Does Acrylic or Gel Ruin Your Nails?


Many viewers have asked whether Acrylic or Gel Enhancements Ruin your natural nails. Suzie brings in scientist Doug Schoon to answer this question.

Doug Schoon’s company: Schoon Scientific & Regulatory Consulting provides technological and regulatory expertise to the beauty, cosmetic and personal care industry.

His latest publication: is a new book called ‘Face-to-Face With Doug Schoon’, and Suzie highly recommends it to Nail Techs, and Nail Enthusiasts. You can pick up the book ‘Face-to-Face With Doug Schoon’ using the links below:

US Amazon –
UK Amazon –
EBay Australia-
Electronic Book Download
Amazon Kindle –
Kobo –
Apple –
Original Video Series –

ISBN 9780997918601

Doug Schoon’s web-site is also a great resource full of terrific information:


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  1. If I want to have acrylic or shellac nails on long term, what would you suggest? Should I take breaks in between? I don't want to take breaks, as I have a job where customers look at my nails regularly, so I need them to be perfect as much as possible.
    I tried wearing shellac for 6 weeks (had them redone every 2 weeks) but due to the filing to put the shellac on, and then for removal, my nails became extremely weak. Even with the shellac on the tips ripped off when I was opening packaging. Any advice to prevent that?

  2. wanna talk overly aggressive removal? One time i was filing down my gel nails and not paying attention and i filed directly through the gel nail AND through my natural nail. I have a bad habit of picking at things so when i saw this i didn't even think about the consequences, i just picked at the "crack" in my natural nail and tore it right now to the tissue. It took 6 months to grow back. I'm now back to wearing gel nails again and i am SIGNIFICANTLY more careful with my filing. It was 100% my fault and had nothing to do with the gel. just a random story and a warning to anyone who does their own gel or acrylic nails!

  3. Thanks for that. My question is about preparing the nail for acrylic or gel. It has been my experience that the nail salons file off more than is needed to prepare the natural nail and this has left my nails much thinner than before the acrylic. I have even tried lightly buffing my own nail prior to going to the salon and they still insist on grabbing that coarse grit drill bit and going to town on my natural nail. Is there any way for me to just buy the professional Gels, dipping powders, and everything else I would need so I can just start doing my own nails at home?

  4. Before I became a cosmetologist and could do my own nails safely, I used to go to one of the Asian salons. My removal experience there was the last time I ever set foot in ANY of those type of places. The "tech" used an arbor band and drilled, rather aggressively, through the acrylic AND MY NATURAL NAIL to the point of bleeding. Wanna know what she then did with my bleeding finger? Dipped right into a bowl of acetone. This acetone was not fresh and I doubt she changed it even after I left. She didn't even offer me a band aid or tissue.  Now that I am licensed, when I soak nails off, I saturate a cotton ball in acetone and place one on each individual fingernail then wrap each finger and cotton ball  tightly in foil.  I hand the client a magazine, which she can maneuver through fairly easily since each finger is free to move and I can do other services, either her services or a quick haircut or two on other clients while she relaxes and the acetone works it's magic.

  5. Unfortunately Acetone reaches throughout your body within seconds of touching your skin. Think about what levels are absorbed after soaking your fingers in it for 20-30 minutes.

  6. So… I got a question, is it ok for me to speak up and say, no don't pry my enhancement off, or if I ask for "gel" nails, and mean actual gel, not acrylic with gel top coat, is it ok to stop them and say no that's not gel, that's acrylic with gel top coat? Like, am I allowed to argue that? (Not cause a scene, but a professional, that's not what I'm asking for, I want complete gel nails.)


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