Why There is No Such Thing as Organic Nail Polish

Why There is No Such Thing as Organic Nail Polish

By Suzanne Roberta, MBA

Today’s consumers are highly educated and very savvy when it comes to understanding clean, green and organic beauty products. Every day, we are exposed to toxins, harmful ingredients and environmental impurities. So, when we can opt for cleaner products, most of us do.
When it comes to beauty products, and particularly nail polish, there is a lot of confusion about the notion of organic nail polish. If you google organic nail polish, you will get over two million results, so everyone is trying to understand this concept.
There are many nail brands that are “3 Free” and “5 Free”. This means they are made without the most harmful ingredients; DBP, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin and Camphor. But this does not make them organic.
All nail polish is a compound of five main ingredients, described here. Organic nail polishdoes not exist because there are no known organic alternatives of these ingredients.
To better understand, let’s take a look at how nail polish is made and how the ingredients work together.  
Nitrocellulous, also known as Cellulous Nitrate; is the primary film forming ingredient found in all nail polish formulas. It’s exceptional adhesion property to the nails makes it an indispensable ingredient in the nail polish formulation.  It is also durable, and allows the solvents to release, allowing the nails to dry quickly. Nitrocellulous is semi-occlusive, so it protects the nails, while still allowing them to breathe.
Resins and plasticizers are ingredients that increase flexibility and resistance to soap and water. While older nail polish formulas typically used nylon, modern formulas use combinations of amyl and butyl stearate, castor oil, glycerol, fatty acids and acetic acids. There is no one specific combination so nail polish manufacturers typically develop their own proprietary formulations.

After nitrocellulose and resins and plasticizers are combined, the next ingredient to add to the mix are coloring pigments held together by solvents. While early nail polish contained soluble dyes, today’s products are colored with pigments. The solvent must evaporate after the polish is applied to nails. Coloring is added in a two-roll differential speed mill in order to grind the pigment as well make sure that all ingredients are evenly distributed throughout the polish.

At Adesse New York, we formulate the cleanest nail polish available on the market. Our polish is 5 Free, Vegan, Cruelty Free, Free from Parabens, Sulfates, Phthalates, Petrochemicals, GMO’s and Triclosan. We infuse each of our polishes with organic pigment, mica, minerals and essential oils including Bamboo Extract, Shea and Argan Oils. All of our products are made in New York.


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