophytes, which live on dead skin cells but can also infect healthy skin.

If you’re wearing artificial nails, here are some tips to help prevent infection:

You Can Develop an Allergic Reaction to Acrylics

Acrylics are a synthetic polymer that is similar to nail polish. Acrylics are made up of monomers, which are the smallest units of acrylic. The monomers are combined to form larger molecules called polymers.

Acrylics generally don’t contain any natural ingredients, but they do include chemicals that may cause an allergic reaction in some people.

The most common symptoms of an allergic reaction to acrylics include:

The Chemicals in Artificial Nails Could Be Bad for the Environment

If you’re going to get fake nails, you want them to last as long as possible. Unfortunately, what goes into the acrylic and gel used to sculpt artificial nails can be bad for the environment.

The chemicals used in nail products are usually not biodegradable. They don’t break down easily.

In 2013, the City of San Francisco launched a program called the Healthy Nail Salon Recognition Program (HNRP), which gave official recognition to salons that used safer practices and products.

Source: ResearchGate

The HNRP was created to reduce the risk of exposure to toxic chemicals in nail products for salon workers and customers alike.

Are Acrylic Nails Safe During Pregnancy?

Some women worry that having acrylic nails applied during pregnancy will lead to a miscarriage or other complications, but this isn’t the case—as long as you keep your appointments in well-ventilated rooms with open windows or air conditioning.

This is because the chemicals used in nail salons are generally considered safe, but there’s still some controversy about whether they might have an impact on your unborn baby.

In fact, it’s the chemicals used in nail salons to clean and prepare the nails that are of primary concern. You don’t want to expose yourself or your baby to any unnecessary risks, so if you’re concerned about the fumes from a nail salon, be sure to ask for an appointment at a time when the salon is as ventilated as possible.

Are Acrylic Nails Safe for 12-Year-Olds?

While there are some people who argue that acrylic nails aren’t safe for anyone under 18, I think that’s a little extreme.

Most of the problems with acrylic nails come from improper application (like using too thick a layer of clear coat). When applied correctly, acrylic nails are very safe, even for girls as young as 12.

However, there’s one big caveat that goes along with this: if your daughter has weak or brittle nails, she might be able to damage them by getting acrylics.

Before getting her nails done professionally, have her visit your family doctor for a simple exam and make sure her nails are healthy enough for the procedure.

If your daughter is used to doing things for herself and she’s responsible in other areas of her life, then she’ll probably be fine with getting her own set of acrylics whenever she’s ready.

If she’s not yet mature enough to take care of her nails on her own, you may want to help out with them.

Are Acrylic Overlays Bad for Your Nails?

We know that acrylic is a synthetic polymer used to make everything from plastic to paint, and it also happens to be one of the most common ingredients found in nail polish.

Unlike most nail polishes, acrylic overlays are put on with an adhesive gel that acts as a top layer over your natural nails. It’s applied by either dipping the entire hand into a bowl of gel or using small adhesive pads that adhere the acrylic to each individual nail. By adding the extra layer of plastic on top of your natural nails, you’re essentially layering two separate sets together: your nails and artificial nails.

The problem with this is that it can cause your nails to become brittle and less flexible over time, leading to more breakage and more need for repairs. If you already have weak or brittle nails, acrylic overlays can also cause them to crack along any lines where the natural nail grows into the artificial one.

When we think of the type of material that goes into making acrylic overlays, we tend to automatically think of the environmental impact it has on our world—but there’s something else to consider here too: all that material has to come from somewhere.

In the case of acrylic overlays, it comes from petroleum, which is a non-renewable resource that takes millions of years to form naturally and can only be mined once.

When we consider this fact in the context of how often people need to get their nails done, it’s easy to see how acrylic overlays are not the most environmentally friendly option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are acrylic nails bad for your nails?

Acrylic nails can be bad for your nails if you’re not careful about how you take care of them. If your acrylics are applied too thick, they can cause damage to your natural nail bed, which can lead to weakening and breakage. You should also avoid using harsh acetone-based polish remover on acrylics or any other type of artificial nail because it can damage the coating on the surface.

Are acrylics bad for my skin?

Acrylics are not bad for your skin at all. In fact, they can help strengthen weak cuticles and brittle nails by giving them a protective coating that prevents them from breaking and becoming weak. If you have an allergy to formaldehyde, however, then you may want to avoid getting acrylics altogether because formaldehyde is used as a hardening agent in many salons today.

Are acrylics bad for the environment?

Acrylics are bad for the environment because they’re made with chemicals that can be harmful to humans, animals and plants. The ingredients used in acrylic nails are formaldehyde and other solvents, which release fumes when applied to your nails. These fumes can irritate your eyes and lungs if you’re exposed to them for long periods of time.

Can acrylic nails be removed at home?

Yes, it is possible to remove acrylics at home with the right tools and products. All you need is some acetone (nail polish remover) and cotton balls or pads. You can also use an acetone-free nail polish remover if you have sensitive skin or allergies. Soak a cotton ball in acetone and wrap it around each finger for about 15 minutes until the fake nail becomes soft enough for removal. Remove each fake nail by twisting it from

Are acrylic nails bad for your health?

Acrylics can be bad for your health if you’re exposed to the chemicals used in their production. These include formaldehyde, toluene and ethyl acetate, which may cause allergic reactions or breathing problems.

Is it OK to wear acrylic nails for years

f you’re going to wear acrylic nails, it’s a good idea to take them off every once in a while and let your natural nail grow out. Acrylics will weaken your natural nails and make them more prone to splitting, peeling and breaking, so taking the time for them to recover is important—especially if you want them to last longer than just one appointment!

Are acrylic nails bad for 13-year-olds?

Acrylic nails are not bad for 13-year-olds, but they should be taken off every once in a while. If you want to wear them for years at a time, it’s best to have them removed and let your nail grow out.


Anyone interested in trying out acrylic nails should be prepared to spend a few extra minutes a day on nail care and upkeep, but don’t let that discourage you: the process can be worth it.

As with most things, moderation is key. It’s perfectly possible to wear acrylic nails for years without negative effects, but you do need to take care of your nails.

Ultimately, it will be up to everyone to decide for themselves whether using acrylic nails is worth the potential for damage—but this article should help you make an informed decision.

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