Longer Lasting Polish

Celebrity Q and A's What ingredient(s) in nail polish causes the polish to last longer? I specialize in natual nail services and make a habit of visiting other salons to see what they're doing. One in particular gave me a pedicure and the polish never chipped and was removed only due to new growth. Shelia 12/03

Resins and plasticizers largely determine how long the nail polish lasts.

Resins are "polymers", which means, they are made of smaller molecules that have been chemically reacted to link up into long chains or networks. Some resins give the polish a glossy, hard surface, and others give better adhesion to the nail, so most polishes use a blend of 2 or more resins for optimum performance. The best resin for adhesion is Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin (which is NOT the same chemical as Formaldehyde, despite the similar name.)

Plasticizers can be thought of as molecular lubricants between the polymer chains, which allow the polish to flex more before cracking. In this way, plasticizers help prevent chipping. Dibutyl Phthalate and Camphor are examples of plasticizers that are commonly used in nail polish.

Paul Bryson, Ph.D.
Co-Director of Research & Development
O. P. I. Products, Inc.


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