Did you know that most nail polishes contain animal products? Truth be told, I was a bit confused when I first heard about vegan nail polish.
Isn’t all nail polish vegan?
The answer is a definitive, no.
Weirdly, it turns out that you could potentially be wearing dead fish or bugs on your nails as you read this. Unless, of course, you’re wearing Kester Black nail polish. Unexpected? Well, yes.
So, what is it that makes vegan nail polish, vegan?
Firstly, vegan nail polish doesn’t contain any animal derived products. Secondly, it hasn’t been tested on animals. Basically, no animals will have suffered in the process of creating the polish and getting it to your fingertips.
Nail polish commonly has three animal derived ingredients.
The prettiest, shimmeriest, light diffusing polishes often contain this crystalline material that is actually derived from fish scales. Yep, fish. It’s weird. If you read ingredient lists you might see this dubious ingredient listed as ‘pearl essence’. Awwww, pretty.
It certainly sounds a lot better than fish scales. In any case, it’s often found in polishes that have a shimmer or pearl effect, and in glitter polishes. You can get the same shimmer in vegan nail polishes with alternatives such as mica, rayon, synthetic pearl, or aluminium and bronze particles. As if you wouldn’t.
Ok, fish scales are weird but Carmine takes it to the next level. Carmine is a red pigment that is commonly used in your bold, red nail polishes. The thing is, it’s made from crushed female Cochineal beetles. I’m sorry, what?
Found in Central and South America, female Cochineal beetles feast on the red berries of cactus plants. Presumably this is where the intense red hue comes from when they are crushed. What makes matters worse, it takes between 80,000 – 100,000 beetles to make a single kilogramme of dye. An ingredients list may also list this bizarre ingredient as carminic acid or cochineal. Vegan alternatives include beetroot juice and alkanet root.
Oleic acid is usually derived from animal oils and tallow, ie. animal fat. It’s found in many types of cosmetics, such as soaps, creams, lipsticks, and, of course, nail polish. It is put to use in various ways, but in polish it’s generally used as a thickening solution. A good vegan alternative is coconut oil. Ummmmmm, why wouldn’t you?!
For a nail polish to be vegan it obviously can’t harm any animal. It has to be completely cruelty free. At Kester Black we never have and never will test on animals. We love them, so why would we? Our manufacturers also uphold strict ethical standards, and we only work with companies that are cruelty free.
Be sure your polish is truly vegan and cruelty free. Check for accreditation from a registered organisation such as Choose Cruelty Free. We are proud to be accredited by Choose Cruelty Free, International Cruelty Free, and the Vegan Society. So you know your Kester Black products not only look beautiful, but are totally vegan and completely cruelty free.