Q&A #3 Is Shellac safe for pregnant women?

Q: Are the Shellac products and its ultra violet lights safe for pregnant women?
A: Shellac products have shown no problems with pregnancy. UV light exposure during a Shellac application is approximately the same amount of UV exposure as walking from you house to your car.
Of course we suggest you have your client’s consult with their doctor prior.


58 Responses to “Q&A #3 Is Shellac safe for pregnant women?”

  1. Theresa Glover says:

    I have filled out the online form requesting several times to added to the list of Shellac Salons in Thomasville Georgia. I was the first in Thomasville to provide Shellac nails to clients, however, after several requests I have not been listed and I have not been added. After having seriously invested in this wonderful product, I have a clientele base of over 300 by myself, I consider myself a diehard shellac faithful salon nail technician. I would greatly appreciate it however, if you would please update my information. Three times filled out online form and additionally I provided via email to CND also the requested information in a reply email by one of the CND reps. there. Please look into this. Thanks

  2. Barbara says:

    I have used shellac on 2 pregnant women and had peeling within 4 days on both of them! Not sure if they kept them hydrated, but I found it strange that they both had issues. Was wondering if it might have something to do with their chemical makeup during this time.?

  3. Patti says:

    I have a client who is pregnant and twice she wore french shellac and she said it peeled.

    • CND says:


      Did your client wear Shellac prior to becoming pregnant? If so, what was her experience then?

      Thank you

  4. Barbara, do you have trouble with anyone else? Did they have thier hands all the way in the lamp? Are they doing things with their nails that they shouldn’t be like using them as tools to get things ready for baby?

    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  5. Michele says:

    I have had the Shellac manicures for the past four times. This time tiny bubbles appeared under the Shellac. Why?

    • CND says:


      Is the salon using 99% Isopropyl Alcohol to remove the last sticky layer? Using a lower percentage can lead to pitting.

      Thank you

  6. Nuala says:

    Hi, we have been using shellac for quite a while now, my staff are excellent professional highly experienced. Clients just loved the product to begin as did the staff.In recent times we are experiencing alot of problems – to begin when the base coat was not available- they used the gel base as directed- this caused alot of problems re removal- they were soaking in acetone and buffing- time had to be extended. The clients have been complaining of chipped shellac- weaker nails etc. I am really disappointed as I thought it was a great product to begin. It takes 40 to 60 minutes to apply- not making sufficient return on price charged. Clients disappointed – staff frustrated. Please help. What is the problem.New base coat dries much quicker- disolves easier but does not last – a lot more problems.Please advise as we are at our wits end. Thanks Nuala.

    • CND says:


      In regards to “they used the gel base as directed”. This was not a statement that CND created and definitely would impede removal. During this difficult removal process, your clients may have had some temporary damage to the natural nails.

      Weakness occurs when there is an overall loss of nail plate strength. Weak nails may be caused by low cross-link density (inherited) or by over- filing. Normally weak nails will make cleaner breaks without shattering or splitting and generally need a harder coating.

      When applied and removed correctly, Shellac will not weaken nails. In fact, many people report that their nails grow much longer when wearing Shellac. However, if Shellac is applied or removed incorrectly and a file is used to buff the natural nail, the nails could become weaker as the layers of the natural nail are removed. This is why it is imperative that Shellac be used as a system to include the UV Base Coat, UV Color Coat and UV Top Coat with no filing to prep the natural nail.

      Dry or brittle nails are often confused with weak nails because they may break easily, however this type of nail lacks moisture and/or oils in the nail plate, causing the nail to shatter or crack when force is applied.

      Nails can become excessively dry and brittle when exposed to solvents which are in most nail coatings and removers. The level of dehydration depends on the type and condition of the nails.

      Shellac has much less solvents in its formula than nail polish and is not as dehydrating as nail polish. However, Shellac removal requires 10 minutes of exposure to acetone, which may cause drying of the natural nail.

      Are your clients using Solar Oil? If not start recommending them to use Solar Oil at least 2 times a day. Some may need more depending on the dryness of their natural nails.

      Thank you

  7. Sandy says:

    As for using shelac on preganant women, I am concerned about the acetone for removal.Iam unconfortable with that. What is your opion with this?

    • CND says:


      Using acetone to remove polish or Shellac is safe when used within the recommended guidelines. If your client has any concerns she should check with her doctor.

      Thank you,

  8. likeyournails says:

    Ther was a page that included how many applications you could get from each bottle but now I can not find it and you please tell me how many uses I can get from each product?

  9. Kelly says:

    I know the extent that CND goes to to create products without harmful chemicals (Toluene, formaldehyde). What about Shellac? What are the concerns in wearing and removing Shellac? What would be the most harmful chemical use in this product? I familiar with acetone has its concerns but what about Shellac?

