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Why is HEMA-free so important?

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-09-29      Origin: Site


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Why is HEMA-free so important?

What is HEMA?

Today, we want to bring the truth to the nail industry and to all of the Manicure Lovers.

To be precise, what we are going to talk about today is "HEMA Free gel polish"

HEMA is one of those words that if you have heard Hema before, It’s kind of those crazy words that’s taken the industry by storm and people will have a huge reaction to it. And a lot of us don’t even know why we have a huge reaction.

Now let’s talk about what Hema is and why Hema could potentially cause problems

Hema, it’s chemical name is 2-Hydroxyethyl methacrylate

  • So is Hema a necessary component in gels?

Actually Hema is added because it gives us really good adhesion of the natural nail.

Natural nails are made of keratin and keratin protein likes that are carboxylic acids and Hema is sort of a long-chain carboxylic acid with a hydroxyl group on one end.

The OH group on the Hema allows it to be more miscible with water so if you have water on you fingernails, so it doesn’t reject the Hema. Hema is also really good as its seen it only has one functional reactive site for the UV cured systems or acrylic systems. So because it only has one of those carbon-carbon double bonds on one end that’s the methacrylate, because it only has one of those it only can enter into one portion of a die functional reaction. So it becomes a chain terminator. If chains could get too long they can become too rigid or they can become too brittle or just not good adhesion.

So, Hema isn’t inherently a bad thing because it creates great adhesion to the natural nail plate, it could bonds with that. But one of the downsides of Hema is that it can get out of control if it’s not bound within the formula properly, or if you get it on your skin, and when you are applying things that contain monomeric Hema you want to make sure that you avoid skin contact. And that’s why as you may have see on pretty much every label for nail care products says “avoid skin contact”

unna nail color chart

  • But there are ways that we can make formulas even safer than having Hema added. 

And so if you see Hema on the ingredient list that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but question might come up what’s the concentration of Hema in a systerm. If the product has 40 percent concentration of Hema in a gel polish system, that increases the chance of becoming allergic to the Hema. There is other molecules that we can use that also have good reactions and good adhesion in a natural nail.Take Hema’s sibling HPMA Hydroxypropyl methacrylate has one additional carbon atom in the backbone and that Hydroxypropyl methacrylate is less allergenic. So some products wind up taking something that has 50% Hema to 25%Hema and 25%HPMA. And there’s other monomers can be added in there as well.

What’s the best solution?

The answer is “oligomers”. So how it compares to a monomer? 

Oligomer is typically molecule has been built based on the backbone of one of the resins so it’s basically Hema but attached to the Oligomer chain.  And oligomer is ten times the size of Hema monomer. As a result, It’s less likely to enter you bloodstream if it comes in contact with your skin, which makes it safer.

So why companies choose to put so much monomer instead of choosing to put more oligomers in their product?

The answer is very simple. Because Hema is very cheap, so with more Hema, the price will be cheaper. Because it reduces the raw material cost. Oligomers on the other hand are mega expensive. Compared to Hema the oligomers are about 10 times the cost.


As for unna, our brand was born with the goal of being 100% HEMA-free, and we tested the most common gel polishes on the market that claim to be HEMA-free. The result is that almost none of them can do so. 

We are willing to accept the test from the market and we are confident that we will become the new standard in the nail industry. We are looking for partners and agents all over the world. If you want to start your own business, please contact us and we will help you get started.

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Address: Floor 2, Building C, No. 210, Xuanqiu Road, Pudong, Shanghai
 Phone: +86-15021073326
Address: Floor 2, Building 8, No. 18, Jinhai Road, Pudong, Shanghai

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