History of Nail Polish

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Anywhere you go in the world today, you see women with nails that are painted in so many different colors and designs. Nail polish dates back to the 1920’s when the first modern day nail varnish was invented by the Charles Revson Company. This particular invention has impacted the cosmetics market for women, because every women who wants to be stylish and express themselves in a fun way, buys nail polish. Nail varnishes have many components to make it both safe and user friendly. Some of the chemical components consist of: film forming agents and resins such as nitrocellulose, tosylamide and formaldehyde. Also, plasticizers are used for flexibility and solvents to keep the polish in a liquid form, along with different pigments for colors and shine. There are many more components that go into nail polish that will be explained later in this paper.
Nail polish may seem like a simple invention in today’s world but think about the process inventors went through to make it user friendly and safe. One of the main components in nail polish is nitrocellulose. Nitrocellulose is a long lasting film forming agent. (Madnani 2012) It’s made from nitrated cellulose derived from plant cells. Cellulose is a naturally occurring component in the cell wall of green plant, most often cotton plants. Fibers of the cotton are ground so small that they don’t have to be removed from the product.(Winkler 2013) Cellulose is nitrated to form an ester, thus, nitrocellulose if formed. Nitrocellulose is one of the most useful film forming agents known for coatings, film, ink and adhesive industry. (“Cosmetics Info” 2013) It is used in nail polish for its durability, toughness, solubility and quick solvent release under ambient drying conditions. Also used bec...

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...plasticizers are made from fatty acid, a carboxylic acid with a long aliphatic tail, and castor oil. Another reason resins and plasticizers are important is because they hold the color pigments together. (Winkler 2013) Nail polish is a suspension meaning the colors can only be held together for a short time.
Obviously, nail polish is more complex than you would think. Nail polish has many components that have made it user friendly and safe, but since the first nail polish was created it has come a long way. From changing ingredients that were unsafe, to adding components to make it more durable, nail polish is an amazing invention. Making nail polish took many trials until they got it right, and since then it has been an extremely successful invention. Because of these reasons and different components, nail polish is one of the best inventions in the world today.
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