Shellac vs. Semipermanent Polish

Understanding the difference

4/28/20241 min read

I've heard many clients express concerns about gel polish and semi-permanent polish damaging their nails, making them weak and brittle, and requiring extensive recovery time. This hesitation is understandable, especially considering the confusion surrounding Shellac's classification.

Working with an international clientele, I've noticed that in Europe, particularly Spain, Italy, France, gel polish is often referred to as "semi-permanent polish." In contrast, the UK and the US primarily use the term "gel polish" to describe this type of manicure. This distinction can lead to misunderstandings about Shellac, as it's often categorized as a semi-permanent polish in Europe.

This blog post aims to clarify the differences between Shellac and semi-permanent polishes (or Shellac and gel polish from other brands if you're in the UK or US, as "semi-permanent" might not be a familiar term).

It's crucial to recognize that Shellac and semi-permanent polishes ARE NOT THE SAME. Their chemical compositions and application and removal processes differ significantly.

Semi-permanent polishes contain solvents that allow for application like conventional polish, along with photoinitiators and monomers that harden the polish and provide its characteristic gel-like durability. However, these photoinitiators require prior buffing of the nail to activate, which weakens the nail plate. Removal involves filing the nail before applying pure acetone and then scraping off the product with a metal pusher. This aggressive process can create ridges and cracks in the nails, making them more fragile and dry-looking.

Shellac, on the other hand, is the only hybrid gel polish on the market. It contains quick-dissolving polymers that don't require pre-buffing. These polymers make Shellac a porous product with open micro-channels. When the removal liquid is applied, it penetrates the nail, dissolving, opening, and lifting the Shellac from the nail plate without the need for filing. This is undoubtedly the most gentle option for natural nail health.

Shellac's removal liquid, Offly Fast, contains acetone, but it also includes macadamia oil, vitamin E, and cucumber extract. Not only does it effectively remove Shellac, but it also nourishes and hydrates the nails, leaving them healthy and shiny.

Remember, for the health and well-being of your nails, as well as a flawless and long-lasting finish, Shellac, like any other product, should be applied and removed by a professional manicurist following the correct protocols.

Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or require further information.

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