MMA stands for methyl methacrylate. MMA was first turned into polymer(powder) in 1877, but didn’t become widely used until 1933 when it was sold under the brand name “Plexiglas”. During World War 2 is was used to make submarine periscopes and aircraft windshields because it was stronger than standard glass. Now it’s used to make everything from automobile tail lights, kitchen appliances, bath tubs, LCD screens among other things. MMA monomer(liquid) in artificial nail products has been an issue for more than 25 years. Why is this being used in nail salons? The main reason is cost, it’s sold for up to 75% less than professional nail products that dont contain MMA monomer. Many salons use this low cost monomer to undercut the service prices of their competitors.
MMA monomer is used by doctors around the world and is considered the best and most widely used bone cement in the world. Which means it is implanted into the body to mend badly broken bones. Although its perfectly okay to be implanted into the body its not so perfect ingredient to be used in artificial nail products.
Here are some reasons MMA monomer should NOT be used in nail products:
- MMA monomer products do not adhere to the natural nail unless the nail plate is aggressively filed. The only way to make this monomer adhere well is by shredding the surface of the natural nail (hence the over filing). Anything will adhere to the nail plate when it’s shredded but this will cause damage to the clients nail plate, and this also thins and weakens the natural nail plate. This can cause separation of the plate from the nail bed. Aggressively filing and over thinning the nail plate creates a weak foundation.
- MMA artificial nails are extremely difficult to remove. That’s because it is not affected by acetone and any other nail removal solvent. MMA nail enhancements often become brittle and discolor quickly. They must be removed every three to four months. Prying or forcing any nail coating from the nail plate causes pitting and other surface damage, when you create deep pits in the surface it cause the nail to weaken.
- MMA artificial nails are extremely rigid and very difficult to break. When they are accidentally jammed or caught, the overly thinned natural nail plate often breaks before the MMA enhancement. This can cause serious nail plate cracks that can expose the bed and can lead to infections.
I hope this information helps you understand as a client and consumer that 1. cheaper isn’t always better, 2. there’s a real reason why they are so cheap, 3. be aware of what’s being adhered to your natural nails. You should never experience pain, have skin redness to irritation or have nail damage as result of any nail service.
If you experience any of these please remove your enhancements immediately and see a doctor if there is swelling, discoloration of the skin, bleeding or rash of the skin.