Whether you are headed for a shopping spree or going for a dinner date, having a fresh set of ultra-shiny nails always helps you to feel glammed up. Come pregnancy and you begin to question – Is it safe to get Shellac nails while pregnant?
Shellac nails are one of those few trusted manicure methods that remain popular. Many of us would have probably heard about it. Maybe your manicurist would have even suggested asking if you want to try it. But what exactly is shellac, and why does everyone crave it?
If you are still unsure whether or not to try shellac nails while pregnant, we are here to explain all you need to know below.
Is It Safe To Get Shellac Nails While Pregnant?
Shellac nails are a form of gel nails that are cured under UV light to give a long-lasting, glossy finish. But is it safe for pregnant women to undergo this process? While shellac nails are generally considered safe for non-pregnant women, the concern for pregnant women is about the exposure to chemicals during the application process.
Shellac nails combine the benefits of gel nails and traditional polish. It is applied to the nails in three layers, with each layer being cured under a UV lamp. This process results in a shiny, chip-resistant nail coating that lasts for up to two weeks.
The chemicals in nail polish can potentially be absorbed through the skin, which may not be healthy for the developing fetus.
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The primary chemicals found in shellac nail polish that have raised concern are formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP). These chemicals are known as the toxic trio because they have been linked to various health problems, including developmental issues in fetuses1
Formaldehyde is a cancer-causing agent, and it has been linked to fetal developmental issues. Toluene can cause problems with the nervous system, and it can also lead to developmental problems. DBP has been shown to cause reproductive issues in rats, although research on humans is limited.
While there are no specific studies on the safety of shellac nails during pregnancy, it is best practice to speak with your doctor before choosing any type of nail polish while pregnant.
Does Pregnancy Change Nail Color?
As is the case with many things that affect our health or beauty, pregnancy does change the way your nails look. In the short run, pregnant women may notice a change in their nail color. The reds may fade slightly and become more yellowish in hue. This is due to the decrease in hormones that control blood flow to the skin, making it difficult for the pigment to reach the nail plate.
Related Reading: Brittle Nails During Pregnancy – Causes, Signs, And Remedies
On the other hand, your nails may be more fragile than usual and break more easily than before you were pregnant. It could also include brittleness, groove formation, or a separation of the nail from the nail bed called onycholysis.
What Kind Of Nail Polish Can I Use While Pregnant?
If you’re expecting, you might have heard that the traditional manicure isn’t just a simple beauty treatment anymore—it could have implications for your unborn baby. It is easy to be overwhelmed by all the information out there on what is and isn’t safe during pregnancy.
If you want to take extra precautions while expecting, there are certain types of nail treatments designed specifically for pregnant women like getting shellac nails while pregnant. It’s important to know that not all nail polishes are created equal and it’s best to go with one that doesn’t contain chemicals like formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP (dibutyl phthalate).
Fortunately, there are now a variety of non-toxic nail polishes available that don’t have any harsh ingredients.
Here’s a quick overview of the different types:
Gel Nail Polish
These polishes usually require a UV lamp for curing or drying. Gel polish is more durable than regular nail polish, however the curing process might be damaging due to UV exposure.
Shellac Nail Polish
Shellac is a hybrid between gel and regular polish. While it has the durability of gel polish since it’s cured with UV light, it’s easier to remove than gel using shellac remover or regular acetone.
Traditional Nail Polish
Traditional nail polishes are free from the three harsh chemicals mentioned above – formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate – but are not always vegan-friendly because some contain animal products like bone char in their formulations.
Each of these types of polishes has pros and cons so it is important to understand what you are trying before deciding which one is best for you—especially when pregnant.
Related Reading: Is It Safe To Get A Back Massage During Pregnancy?
A Guide To Choosing The Right Nail Polish
It is important to make sure the nail polish you use when pregnant is safe, especially when it comes to using shellac nails at home or removing shellac nails during pregnancy. While no research confirms that shellac nails are harmful to pregnant women or their babies, it is also equally important to stay conscious.
Getting shellac nails while pregnant is a personal choice that depends on a variety of factors. While there are no proven risks associated with shellac nails during pregnancy, it is important to consider the risks and benefits of the treatment.
