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Understanding the Risks of HEMA in Gel Nail Polish: Embrace a Safer Alternative with This is Gel.

Updated: Oct 28, 2023

Gel nail polish has taken the beauty industry by storm, offering a long-lasting, chip-resistant alternative to traditional nail lacquers. However, beneath the lustrous shine and vibrant colours lies a potential risk factor that many nail enthusiasts and professionals might not be aware of. 2-Hydroxyethyl methacrylate, or HEMA, a common ingredient in many gel polishes, has been associated with various health concerns. In this article, we will explore the risks associated with HEMA in gel nail polish and introduce 'This is Gel,' a brand committed to providing a safer alternative.

The Hidden Dangers of HEMA

HEMA is a crucial component in the gel nail polish formula, responsible for creating the durable, glossy finish that enthusiasts adore. Unfortunately, for some individuals, HEMA can trigger allergic reactions and skin sensitivities, causing redness, itching, burning sensations, and even painful blisters around the nail area. These reactions can be both uncomfortable and unsightly, turning a delightful manicure into a painful ordeal.

Furthermore, prolonged and repeated exposure to HEMA can potentially lead to long-term health issues, making it essential for both consumers and nail technicians to be aware of the risks associated with this chemical.

red, swollen rash on fingertips
Founder Becci's allergic reaction to HEMA

Although HEMA is a legal ingredient in the UK, it is, accordingly to the Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association in 2023, the number 1 allergen in gel nail polish today. According to the CTPA, a reaction or allergy to HEMA "can cause a lifelong allergy, which is very important not just because a re-appearance of the reaction is risked even if another brand is chosen but because the key ingredient is to be found in medically important settings. For example, some dental restorative materials that are cured with UV light can contain the same ingredient. This substance may also be used in medical prostheses such as replacement joints and the adhesives used to fix them in place in the bones."

a bruised thumb following an allergic reaction to gel polish containing HEMA
Founder Beccis' bruised fingers due to HEMA allergy

The primary motivation behind 'This is Gel' was to create a brand that put quality and safety at the forefront. Our Founder Becci's vision was clear: she wanted to offer a line of gel nail polishes that contained none of the harsh chemicals, including HEMA, which had caused her so much pain and discomfort. She wanted to make sure that her brand's products would not only be safe for the wearer but also for nail technicians who worked with these products daily.

It's important to recognise that while HEMA is a known allergen in gel polish, it's not the sole culprit. Thus, ongoing research and development efforts are crucial to ensure that all gel polish manufacturers and suppliers remain informed about the latest findings. In a field where discerning between relevant, verified case studies and research can be challenging, conducting independent research in collaboration with industry experts becomes essential to stay at the forefront of safe and innovative practices.

'This is Gel': A Safer Choice

Our vision behind establishing 'This is Gel' was to cultivate a brand that possesses an extensive knowledge of gel nail polish ingredients and maintains the highest safety standards. To achieve this goal, the team collaborates closely with cosmetic experts and sustainability consultants. This dedicated partnership allows 'This is Gel' to excel as a pioneering force in the industry, becoming the preferred choice for technicians who seek to stay well-informed and provide their clients with the latest and most pertinent information.

If you're concerned about the potential risks associated with HEMA in traditional gel nail polishes,'This is Gel' is here to offer a safer and equally stunning alternative. At 'This is Gel', we understand the importance of beauty without compromise. Our gel nail polishes are meticulously formulated without HEMA, making them a healthier choice for those who have experienced allergic reactions or sensitivities to this chemical.

But we don't stop at just being HEMA-free. 'This is Gel' is committed to delivering a superior nail experience in every way. Here's why you should make the switch:

  1. Vibrant Colours and Longevity: 'This is Gel' offers a wide spectrum of highly-pigmented gel polish colours that deliver exceptional, long-lasting results. Say goodbye to frequent touch-ups and hello to client's manicures that stay vibrant for weeks.

  2. Cruelty-Free and Vegan: Our products are 100% cruelty-free and vegan, so you can enjoy your beauty routine guilt-free, knowing no animals were harmed in the process.

  3. Safety and Quality: We're passionate about making a positive impact on the environment. 'This is Gel' promotes eco-friendly practices, from our ingredients to our packaging, to minimise our carbon footprint.

  4. Sustainability: We're passionate about making a positive impact on the environment. 'This is Gel' promotes eco-friendly practices, from our ingredients to our packaging, to minimise our carbon footprint.

Take the First Step to Healthier Nails

In a world where beauty should enhance, not compromise, your well-being, 'This is Gel' offers the perfect solution. Say goodbye to the risks associated with HEMA in gel nail polish and embrace a safer, high-quality alternative for your clients that's as committed to beauty as it is to your health.

Make the switch to 'This is Gel' today and experience a world of vibrant, long-lasting, and safe gel nail polishes. Your client's nails deserve it, and so do you.

For any questions, concerns, or suggestions on how we can improve, please contact our friendly team at


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