Painting your nails is a simple task, but there’s a lot more to nail polish than meets the eye. This cosmetic mainstay has a fascinating history, unexpected uses, and even potential hazards. We’ve compiled five intriguing points that will leave you with some delightful anecdotes and facts you may not know about nail polish.
A Colorful History
Did you know that the history of nail polish dates back to ancient China and Egypt? The aristocracy would adorn their nails with bright colors to signify their status. Cleopatra, the renowned Egyptian queen, donned red nails, while Chinese royals favored intricate designs with gold and silver.
The Chemistry Behind the Shine
The main components of nail polish are film formers, resins, solvents, and pigments. These ingredients work together to create a smooth, glossy finish on your nails. Film formers, namely nitrocellulose, provide a sturdy base, while resins help with adhesion and durability. Solvents, such as ethyl acetate, keep the polish liquid until it’s applied, then evaporate after exposure to air. Pigments, of course, give polish its vibrant hues!
One potentially alarming fact is the inclusion of formaldehyde in cosmetics. While that may sound worrisome, formaldehyde is still used in cosmetics to preserve products and extend their shelf life. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and may be present in some nail polishes. It acts as a hardener and prevents chipping. However, recent beauty trends prioritize safer alternatives, prompting many companies to phase out formaldehyde and adopt “3-free” or “5-free” formulas that exclude it and other harmful ingredients.
Unexpected Uses for Nail Polish
You can use nail polish for more than just beautifying your nails. How about securing buttons on your clothes by applying a layer of clear nail polish over the thread or preventing tarnish on costume jewelry by painting it with a clear coat? It can even stop a rip in your tights from getting worse! Just dab some polish over the fray, and you’re good to go!
There’s a lot more to makeup and fashion than meets the eye. Stop by Ally’s Kitchen to learn more about cosmetics, recipes, and information on an active and engaging lifestyle.