Nitrocellulose compounds are the main ingredient in the composition of nail polishes that are mass produced for the consumer market. These nitrocellulose compounds are dissolved in either butyl acetate or ethyl acetate liquids.
Nail Polish Composition
When nitrocellulose is dissolved in the solution then additives including, but not limited to, film forming compounds, resins, coloring agents and adhesive resins are put in. The polymers cement to the nail bed to keep the polish on the nail. The polish dries, and as it dries, polymers harden, which is why nail polish does not slide off the nail.
Strict regulation of nail polish manufacturers has led to decreased levels of toxins and potentially toxic compounds in the polish. Early nail polish mixtures tended to include formaldehyde, but a majority of cosmetic companies have discontinued the use of the chemical.
Nail Polish Mixtures
The exact combination of the components used in nail polish is a guarded secret by every cosmetic manufacture in the business. The compounds can be read on any label, but the percentage of the mixture is not released.
There has been a movement in recent years toward a water-based nail polish mixture made of copolymers.
The water-based polish is more eco-friendly, but medically, caution is urged because the water absorbs through the fingernail.
Nail Polish Remover Composition
While nail polish is made of a combination of nitrocellulose compounds, acetate solvents, resins, adhesive polymers and coloring agents, nail polish remover is made of a solvent, usually organic, and alcohol compounds, usually acetone or ehtyl acetate, used to break down the components in nail polish.