Monday, September 7, 2015

Liquid & Powder Acrylic Ingredients

We have done a client intake, PREPped the nail and applied tips or forms (or decided to do a natural nail overlay). The next step is product. I will be doing several posts on products and product types because this is a subject full of science, chemistry and technique!
The majority of people in the post on "what you want to learn" had questions about acrylic, so that is what I will start with. Gels will be second with wraps and other types of enhancements third.
Liquid and Powder Acrylic ("L&P" in the UK, "Acrylic" in the US) is a very popular and well known type of nail enhancement.  Below are the ingredients commonly found in Liquid and Powder enhancements.
Liquid: a monomer made mostly of ethyl methacrylate (EMA), sometimes also including other monomers and additives.
Some of the Liquid Additives:
-Initiator: a molecule that absorbs extra energy and uses it to cause chemical reactions to occur. Concentrations of initiator vary widely from manufacturer to manufacturer and could occur in wither the liquid or the powder.
-Catalyst: a substance that makes the chemical reaction occur faster than it otherwise would.
-Inhibitors: ingredients that keep the monomers from joining into polymer chains before they are mixed with the powder, which would cause premature hardening
-Cross-linkers: additives that let the monomers join together in a 3-D netlike structure, a stronger structure than the row of head-to-tail connections they would otherwise create.
-UV absorbers: additives that absorb UV light which can cause enhancements to yellow
-Flow Modifiers: causes the product to self-level.
-Wetting agents: additives that make liquids more compatible with a solid surface, thereby improving adhesion
Powder: a polymer whose particles act as carriers for the below ingredients. A polymer is a long chain of monomers that have been chemically linked together.
Polymer Ingredients:
-Initiator: a molecule that absorbs extra energy and uses it to cause chemical reactions to occur. Concentrations of initiator vary widely from manufacturer to manufacturer and could occur in wither the liquid or the powder.
-UV absorbers: additives that absorb UV light which can cause enhancements to yellow
-Colorants: dyes that give the powder a pinkish color.
-Titanium Dioxide: a mineral that serves as a whitening pigment used for white powders.