If you’ve ever had SNS nails you’ve probably heard that they are the new, natural option for nail enhancements.
Upon a recent trip to the nail salon I saw numerous posters advertising SNS as a natural, healthier option over Gel, Shellac and acrylic.
This struck me as odd, because I’ve had SNS nails in the past and I was pretty sure it was just acrylic powder which isn’t natural at all.
I started looking into it, and it wasn’t hard to see (just read the ingredients) that SNS nails are indeed not natural, they are just acrylic powder combined with what is basically super glue. I was intrigued by the fact that SNS nails were being marketed as the ” world’s healthiest gel polish” when it looked as though it was made of completely man made synthetics and chemicals.
Now, this is exactly what SNS are claiming –
To be ‘healthy natural nails’
‘Healthier for your nails from added vitamins’
‘World’s healthiest gel polish’
To contain “vitamin E and Calcium”
To be the ‘natural choice’
And yet here is the actual truth-
The main ‘glue’ ingredient, Ethyl 2-cyanoacrylate (85-100%) is the main ingredient of Super glue (>98%)
There’s less than 0.001% Calcium which is clearly not enough to have even a remote effect on the nail.
The vitamin E (and a very small amount of calcium) are in the cuticle oil they rub on after they’ve done your nails and its 0.001%. Now I don’t know about you, but my nail lady uses cuticle oil on me whether I’m having gel or acrylic- this certainly isn’t something unique to SNS.
The powder used is in fact acrylic powder (polymer).
There is nothing natural about SNS nails! Bottom line is its super glue painted on which then gets dipped in acrylic powder.
Here is a comparison between super glue and SNS glue-
Super Glue ingredients:
Ethyl 2-cyanoacrylate (85-100%),
Polymethyl methacrylate (10-30%)
SNS Gel (glue) ingredients:
Calcium pantothenate (<0.001%)
The powder used is no more natural than the glue, yep completely man made.
SNS colour powder ingredients:
Benzoyl Peroxide (1.2-1.4%)
It turns out that the only thing that could even remotely benefit the nails is the oil they apply after the nails are done. However as I mentioned before the Vitamin E and Calcium are in super teency amounts.
This is what the oil they use contains-
SNS Nail Nourisher Ingredients:
‘Non hazardous oil mixture’ (>98%) (sounds mysterious! But seriously, what the hell is it?!)
Vitamin E acetate (<0.001%)
Calcium pantothenate (<0.001%)
I’m not saying SNS nails are any worse than gel, shellac or acrylic nails. But I do want to make it clear that we have a serious situation of false advertising. They are not a natural option! Why the brand markets it as being natural is simple- it’s what they want us to believe, and what they think we want to hear.
It blows my mind that a company can sell a product with completely bogus claims and there be no repercussions. I know that a lot of women just trust in what they’re told by brands, advertising, and even our local nail salon, but this is yet another reminder that we all need to be savvy customers, and that just because a brand says something, does not mean its true. This type of thing is happening a lot in the so called ‘clean’ beauty space. Products are claiming to be natural when in actual fact they aren’t. We are all getting smarter about what we put on our bodies, and brands know it.
Which brings me to a question I often ask myself- where is the governing body who deals with this kind of misleading garbage?
In the end it comes down to us, there is little regulating in the world of cosmetics advertising and we need to be switched on and wise. Look at ingredients and learn (or google) what each ingredient is. You can usually rely on the product with the shortest list of ingredients being the cleanest or most natural- but not always.
I weighed up the pros and cons of SNS
No UV light needed
No strong fumes
Easier to remove than acrylic
Feels thinner on the nail than acrylic
Not as strong or durable as acrylic nails.
Takes aaaaages to apply (twice as long as acrylic or shellac)
Harder to remove than shellac
No infills, you have to get each set removed then reapplied.
If you’ve tried SNS nails and you love them, then keep using them, but just know that they aren’t natural or particularly any healthier for your nails than shellac or acrylic. And also know that essentially they are still acrylic nails and over time they will damage your nails in some way.
If you’d like to read for yourself the MSDS fact sheets for each of the SNS products: