BIAB – Hema Free.

What’s all the fuss about and do you need to move over to the HEMA Free Builder Gel?

What is Hema?

HEMA, (or Hydroxyethyl Methacrylate) is a type of monomer that is used to make various types of polymers, including those used in gel nail products. While HEMA is not inherently harmful, it can cause irritation and allergic reactions in some individuals.

More recently you may have seen articles relating to people having a reaction to ‘gel nails. A closer investigation would suggest that since the pandemic back in 2020, people were more inclined to purchase ‘at home nail kits’ when salons were not able to open.

The British Association of Dermatologists has reported a rise in the number of presenting allergies as a result of home use gel polish and acrylic nail kits, with some brands being taken off the market by The EU Commission.’

This was taken from an article in Scratch Magazine in January 2021, where we have since seen a rise in social media and news article slating various types of gels and brands, scare mongering people who enjoy regular gel manicures into thinking their nails are literally going to fall apart if they continue to have this treatment. Let’s be clear – this is NOT the case.

Mooeys as a brand has worked closely with TGB (The Gel Bottle) for many years, providing exceptional nail products and treatments. We have spoken to our company representative Ellyn who has shed some light on the situation at this is what she had to say –

‘We have a dedicated chemistry and compliance team to ensure we go above & beyond the safety testing requirements. All our suppliers have passed the ISO22716 audit meaning we only use the best & safest partners. All TGB products have under 20% HEMA concentration level (which falls below the 30% recommended limit). We have an incredibly low reaction rate (in 2022-23, in 11 million BIAB services we had a reaction rate of 0.004%)

TGB have a strong working relationship with Trading standards and the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) and are members of the CTPA. We have joined the Cosmetovigilance Advisory Group and the working group with dermatologists from the British Society for Cutaneous Allergy (BSCA). We continue to work tirelessly to constantly improve our own & the industries knowledge on best practices.

Our products are manufactured in the UK, EU and the Far East. This information can be found on the bottle as per legal requirements. All our suppliers have passed ISO 22716 audit. ISO 22716 is an international standard of good manufacturing practices (GMP) for the cosmetics manufacturing industry and describes the basic principles of applying GMP in a facility that produces finished cosmetic products.

There is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding surrounding cosmetic products manufactured in the Far East. TGB ensures all our manufacturers (regardless of country of origin) undergo an audit carried out by Intertek ensuring safety manufacturing process and ethical working environments. As all our products have CPSRs which assure transparency on raw materials.’

So, why change to HEMA free?

The bottom line is, you don’t actually have to change. This is simply for those that have previously had a reaction to BIAB of HEMA in the past.

But how do I know if I have had a reaction to HEMA?

A reaction to HEMA usually consists of redness, itchiness or a sort of rash on the fingertips, it can feel warm to the touch and the skin can look slightly inflamed. Sometimes it can be found to affect the eyes due to the rubbing of fingertips around the area. Symptoms may appear worse if there has been prolonged exposure to Hema for someone with an allergy.

Some people have also experienced Onycholysis with a HEMA reaction. This is where the nail plate lifts from the nail bed causing white marks on the nail and sometimes thickening of the skin underneath.

We want to ensure the safety, education and overall care of our clients has always been and will remain our top priority. Offering an alternative Hema free solution is simply for those who have been exposed to a reaction from BIAB or HEMA based products in the past, or for those who want to try out a gentler product!


Head Honcho Moo x

(Horsham Salon Manager)