What Is Polygel Made Of? Polygel Ingredients Explained

What is polygel for nails made of? This article will tell you everything about polygel for nails and its ingredients.

You’ll learn how this product works, how it hardens, and how it adheres to the nails. Plus, you’ll find out whether it’s safe and what effect it can have on your health.

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What is polygel for nails?

Polygel is a new, revolutionary, but already super-popular material that is used to build nail extensions and overlays to enhance the appearance of your nails.

Polygel is lightweight, strong, odor and monomer-free, and safe. Once you try it you may never want to go back to acrylic or hard gel nails.

What is polygel made of?

What Is Polygel Made Of? Polygel Ingredients Explained

Polygel is made from the same methacrylates as acrylics and builder gels but has a different chemical composition.

It combines the best qualities of acrylics and hard gels.

In short, polygel is a hybrid material that is made of acrylic powder mixed with builder gel.

Polygel formula consists of these ingredients

  • Acrylic powder as a building material for strength and consistency.
  • Photoinitiators and oligomers from gels that are added instead of monomer to the acrylic powder.

So instead of polymerizing in the air, they let you cure polygel with a UV lamp. Plus, unlike monomers, oligomers are odor-free.

Polygel ingredients and what polygel is made of in more detail

Polygel was invented by Nail Alliance that manufactures the popular Gelish gel nail polishes and polygels under the Gelish brand name.

According to Nail Alliance, Gelish polygel is based on the company’s TriPolymer technology.

Polygel’s TriPolymer Technology

1. Oligomers from gels

Oligomers are short pre-formed chains of monomers.

Monomers are liquid and polymers are hardened networks of monomers.

Oligomers take the spot between monomers and polymers. They are viscous gel-like substances.

So builder gels are composed of oligomers. They are oligomer-based nail products that require UV light to polymerize and harden.

In UV-light, curable materials oligomers provide great strength and scratch resistance.

2.Polymers from acrylics

Acrylic powder is actually polymerized monomer.

Polymer is a long chain of monomers.

Monomers are small molecules that get chained together during the polymerization reaction into large networks called polymers.

Polymers are the hardened state of monomers.

That’s how soft acrylic, gel, and polygel materials become tough and strong nail extensions.

3. Polymers from nail lacquer

Lacquers are usually based on polymerized acrylic resin.

Most regular lacquers dry because of the evaporation of the solvent.

And gel polishes polymerize under UV light.

Any lacquer forms a film on a substrate (your nails), so polygel also forms a durable coating and adheres to the nails firmly.

4. Plus, the formula includes photoinitiators

Photoinitiators absorb UV light and give out free radicals that start off the polymerization reaction in the material.

So they help polygel cure under a UV lamp.

Other popular nail care brands quickly followed Gelish and released their own polygels using the same technology and more or less the same chemical composition and ingredients.

Polygel is made of non-toxic ingredients

The formula of polygel is non-toxic.

According to Gelish, their product is 7-free.

The same is also true for polygels made by other popular manufacturers, like Modelones, Makartt, and Beetles, which are more budget-friendly than the premium Gelish brand.

7-free means Polygel doesn’t contain seven toxic chemical ingredients that are often found in nail products, such as nail polishes and nail extension building materials.

The seven toxic substances usually are:

  • Toluene

Toluene is often used as a solvent in nail polishes.

It can be dangerous for your health in large concentrations.

  • Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP)

Phthalates are used as plasticizers that make nail materials softer and more flexible. They prevent nail polish from cracking on the nails.

Phthalates are not considered to be a health hazard by FDA but they can still be dangerous for the reproductive system.

  • Formaldehyde
  • Formaldehyde Resin

Formaldehyde and formaldehyde resin are nail hardeners that help polishes bond with the nail’s surface better.

However, they can make your nails brittle and cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.

  • Camphor

Camphor makes nail polishes look glossy.

It can irritate the nose and throat, and cause coughing.

  • TPHP

TPHP aka Triphenyl Phosphate is another plasticizer used in nail products.

It’s often used as an alternative to DBP.

TPHP is known as an endocrine disruptor that imitates hormones and may cause hormonal weight gain.

  • Xylene

Xylene is used as a solvent in nail lacquers and nail polish removers.

This chemical can irritate the skin, eyes, nose, and throat.

So polygel is free from all these ingredients.

Polygel formula’s benefits

Polygel’s TriPolymer formula has several advantages, which make this material better than acrylics and builder gels.


Polygel is ready to use out of the tube and has a viscous putty-like consistency that is easy to work with for shaping nail extensions and overlays.

No need to worry about ratios or runny material, like you have to do with gels or acrylics.

No smell

It’s odorless and requires no stinky monomer.


Polygel is lighter than acrylics and gels.

At the same time, polygel’s Tripolymer filings are heavier than acrylic and gel filings. So you won’t risk inhaling them when filing or removing this material. Instead, they simply fall to the table and don’t stay suspended in the air. It produces no airborne dust.

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