Why are certain acrylic monomers so much more expensive than others?Are some suppliers overcharging or is there a good reason?
The simple answer to the first question is that it is simply not possible to sell a good quality acrylic monomer at R50 for 100ml. However In truth price is not the only way to judge acrylic monomer. For example a supplier could buy cheap Chinese and sell at a high price. The issue here is that while higher priced products are generally better, expensive is not necessarily better. This holds true for both acrylic powder and liquid.
Brief history of monomer
To better understand we should examine how it is made. In 1954, a dentist named Fred Slack, broke one of his fingernails, in order to continue working that day, he made an artificial nail as a realistic-looking temporary replacement. It worked so well that he and his brother began experimenting with different materials to improve his invention. They found to be best Acrylic powder and monomer. Thankfully they did and we now have this amazing product.
Basic Intro to acrylic monomer
Acrylic is in fact a general name for resin made out a chemical called methacrylate. There are a lot of types of acrylic resins. They are based on different types of methacrylate molecules. Their chemistry is similar. The acrylic used to sculpt extension or overlays nails is formed by the reaction of a monomer liquid with a polymer powder. Poly means many. mer means parts. The monomers (mono means one, mer means parts) contained in the liquid acrylic monomer are microscopic chemical units which react together when mixed with chemicals in the powder.
The dreaded methacrylate – they not all born equal!
One need understand “methacrylate” used in nail acrylics as simply as possible. Largely there are two types, Methyl methacrylate (MMA) and Ethyl methacrylate (EMA). Ever wonder why at the dentist you must wait for crowns and enhancements to come from a lab? This is because MMA is unsafe in its liquid state! Yes it is poisonous to humans! (Once in its hardened state it is perfectly safe). Furthermore it is much too hard, and can tear the nail off the finger easily. It is also solvent resistant, which makes it very difficult to remove and almost impossible to remove safely.
Many technicians damage the nail plate when prepping for MMA, since MMA product needs grooves in the nail in order to stick well. A technician should always protect and preserve the natural nail under any enhancement product. Bottom line in the USA (and most of the world) it is banned BECAUSE IT IS POISONOUS!
So what about the good methacrylate?
On the other hand (pun intended) Most legal acrylic monomers consist of EMA between 70%-90%. By blending other components into the EMA, a manufacturer can control curing time, flexibility, adhesion, yellowing, clarity, colour and odour. This is what you should be using it’s safe for humans and FDA approved. You should always ask the seller which they supply. If you are unsure find another supplier.
How to tell the difference? Below are a few ways to get an indication.
- (MMA) has a distinctive strong fruity odour. — Beauty services involving chemicals often have offensive odours, like perms. However, while the smell may offend you, it should not physically affect you. If you experience any tightness in your throat or chest, tingling in your fingers, light-headedness, dizziness, or an odd taste in your mouth, it is possible that MMA is being used
- Price — While this is not always the case (as discussed previously), low prices can be an indicator that the supplier uses MMA. MMA is considerably less expensive to purchase than the safer alternative EMA. If MMA is being used, a low price will usually follow.
- Physical reaction — If your fingers burn, itch or hurt after receiving nail services, this can indicate MMA exposure. Beauty services are not a no-pain-no-gain arena. We hear of consumers who, when asked if their fingers hurt after getting acrylic nails, say yes, but only for a couple of days. Ask yourself, if you went to a hair salon and got your hair coloured or permed and your head hurt, but only for a couple of days, would you go back? No, you would not. It is not normal for your fingers to hurt after professional services.
QD monomers are all sourced from reputable factories carrying the highest ISO and safety standard possible. We are 100% sure they will not cause any complications in normal clients. Beware if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Let’s keep the industry safe. View our acrylic monomer and all other acrylic systems here.