The world is increasingly turning vegan, with people globally shunning animal products in all forms. It includes your meat, fish, and dairy. However, do you know if the nail polish you use for your manicure is entirely free of animal products or not? Not many people concentrate on this aspect, but it is crucial because veganism helps prevent cruelty against animals.
People could ask as to what difference does it make if we have animal products on our nails. Yes, it makes a significant difference because you are not 100% vegan if your nail polish features animal products.
What is vegan polish?
Today, you get nail polish products that are 100% animal-free. For example, when you purchase OPI gel nail polish, you can check whether they are vegan because they follow two principles.
The product is free from animal-derived ingredients
Generally, it can be confusing to know whether your nail polish contains animal ingredients or not. Some cosmetic products state that they contain proteins, milk, and even the placenta. Therefore, one should be careful when reading product specification labels and understand what each term means. It is better to be acquainted with the commonly used terms, but one can always Google what a specific term signifies.
The product is not tested on animals
If the nail polish product does not contain animal products, it is not necessary that they have not been tested on animals. It is a general practice where the products are tested on animals before certifying they are fit for human use. So today, you get OPI gel polish that has not been tested on animals, thus proving to be 100% vegan.
Why do these brands conduct tests on animals?
Gel nail polish products can cause harm to humans. Hence, most brands conduct initial tests on animals to ensure that they are not harmful for human use. It protects these brands from potential lawsuits and compensation claims if a customer experiences a threat to their health when using them.
How do brands use animal-based derivatives?
Let us understand how animal products are used in nail polish before discussing vegan alternatives.
Even today, many nail polish products contain animal-based derivatives. Here are the common ingredients you find on gel nail polish.
Guanine – Guanine, a natural pearl essence, is a shimmery ingredient produced by processing fish scales. The manufacturing process involves scraping off the scales from dead fish, including sardines, menhaden, and herring. These scales create the ‘pearl essence’ and provides a shining effect.
Carmine – Carmine is a natural and deep red color obtained by drying and crushing insects like beetles. These insects are generally found in cactus farms. Besides the cosmetic industry, the food processing industry also used carmine for coloring food items.
Keratin – Keratin is an animal-based protein that helps strengthen nails. These proteins are derived from mammals like rabbits, cattle, pigs, and horses, among other animals. It can strengthen the damaged nail surface. However, while it produces a healthier appearance, the effect does not last long because keratin gets washed away in a short while.
The best aspect is that these ingredients are easily replaceable with plant-based alternatives. The leading brands like OPI gel polish have introduced 100% vegan polish by excluding such ingredients from their manufacturing line-up.
The Vegan Alternatives
OPI gel polish has recently launched its Nature Strong gel polish product line that is 100% vegan and free from all kinds of animal-based ingredients. Besides, this line has not been tested on animals. This nail polish product is made from non-toxic constituents like wheat, sugarcane, potatoes, beetroots, clay, flowers, and other non-animal-based derivative ingredients. This range is available in nearly 30 new shades in crème and shiny finishes.
Secondly, when you purchase OPI gel polish, you can ensure that it does not contain other toxic ingredients like DBP, formaldehyde, camphor, and parabens. Parabens can be dangerous to humans because it is easily absorbed through the skin. Parabens have a reputation for being hormone disruptors and have strong links to breast cancer. Besides, it can lower testosterone secretion and produce reproductive issues in males.
Cheap nail polish products contain parabens because they are easily manufactured synthetically in a laboratory using benzoic acid.
Vegan – An age-old tradition
In the ancient days, people relied on vegetable products for producing nail polish and other colors used in the cosmetics industry. Gradually, chemicals and animal-based derivatives replaced the naturally occurring plant sources. Today, the world has turned a full circle, with most nail polish brands relying on non-animal-based nail polish ingredients in their products.
It is always good to shift to a vegan profile. One should check up on the ingredients on the nail polish they purchase for any reference made towards animal-based derivatives or use on animals. It can prove beneficial to humans to use naturally occurring ingredients as they enhance overall nail health.