The Shellac nail treatment is a trademark brand from the company Creative Nail Design. CND states its product provides long lasting, 14-day nail color, without nail damage and, with zero dry time. Your nails will have a mirror-like finish. The Shellac treatment does require exposure to ultraviolet light, however.
The treatment. A Shellac nail treatment has a similarities to a traditional polish manicure. After your nails are filed and the cuticles treated, the manicurist will apply a layer of base coat and then cure each hand under UV light. It should take only 10 seconds to cure, according to CND. Next, the first layer of Shellac color will be applied. It is then cured under UV light for two minutes. A second layer of Shellac color will be applied and again cured for two minutes under UV light. The top coat will be applied next and cured under UV light for another two minutes. The final step is cleaning each nail with alcohol to remove any residue.
Is it safe? Shellac products are hypoallergenic and do not contain any formaldehyde, toluene or dibutyl phthalate, but the nails are exposed to UV light. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, UV rays are an invisible type of radiation that can penetrate and change skin cells. “Too much exposure to UV rays can change skin texture, cause the skin to age prematurely, and can lead to skin cancer,” the CDC states. Researchers at the University of Texas reported in a 2009 case study that UV nail lights are a risk factor for the development of skin cancer, but further research is needed.
Can I do it at home? CND does not recommend the Shellac nail treatment for at-home manicures. To have the treatment performed correctly, it should only be done by a licensed professional who has been trained in the Shellac method. If you choose to have the Shellac nail treatment done at your favorite salon, it will cost about 50 percent more than a basic manicure, reports the New York Times.