Nail polish is a chemical product that is applied to the nails as a colorful and decorative covering. It is usually sold in liquid form and is brushed onto the fingernails with a small brush. Once it dries, it forms a glossy coating that is chip-resistant and water-resistant. It can be removed manually by using nail polish remover or chemically with acetone. Nail polish can be found in many colors and shades, including clear, white, red, pink, purple, and black. It can also be purchased in various textures and finishes, such as glitter, speckled, iridescent, or holographic. Nail polish can even contain gemstones or other decorative elements, such as rhinestones. Some products claim to increase nail growth, prevent nails from breaking or cracking, treat fungus, or stop nail biting.
The exact formulation of nail polish is a trade secret, but the basic components are similar across brands and formulas. Most nail polishes contain film forming agents, resins and plasticizers, solvents, and coloring agents. The exact combination of these ingredients, however, depends upon choices made by the chemists and chemical engineers involved in nail polish research and development. The exact composition of a nail polish is also subject to changes as chemicals and other materials are banned, accepted, or discredited for certain uses.
In the beginning, nail polish was a very simple product. It was essentially the same as car paint, which is likely why it was first developed during World War 1. Nitrocellulose (an ingredient in both automobile and airplane paints) was used as the base for the first liquid polishes. The process was simplified in the 1930s when a makeup artist working for the Charles Revson company added water to the polish, which made it more spreadable and allowed it to dry quickly.
Resins and plasticizers are the next essential ingredients in nail polish. They give polish the strength and gloss it needs to stay on the nails, while preventing it from becoming too thick or brittle. A resin commonly used in nail polish is toluene sulfonamide-formaldehyde resin, but other products may use polyethylene or methyl methacrylate (MMA). Plasticizers are another important ingredient, and some common ones include dibutyl phthalate, camphor, and triphenylphosphate.
The last set of ingredients in nail polish are the pigments and other color additives. Pigments are the colored compounds that give nail polish its color, and they can be organic or inorganic. Examples of inorganic pigments that are used in nail polish include chromium oxide for green, iron oxide for red, and ferric ferrocyanide for blue. Organic pigments can be added, and these often include mica or natural pearls. Some nail polishes also have thermochromic or photochromic pigments, which change color when exposed to light.
The final step in the nail polish manufacturing process is blending and homogenizing all of the individual ingredient types into one cohesive product. This product is then pumped into larger containers, such as 55 gallon drums, for shipment and storage. Throughout this entire process, extreme attention is paid to quality control because a single bad batch of nail polish can lose a customer forever. Vernis à ongles