Nail Polish vs. Vegan Nail Polish

Nail polish is nail polish….right? Apparently, wrong. There is nail polish and there is vegan nail polish.  

When you are sitting in that big leather armchair getting the pretty bubble-gum-candy color or paint-inspired artwork done on your clean shiny buffed nails, how often do you question exactly what you are applying on your little precious keratin plates? 

Never. At least I haven’t. I know nail polish is made from chemicals (geez, I only have to smell it to know that). But apart from a ton of toxic chemicals, what else is in there? And what alternatives are out there?

Nail polish is essentially a lacquer applied to the nail plate for decor and/or protection. Most nail polish is made from nitrocellulose (a highly flammable compound used in propellant or low-order explosives) that is dissolved in a solvent, such as butyl acetate, and colored in pigmentation. The main ingredients found in most nail polish are film forming agents, resins and plasticizers, solvents and coloring agents. All of which are generally considered safe when used as directed. 

One reason to kick the habit of sniffing your polish or biting your polished nails.

And, you know that pearly or shimmery effect we all love to sport on our nails, especially when going to a party or a wedding? I am about to tell you what it actually made of. 

Fish scales and skin. You will never see ‘fish scales’ or ‘fish skin’ labeled as an ingredient on a nail polish bottle though. But look out for keywords like ‘pearl’ and ‘guanine’ (INCI name: CI75170). If you still don’t believe me, you can read more here Nail Polish Facts

This sparked a new wave of nail polish entering the market today that are labeled as cruelty-free nail polish. One such being vegan nail polish. Vegan nail polish does not contain fish scales. Instead, mica is used in its replacement. Mica is a shiny silicate mineral with a layered structure found in granite and other rocks.  

There are tons of vegan nail polish brands now selling such as A Beautiful Life, Nubar, Urban Decay, Ginger + Liz, Peace Keeper, Sparitual, Essie, OPI (selected ranges) Zoya and No Miss. 

So next time you are at the nail salon getting your mani + pedi, save a fish and give these brands a try.

This feature was listed as one of Kat’s Best Feature Posts of 2012.