What Can I Use Instead of Monomer for Acrylic Nails in 2024?

by  Mila M.Cosmetologist

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Does the strong smell of monomer for acrylic nails have you searching for a substitute? You’re not alone – many people are looking towards alternatives that don’t carry such harsh odors.

This article will explore some popular and safe substitutes like dip powder activator, nail glue, and even household items like rubbing alcohol. Let’s discover how to achieve beautiful acrylic nails without using traditional monomer in 2024.

  • Dip powder activator, rubbing alcohol, and nail glue are safe alternatives to monomer for acrylic nails.
  • Avoid using dangerous substances like MMA as a substitute for monomer.
  • Remember to use proper techniques and materials specifically designed for acrylic nails to ensure the best results and maintain nail health.

What is Monomer for Acrylic Nails?

Monomer for acrylic nails is a vital component in the creation of artificial nails. This liquid substance, when mixed with acrylic powder, triggers a chemical reaction that results in a hard, durable nail surface.

Typically clear, this liquid forms into a flexible consistency upon drying that allows for shaping and filing to achieve the desired nail look.

Despite its crucial role in the acrylic nail process, monomer carries potent odors due to volatile organic chemicals (VOCs). Moreover, it has raised health concerns among beauty product consumers as certain types contain MMA (methyl methacrylate), an ingredient deemed unsafe for application on natural nails due to potential adverse effects.

On the other hand, PMMA (poly methyl methacrylate), commonly used instead of MMA in many modern formulations nowadays, offers safer usage for both aestheticians and clients alike.

Alternatives to Acrylic Liquid Monomer

There are several alternatives to acrylic liquid monomer that you can use for your acrylic nails, including dip powder activator, rubbing alcohol, nail glue, and press-on nail polish.

Rubbing alcohol

Rubbing alcohol can be used as an alternative to monomer for acrylic nails. It helps to prepare the nail surface by removing any oils or residue that may interfere with the adhesion of the acrylic.

Simply apply some rubbing alcohol onto a cotton ball and wipe it over your natural nails before applying the acrylic powder and liquid. This will help ensure that your acrylic nails stay in place longer and adhere properly to your natural nails.

Nail glue

Nail glue is another option that can be used as an alternative to traditional acrylic liquid monomer. It works by bonding the acrylic powder to your natural nails without the need for liquid or activator.

Nail glue is convenient and easy to use, making it a popular choice for those who want to create acrylic nails at home. Just remember, using nail glue as a substitute for monomer may not provide the same level of durability and longevity as using traditional liquid monomer.

Press-on nail polish

Press-on nail polish is another alternative to using monomer for acrylic nails. This method allows you to achieve the look of acrylic nails without the need for liquid monomer or any other harsh chemicals.

Press-on nail polish comes in a variety of colors and designs, making it easy for you to change up your nail look whenever you want. Simply apply the adhesive backing to your natural nails, press on the pre-made nail polish, and voila! You have beautiful, long-lasting nails without the hassle of traditional acrylic application.

Can Using Alternatives to Monomer Help Prevent Lifting with Acrylic Nails?

When it comes to preventing acrylic nail lifting, using alternatives to monomer can make a significant difference. By following simple acrylic nail lifting prevention tips such as using primer or dehydrator before applying the acrylic, you can ensure better adhesion and reduce the risk of lifting.

What Not to Use as a Substitute for Acrylic Liquid

Acetone nail polish remover, water, and illegal MMA (methyl methacrylate) should never be used as substitutes for acrylic liquid.

Acetone nail polish remover

Acetone nail polish remover is not a suitable substitute for monomer in acrylic nail application. While acetone is commonly used to remove nail polish, it should not be used as a liquid monomer for creating or applying acrylic nails.

Acetone can be harsh on the nails and may cause damage or weakening of the natural nail bed when used inappropriately. It is important to use proper products and techniques specifically designed for acrylic nails to ensure the best results and maintain the health of your nails.


Water is not a suitable substitute for monomer in acrylic nail application. While water can be used to clean brushes and tools, it cannot function as the liquid component that helps create the acrylic nails.

Using water instead of monomer will not provide the necessary bond and durability needed for acrylic nails. It’s important to use proper alternatives like dip powder activator, rubbing alcohol, or nail glue when creating your acrylic nails for best results.

Illegal MMA (methyl methacrylate)

Using illegal MMA (methyl methacrylate) as a substitute for monomer in acrylic nails is unsafe and not recommended. MMA is a harsh chemical that can cause serious damage to the nails, leading to infections and even permanent nail damage.

It is important to only use safe alternatives, such as dip powder activator or acrylic gel, when creating acrylic nails. Stay away from illegal substances like MMA and prioritize your nail health and safety.

