Halal, Vegan, Cruelty Free and made in USA, Nail Polish: What you should know....


My fellow sisters and ladies, we have come a far way.  Women have been anxious and waiting patiently for decades for the change in nail polish formulation. Today I would like to share with you one on one, the break through information on halal and vegan nail polish.

The question is “what does halal mean”?  Well halal is an Arabic word that means “in accordance with or permitted under Islamic regulations or law”.  What are Islamic regulations or law?  This is the code of law derived from the teachings of Islam and following the examples of the prophet.  The term halal is widely used in the food industry and refers to things that we consume such as meats.  In Islam one should only eat the meat that is lawful meaning the animal should be chosen and slaughtered under Islamic rules.  Like the food we consume we should all be wary of things we use and indulge in our daily lives such as the skin care routine we perform, the cosmetics we use and the clothing we wear.

Wudu – friendly:  What does wudu friendly means?  Muslims perform the wudu before prayers.  Wudu is an Islamic procedure for washing parts of the body using water.  It is a cleansing ritual that is obligatory to all Muslims as “cleanliness is half of faith”.  So how does nail polish affects this process.  Well the science is as follows:

Water and air need to permeate the nails. In other words, the nails need to continue to breathe freely and water needs to travel from side to side in order to clean the nails during the wudu process. In order to test the permeability of nail polish, it has to be tested in a lab.  Oxygen must be able to permeate the film. Then hydrogen attached to oxygen can also travel with the oxygen therefore enabling water to transfer from one side of the film to the other side.  This means that the film is “breathable”.

Choosing your nail polish is important.  We will examine nail polish as I mentioned above and whether it is halal – the ingredients used and how are they processed. What does vegan mean and are vegan halal.  What are the toxins in nail polish and how we can avoid those toxins.  Cruelty to animals and are child labor involved in producing the product.  Do these products meet manufacturing standards prescribed by local laws and regulations. So, without further ado let’s take a deep dive.

Halal:   If animal products are used, are they halal.  Look for the halal sign on the packaging.  Certain animal products are prohibited for Islamic use such as pig/pork and its byproducts.  One of the safest ways, is to avoid products that contains animal products or its byproducts.  Look for products that substitute animal ingredients with plant and plant-based ingredients.

Manufacturing: Is the plant certified halal.  For products to be totally halal, a plant processing other animal product such as pork and pork products and using the same equipment can cause cross contamination and as such is not ideal for halal products.

Ingredients:  If ingredients contain animal products, is it halal?  Is the animal a lawful one and was the animal slaughtered under Islamic regulations?  Are the vendors certified halal? Though this information may not be part of the packaging, most times the information may displayed on the website.  If you do not see the information on the website, it will be worthy of making a call or sending an email to the company.

Toxins:  What are these.  Are these healthy for your well-being? What should I look for? One should always choose to use non-toxin products.  With nail polish there are special labelling that can help you decide. Polishes are labelled “3-Free” which means the polish is free of the “toxic trio Toluene, Dibutyl Phthalate and Formaldehyde,” and “5-Free” means its free of those, plus camphor and derivative formaldehyde resins.  7-Free nail polishes go even further and tend to also remove the ingredients Ethyl Tosylamide and xylene. Chip free formulas often still contain these ingredients so always read the labels if you are concerned.

Here is a little chart to illustrate the components with toxin referred to above:

Ingredients Purpose
1 Butyl Acetate Solvent
2 Ethyl Acetate Solvent
3 Toluene Solvent
4 Nitrocellulose Film Former
5 Tosylamide / Formaldehyde Resin Resin
6 Dibutyl Phthalate Plasticizer
7 Isopropyl Alcohol Solvent
8 Stearalkonium Hectorite Thickener
9 Camphor Plasticizer
10 Benzophenone -1 Anti-oxidant
11 Titanium Dioxide Color
12 Red No 7 (Ca Lake) Color
13 Red No 34 (Ca Lake) Color


Alcohol Free:

Look at the ingredients list to see if there is alcohol.  Products are usually labelled “alcohol free” when there is no alcohol.

Vegan Friendly and Cruelty free

So, what does vegan friendly means? Vegan nail polish simply means that there are no animal-derived ingredients present in the formulation of that nail polish.  Three common derived animal ingredients found in nail polish are carmine, guanine s and perfumes.  Carmine is obtained from the shells of the female Cochineal insect (bugs!) and is commonly used as the red pigment in nail polish and lipsticks. Guanine, a crystalline material obtained from fish scales and is commonly used in nail polish for its shimmery effect. Perfumes – the exact ingredients in perfumes are not required to be disclosed in most countries. Animal-derived ingredients that are likely to be used to make perfumes include Musk oil (dried secretion painfully obtained from musk deer, beaver, muskrat, civet cat, and otter genitals), shark liver oil and Ambergris (derived from whale intestines).

If a nail polish is certified vegan-friendly, it also means that it is cruelty-free. This is because using animal-derived ingredients to formulate products is a form of animal cruelty.

Cruelty free 

Means the products have not being tested on animals, and no animal products have been obtained or extracted in a cruel manner or fashion.


It is important to maintain an eco-friendly environment and to continue to introduce earth friendly resources as much as possible.  Although it is difficult to currently maintain a total eco- friendly environment within the cosmetics industry, there is a vast number of companies who are committed to make this happen.  Look for recyclable sign on the packaging.

Made in USA

Products manufactured in the USA maintain and uses the FDA guidelines and FDA-approved ingredients.

With Love - Zimah

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