    • CND says:


      Thank you for your questions. Shellac is Hypoallergenic as well as Formaldehyde free and Toluene free.

      Thank you

  10. emiley says:

    Looking into offering shellac as a new service. Had a shellac manicure done on myself to try it out and it was all chipped within 48 hours. Why would that be?

  11. Emiley-
    Were you using Solar Oil 2-3 times a day? What condition are your natural nails in? Were you soaked in water? Was the light a CND light? Were the layers applied thin? There are lots of variables for chipping, the more info you can provide the better I can help you troubleshoot.

    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  12. Emily says:

    Does Shellac contain camphor?

  13. Patricia says:

    There’s any solvent that can be used to make the shellac polish thin?? , after many uses it become very thick.

    • CND says:


      We do not recommend thinning Shellac as it will lead to service breakdown. The key is to shake the Shellac bottles. When Shellac is not in use, the solvents rise to the top of the bottle. Solvents are the reason Shellac stays thin inside the bottle. If the bottle is not shaken prior to use, a disproportionate amount of solvent will be used as the brush is pulled through the top layer of solvent. Additionally, during use, more Solvent can evaporate out of the open bottle. As more solvent is used, the formula becomes off balance and the thicker ingredients that settle to the bottom of the Shellac bottle are left. Overtime, this make Shellac seem thicker which makes it difficult to apply Shellac in thin layers and can lead to under curing and wrinkling.

      SHAKE….. SHAKE….. SHAKE the Shellac

      (prior to every application for 30 seconds.)

      Thank you

  14. Liz says:

    I am seeing people mentioning using Solar Oil 2-3 times a day. I have not read this. Is that what CND recommends? I do not have any literature besides a “post card” with basic application and removal steps. I guess I want to be sure I’m not missing any other vital information. Also, what if a client is about to place her hand into the lamp and bumps it. What is to be done? Just apply more Shellac?
    Thank you.

  15. Dee Dee says:

    A friend of mine said she saw on TV on Dr. OZ, that the light used to cure the shellac causes skin cancer. Can this be so? I told her I felt like we got more uv rays from just walking to our car outside, we are only using the lamp for 10 minutes every 2 weeks at 36 W. I wanted to be sure and get the correct information from your company. I love shellac and I hope that Dr. OZ is WRONG!

  16. He is wrong. Here is a report that you can print and share with clients:

    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  17. Lisa says:

    I am curious if I completed to process – base, color, color, top – if is possible to add another color – the one I have now is just a little dark.


    • CND says:


      It is possible to add another color on top. Wipe the Isopropyl Alcohol and reapply with your color coats and top coat.

      Thank you

  18. faye says:

    I had my first shellac mani 4 days ago and am totally delighted with the fantastic results, but having read up about it on the internet, i understand its free of “the big three” (which i didnt even know about till reading up about shellac) but are there any other harmful chemicals in this product and is anything in the product actually absorbed into your body? Feel i ought to know before i’m totally addicted (though i think i already am :-) )

    • CND says:


      Thank you for your excitement. Shellac really does create addictive results.
      The Shellac product does not contain any chemicals that will “soak in” to your body.


  19. Stephanie says:

    I read above that Shellac is Toluene and Formaldehyde free, but is it also DBP (aka phylate) free?

  20. Olive says:

    does the temperature in the salon affect Shellac? my salon can be cold when not in use? Would it affect the product?

    • CND says:


      The temperatures would need to be extreme for it to affect the product severely. Of course it is idea for the product to be stored away from direct light and direct heat.

      Thank you

  21. beachless says:

    I recently had a client that had a concern as to the shellac application… MORE the soak off……. She consulted her Doctor and he told her there was no definitive answer regarding the acetone exposure and told her to discontinue the service! I find it VERY hard to believe that it would ever effect an unborn fetus or the baby having any results after being born??????????

    • CND says:


      Many chemicals can be absorbed through the skin. Skin cream is a chemical and skin cream isn’t harmful and is actually designed to absorb into the skin. With acetone, unless you soak the nails daily for long periods of time it is highly unlikely that it will do any serious harm.

      Thank you

  22. Andrea says:

    Hello i just would like to know if i can use regular CND nail polish with Shellac. Like can i use Base coat —-> regular nail polish —–> top coat or will it affect the result?

    Kindest regards,

  23. Andrea-
    Sadly if you do it that way it either peels or chips as the solvents can not escape from the regular polish under the Shellac top coat and so it does not fully dry. I tried it right when Shellac came out as I am a huge fan of Colour and Effects!