Here’s a guide to help you choose the right home polish:
1. Read labels
When shopping for nail polishes, always take the time to read the labels carefully. Look for words like “3-free,” which means that any products with this label are free of formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP). Avoid products that contain any of these chemicals or anything else potentially hazardous.
2. Choose natural or non-toxic polishes
If you are unsure about what type of polish to buy, choose a natural or non-toxic polish instead. These polishes are made from natural ingredients like walnut shells and citrus peels and don’t contain any harsh chemicals. They’re also less likely to trigger allergic reactions on your skin or nails.
3. Avoid Shellac nails
Shellac nails have become increasingly popular as an alternative to regular polishes since they can last up to three weeks without chipping. However, it is best to avoid them when pregnant as there is still some debate about whether the UV lights used during application are safe when expecting.
Is It Safe To Get Acrylic Nails Done While Pregnant
Acrylic nails are made from a combination of liquid and powder that hardens on the nails. This type of nail is popular because it is long-lasting and can be customized with different designs and colors. However, the process of applying acrylic nails involves strong fumes and chemicals, which can be a concern when pregnant.
Research has shown that some of the chemicals used in acrylic nails, such as toluene, formaldehyde, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP), can be harmful to the developing baby. Exposure to these chemicals has been linked to problems with fetal development, including low birth weight, birth defects, and developmental delays.
Additionally, the process of getting acrylic nails involves filing and shaping the nails, which can be uncomfortable, especially if the nails are already sensitive due to pregnancy. This discomfort may be exacerbated in the later stages of pregnancy when the belly gets in the way, making it difficult to sit comfortably or hold the hands steady.
Ultimately, when considering whether to get acrylic nails while pregnant, it is essential to weigh the risks and benefits.
Choosing Between Acrylic Nails and Shellac Nails
One alternative to getting acrylic or shellac nails is to do it at home. This approach can be less expensive and more convenient, but it is important to be mindful of the risks involved. Home kits may not adhere to the same safety standards as professional salons, and some may contain harmful chemicals. Additionally, the process of applying the nails may be more difficult than expected, leading to frustration and potential harm to the nails.
If a woman decides to get acrylic or shellac nails, it is recommended to choose a reputable salon and ensure that proper safety protocols are followed. It may also be helpful to limit exposure to chemicals by avoiding other sources of them, such as cigarette smoke and hair dyes.
Here are general steps for safely applying and removing shellac nails at home:
Getting Shellac Nails While Pregnant (At Home):
1. Start by cleaning and sanitizing your nails using a nail polish remover to remove any existing nail polish from your nails.
2. Trim your nails to the desired length, file them, and buff them to create a smooth surface for the shellac nail polish.
3. Apply a base coat of shellac nail polish on your nails and cure your nails under a UV lamp for around 10 seconds.
4. Apply two coats of shellac nail polish one by one, and curing each coat for 2-3 minutes under the UV lamp.
5. Finally, add a topcoat of shellac nail polish to your nails and cure it under the UV lamp for 2-3 minutes.
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Remove Shellac Nails During Pregnancy (At Home):
1. Firstly, buff the top layer of the shellac nail polish and soak cotton balls in acetone.
2. Place the soaked cotton balls on top of each nail, and wrap them in foil.
3. Let the acetone soak into the nails for 10-15 minutes.
4. Remove the foil gently and scrape off the remaining shellac nail polish gently and slowly, using a wooden stick or a cuticle pusher.
5. Once you remove all the shellac nail polish, clean your nails with nail polish remover and wash your hands carefully with soap and water.
Note: Shellac Nails is a professional-grade nail system, and it is always better to consult a licensed nail technician before trying it at home.
In conclusion, it is important to prioritize your health during pregnancy, including your nail care routine. Shellac nails while pregnant can be a safe and convenient option, but it is crucial to take a few precautions to minimize any potential risks.
By following the tips outlined in this post, you can enjoy beautiful and long-lasting manicures while keeping yourself and your growing baby safe.
Remember, always consult with your healthcare provider and licensed nail technician before trying anything new during pregnancy.