How to Make Your Own DIY Acrylic Liquid

To make your own DIY acrylic liquid, gather the necessary materials and tools such as liquid monomer, acrylic powder, a glass container with a lid, a dropper or pipette, and a mixing stick.

Materials and tools needed

To create your own DIY acrylic liquid, you will need a few materials and tools. First, gather acrylic powder in the desired color or colors. You’ll also need a brush specifically designed for acrylic application, as well as a glass dish to mix your liquid in.

Additionally, have some polymer beads on hand, which will act as the main ingredient for creating the liquid. Lastly, make sure to have isopropyl alcohol available to help with mixing and adjusting the consistency of your homemade acrylic liquid substitute.

With these materials and tools at your disposal, you’ll be ready to try out this alternative method for achieving stunning acrylic nails without traditional monomer.

Step-by-step instructions

To create acrylic nails without using traditional monomer, you can follow these simple steps. First, prep your natural nails by filing them to the desired shape and removing any existing polish.

Next, apply a base coat or primer to protect your nails. Then, dip a brush into dip powder activator and gently tap off the excess before dipping it into acrylic powder. Apply the powdered mixture onto your nail in layers until you achieve the desired thickness.

Use rubbing alcohol as needed to smooth out any bumps or imperfections. Finish off with a top coat for added shine and durability. These easy-to-follow instructions will help you achieve beautiful acrylic nails without the need for monomer!


Differences between monomer and acrylic liquid

Monomer and acrylic liquid may seem similar, but they have some key differences. Monomer is a liquid that is mixed with acrylic powder to create the paste-like substance used for creating acrylic nails.

It acts as a catalyst in the chemical reaction that hardens the acrylic when it comes into contact with air. On the other hand, acrylic liquid refers to the mixture of monomer and powdered polymer that creates a workable consistency for nail application.

While monomer is an essential component of acrylic nails, acrylic liquid combines both monomer and polymer to form the final product. Remember, using a substitute for liquid monomer is not recommended when applying traditional acrylic nails.

Can you mix different brands of acrylic powder and liquid?

Yes, you can mix different brands of acrylic powder and liquid. Acrylic powder and liquid are generally compatible across different brands, so you don’t have to stick to using products from the same brand for your nail enhancements.

This gives you the flexibility to experiment with different colors and formulas to create custom nail designs. Just make sure that both the powder and liquid components are designed for acrylic nails and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for mixing ratios to ensure optimal results.

How to determine source of color in acrylic liquid

To determine the source of color in acrylic liquid, you can start by checking the label or packaging. Look for any information about pigments or dyes that may have been used. Additionally, you can also do a patch test on a small area of your skin to see if there is any irritation or allergic reaction.

This will help you identify if the color in the acrylic liquid comes from natural or synthetic sources. Keep in mind that it’s always best to choose products with transparent labeling and ingredients lists for transparency and safety reasons.

Will Using an Alternative to Monomer Help Reduce the Pain of Acrylic Nails?

Using an alternative to monomer for acrylic nails can help minimize the reasons for acrylic nail pain. Many people experience discomfort and pain with traditional acrylic nails due to the chemicals involved. Switching to a monomer-free alternative can result in a more comfortable and pain-free experience for acrylic nail wearers.

Conclusion | Monomer for Acrylic Nails Substitute 2024

In conclusion, there are several alternatives to using monomer for acrylic nails. Dip powder activator, rubbing alcohol, nail glue, and acrylic gel can all be used as substitutes. However, it is important to avoid using dangerous substances like MMA and instead opt for safer options like PMMA or dip powder.

With these alternatives, you can achieve beautiful acrylic nails without the need for traditional liquid monomer.

More FAQs

1. What can I use instead of monomer for acrylic nails?

You can use acrylic liquid substitutes like polyester resin, polygel, or homemade monomer alternatives for your acrylic nail applications.

2. Is there a non-toxic replacement for the acrylic liquid in nails?

Yes! Consider using nontoxic alternatives such as PMMA poly methyl methacrylate and certain types of dip powder activator as safe replacements for monomer.

3. Can I make my own homemade acrylic liquid substitute?

Yes, you can create your own homemade monomer with isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol as an alternative to commercial products.

4. Are there any natural substitutes that I can use for my acrylic nails?

Certainly! There are many monomer-free solutions available including natural substitutions and specific non-chemical options designed specifically for nail enhancements.

5. Are all these substitutes suitable for professional use?

Absolutely! Many professional nail technicians have started using Monomer-free products which also include MMA Methyl Methacrylate free items to ensure safer application procedures.

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Mila, the veteran beauty cosmetics professional and author of this article, while cutting and styling the hair of her client

Hi! I’m Mila M. I share my 44 year-experience as a Cosmetologist & Beauty Professional in this blog. This content is for educational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Consult your trusted Beauty Professional for your personal beauty needs.

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