    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  24. Susan Smallwood says:

    I have a question about UV exposure levels from the CND UV light I use for Brisa gels and shellac services.
    Recently there has been a radio news item about UV light exposure on the hands while doing nail services like shellac and gel enhancements. A dermotologist was interviewed as part of this news report and he said he thought it was unsafe and that he wouldn’t put his hands in a UV light box.
    I’m wondering if this is something I or my clients should be concerned about. I’ve been asked a few questions about this by several clients and I’d like to be able to post your answer in my nail salon.
    How concerned shoudl clients be about the CND Shellac UV light box I use ?
    Susan Smallwood

  25. Does your shellac system contain any of the natural polymer shellac ?

  26. Susan, here is a study that I feel will help put your mind at rest that could also be shared in the salon –

    Shellac does not contain any actual shellac, the name is used to bring about a mental image of high gloss, durable shine, and a tough protective finish.

    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  27. sheena moore says:

    hi i have been using shellac from the start and only had 1 customer who had peeling and yes she was pregnant. i also wear shellac myself and have done constantly with no issues for a year and now im pregnant. its been on 6 days and its peeling. im wondering if its becaise more oils enter nail plate when pregnant. i have had no issues with anyone else. only pregnant ladies. can anyone shed any more views

    • CND says:

      Sheena Moore,

      Thank you for your question. As you know with pregnancy your body changes. It could be that you have more moisture in your nails. Be extra diligent with your PEP. Try ScrubFreshing each nail individually prior to application. This may help. Let us know.

      Thank you,

  28. Deborah Arruda says:

    I have been using this product since December and I always have 2 to 4 nails that peel, I cook a lot and wash my hands but I try to use rubber gloves when I can, what am I doing wrong, I have been with my salon 5 years and they are very good and my nail are very strong.

  29. Deborah,
    I would encouurage the salon you patronize to troubleshoot this with you as it could be anything from your activities to something with the lamp or application. Are you using Solar Oil 2-3 times a day?

    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  30. Heather Hafling says:

    Does Shellac contain lac beetles?

  31. JHSC says:

    We love Shellac! But, would wearing rubber gloves cause the polish to peel or chip? We have a client who wheres rubber gloves daily with her profession

  32. JHSC,
    Does she sweat excessively or not dry hands thoroughly before applying gloves?

    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  33. Amanda says:

    Ive been doing french shellac and the when i go to cure the white after it comes out of the light the white has ripples whats happening and/or can i do to not do it any more?

  34. Amanda,
    Sounds like it is possibly too thick, here is a video with some tips on white application that may help:

    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

  35. Heather Roberts says:

    I am a real fan of shellac! I was curious if there was a limit to the number of layers of color you can apply. Also, can 99% isoprpoyl alcohol be used in place of the scrub fresh in the PEP process? Can you use regular nail polish OVER the shellac? Not under the shellac top coat, just over the top of the topcoat? Does any particular nail shape have longer wear with the shellac? I have found that teenage clients are not getting as much longevity of wear with the shellac. I’m thinking it’s the higher oil content in their nails. Any suggestions to help with this? And lastly, is there a chart of some sort showing the variety of colors you can create by layering? Something that clients can look at would be awesome. Thanks! Can’t wait to see new colors!!!

    • CND says:


      The more layers you use the thicker it will become. Be reasonable with your layers. If you feel it’s becoming too thick, cut back.
      You must use ScrubFresh for PEP. ScrubFresh will prepare the nail for best adhesion.
      You can use Color & Effects over Shellac. Keep in mind if you want to remove the polish you will be using a polish remove which contains acetone and will start to break down the Shellac. Even “non-acetone polish remover” has acetone in it.
      Nail shape is relative to the style and design of the client. As long as the natural nail is filed with a 240 grit or higher it shouldn’t affect the wearability of Shellac.
      Teenage clients have a higher activity level and can be a little harder on their hands, as well as hormone levels.
      You can find layering charts on

      Thank you

  36. Nail Girl says:

    We have been having a problem with the product becoming thick in the bottles. I read a few other blogs that said the same thing and have heard to shake the bottles really well before each application. However, one of our vendor reps said to put it some warm water for a few minutes to thin it out. How will the exposure to heat effect the products stability? Thanks!

  37. Renee says:

    We’ve been doing Shellac and love it. We however have had no success with doing nail repairs prior to doing Shellac on clients. Even if the repair is a drop of glue or a fiberglass wrap. How should you repair a cracked nail before you put Shellac on a clients’ nail. Thanks in advance.

  38. Chris says:

    What is the purpose of using Solar Oil 2-3 times a day? I have sensitive skin and Solar oil irritates it. Thanks

    • CND says:


      Solar Oil keeps the natural nail and the Shellac flexible which can help prevent peeling.

      Thank you

  39. Nail Girl,
    Heating the Shellac can allow the solvents to escape faster which escalates the thickening. To avoid the thickening, keep the Shellac well shaken and make sure you are not working in the path of your UV lamp or that your table lamp is not to close when applying the Shellac.

    Here is an idea for nail repairs using Shellac:

    Holly L Schippers
    CND Education Ambassador

Leave a Reply