Allergic reaction to Shellac?

#1
Hello everyone! Let me start by saying I am not a nail professional, although I've been flirting with the idea because I am obsessed with nails! I have a bit of a problem I was hoping you could help me with.

Last summer I got my first Shellac manicure and I absolutely fell in love! It was really hard to beileve that what looked lyour typical yet amazing frech manicure would go on looking as awesome for another two weeks! So I started getting manicures every 3-4 weeks. I had been getting manicures for about 4 months before I started having an allergic reaction. Shellac was not even in the list of things that could have caused it because I had done my research and felt confident that it was hypoallergenic. However, given that I am the sort of person who likes to know what is going on, I looked into it only to realise tham my manicurist wasn't using the appropriate lamp. Instead she was using the typical 36W UV lamp. So according to my research, I had an allergic reaction to uncured photoinitiators. To cut a long story short, I stopped getting manicures there and I quit shellac, although I was confident that it was the wrong procedure that had caused the problem.

A week ago I visited a salon where they do Shellac the proper way (I downloaded all the tutorials from CND :biggrin: ) and I asked to have just one nail done, to put my not-cured-photoinitiator theory to the test. So I got my nail done and waited! Three days in everything was fine, and I was making plans to buy the full monty and start shellac-ing myself. Then bam, the same allergic reaction. Milder this time, but it was the same thing.

My question is if anyone has had the same problem with a client. So far my theory had been that I had an allergic reaction because the manicurist hadn't bother to use the appropriate equipment. Now however when everything was done by the books, I shouldn't have a problem. Which means that shellac isn't hypoallergenic? Don;t get me wrong, I absolutely love shellac and I'm trying to make sure I have looked into everything so that I don't have to give it up!

Thanks in advance for your help and sorry for the long message!
xx
 

NancySyd

Well-Known Member
#2
Hello everyone! Let me start by saying I am not a nail professional, although I've been flirting with the idea because I am obsessed with nails! I have a bit of a problem I was hoping you could help me with.

Last summer I got my first Shellac manicure and I absolutely fell in love! It was really hard to beileve that what looked lyour typical yet amazing frech manicure would go on looking as awesome for another two weeks! So I started getting manicures every 3-4 weeks. I had been getting manicures for about 4 months before I started having an allergic reaction. Shellac was not even in the list of things that could have caused it because I had done my research and felt confident that it was hypoallergenic. However, given that I am the sort of person who likes to know what is going on, I looked into it only to realise tham my manicurist wasn't using the appropriate lamp. Instead she was using the typical 36W UV lamp. So according to my research, I had an allergic reaction to uncured photoinitiators. To cut a long story short, I stopped getting manicures there and I quit shellac, although I was confident that it was the wrong procedure that had caused the problem.

A week ago I visited a salon where they do Shellac the proper way (I downloaded all the tutorials from CND :biggrin: ) and I asked to have just one nail done, to put my not-cured-photoinitiator theory to the test. So I got my nail done and waited! Three days in everything was fine, and I was making plans to buy the full monty and start shellac-ing myself. Then bam, the same allergic reaction. Milder this time, but it was the same thing.

My question is if anyone has had the same problem with a client. So far my theory had been that I had an allergic reaction because the manicurist hadn't bother to use the appropriate equipment. Now however when everything was done by the books, I shouldn't have a problem. Which means that shellac isn't hypoallergenic? Don;t get me wrong, I absolutely love shellac and I'm trying to make sure I have looked into everything so that I don't have to give it up!

Thanks in advance for your help and sorry for the long message!
xx
Hypoallergenic does not mean that no one will ever have an allergic reaction. "Hypo-" means less than normal, not never. Additionally, hypoallergenic is not a medical or legal definition. There is no certification process that a product must go through to be labelled hypoallergenic, so its use is largely up to the manufacturer.

That said, CND Shellac is considered hypoallergenic. Many people who cannot use other gel polishes, can use Shellac safely. And although uncured gel is usually the cause of an allergic reaction, I suppose it is possible that one could have an allergic reaction even to the cured product. Repeated exposure can trigger an allergic reaction, so it is not unusual to find that people have reactions after using a product for a while. Also, these allergies tend to be permanent. I understand your love for Shellac (we all love it), but be very careful, these allergies can be quite serious. My other concern is also that if your original nail tech was using the wrong lamp, was she using genuine CND products?

So, to answer your question - Yes, Shellac is hypoallergenic, but one can still be allergic to a hypoallergenic product.
 
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Haircutz

Super Moderator
Staff member
#3
Depending on your reaction (severe itching, blistering etc.) you may be allergic to one of the common ingredients found in all gel/UV polishes inc. Shellac.

All of these products/brands contain substances which are part of the acrylate family of chemicals (just read the ingredients on the MSDS sheets). It is also found in Acrylic nail products as well. It's a common irritant.

If you are allergic to acrylates, then you won't be able to wear any nail enhancements containing these ingredients.

You do need to take care as allergic reactions generally get worse on subsequent exposure to the irritant and can in rare causes, become life threatening.
 
#4
If you are allergic to acrylates, then you won't be able to wear any nail enhancements containing these ingredients.
I had been wearing gel long before I foung out about gel polish and I didn't have any problem whatsoever. Now I got a gel polish manicure with products from another company, so I'll see how that goes. So far, I don't have a reaction and even more, the rash from shellac is disappearing. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!
 
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