MMA vs. EMA, What’s the difference?

Many people want the cosmetic products they use to be safe, both for those who apply them and for those who use them. A few years ago, the National Administration of Medicines, Food and Medical Technology (ANMAT) banned a component frequently used in nail polishes: methyl methacrylate monomer (MMA).

MMA is widely used around the world in many applications: from dental prostheses to contact lenses to bone cements. Therefore, the effect of the exposure for humans is well known. However in 2019, and by means of Provision No. 7078/2019, ANMAT banned the use of the substance methyl methacrylate monomer in cosmetic products, for personal hygiene and perfumes.

What are the reasons for banning the use of MMA in cosmetics?

First of all, since products containing MMA do not adhere very easily to the natural nail, to apply it, the surface must often be abused with coarse-grained abrasive files to ensure acceptable adhesion. This practice thins, weakens and damages the natural body of the nail.

On the other hand, MMA is very strong and rigid and therefore very difficult to break. If in some accidental case the nail gets caught on something, its natural body - too much filed and thinned - is very weak and usually breaks before sculpting, which can cause serious damage to the nail. In turn, once attached, MMA is extremely difficult to remove and as it does not dissolve easily in remover products, it is usually torn away from the body of the nail, causing even more damage.

It is important for you to know that responsible manufacturers formulate their products with ethyl methacrylate liquid monomers (EMA). This component has a significant difference in molecular structure with respect to MMA, which makes it safer for cosmetic use as it does not generate damage associated with MMA.


How can I know if a nail polish has MMA?

Although MMA is a banned substance, some products still contain it in their formulas. However, there are some indications that can alert us to its composition:

  • An extraordinarily strong or strange aroma that does not resemble that of other acrylic liquids.
  • Extremely hard and difficult to file sculpted nails.
  • Acrylic sculpted nails that need to be soaked in solvents to remove them for more than 30 minutes.
  • Low prices may also be an indicator factor for the use of MMA, as this substance costs several times less than EMA..

At Pink Mask we try to create products that people love, that take care of people's health and that preserve the world we live in. All our nail polishes are MMA free and have 13-Free Formula. That is our commitment.