Is Breathable Nail Polish Halal?

Is Breathable Nail Polish Halal? - Mersi Cosmetics

Breathable nail polishes have been a part of discussions in the fashion industry. Breathable nail polish gained popularity as soon as people discovered their unique characteristics. They are not new to the fashion industry, but still, people have a lot more to discover about them. 

One of the key reasons for the popularity of breathable nail polishes is their claim to be halal. Due to this, Muslim women all around the globe have found a solution for styling their nails freely. People still have some doubts about whether they are halal or not. 

Before getting into the nitty gritty of whether a breathable nail polish is halal or not, you must first find out what is halal nail polish. Let’s proceed further to discover. 

What is Halal Nail Polish?

Halal nail polish is a type of nail paint that is permeable. This means that it must allow water to reach the surface of nails. The word Halal means something that is permissible according to Islamic teachings. As far as halal nail paints are considered, they must not contain any prohibited ingredients such as alcohol and animal-based products to be considered Halal. 

You can understand this with the example of contact lenses. They allow oxygen to pass through them, so your eyes remain hydrated. The same is the case with halal nail polish. The reason why it is called halal is that it enables Muslim women to offer daily prayers. On the other hand, traditional nail polishes create a barrier between Muslim women and prayers. 

The porous coating of Halal nail polish helps water pass through it when you wash your hands. Washing hands properly, including nails, is an important part of ablution, without which you cannot perform Namaz (Prayer). What makes a nail polish halal is its ability not to create a barrier in ablution or prayer.

Benefits of a Halal Nail Polish

People who switch from traditional nail paints to breathable, vegan, and cruelty-free nail polishes witness a significant change in their nails’ beauty. If you are unaware of the difference they can make in your life, you are surely missing a lot. Have a look at the prominent benefits of applying halal nail polish.

  • Nail Hydration: One of the most common issues of traditional nail polishes is their dehydrating impact. Due to their water permeability, Halal nail varnishes prevent dehydration and keep them healthy and hydrated. 
  • Healthier Nails: The replacement of toxic chemicals with vegan ingredients in halal nail paints lead to healthy nails. It helps them stay hydrated, shiny, and stunning. It also prevents nail staining.
  • Prevents Nail Fungus: It prevents nail infections resulting from fungus trapped in nails. The continuous transfer of moisture and air keeps the fungus and bacteria away from harming the nails. 
  • Once you experience all these benefits, you will never want to go back to traditional nail paints. 

    What is a Breathable Nail Polish?

    Breathable nail polish is a unique type of nail polish that lets your nails breathe. This does not essentially mean that your nails inhale air. It rather represents the idea that oxygen reaches the nails through breathable nail polish. 

    Your nails do not need oxygen to breathe, but it can lead to strengthening them. Another name for these types of nail enamels is water-permeable nail paints. You can test the breathability and water permeability of nail polish through different methods. 

    How Does it Work?

    To understand the properties of breathable nail varnish, you must first know how it works. Here is a simple explanation that might help.

    The molecular arrangement of this nail paint has a staggered structure. This means that the molecules are not closely aligned together. They have tiny vacant spaces between them. This resembles the structure of a brick wall where there are tiny interstitial spaces between the bricks aligned together. 

    These spaces are wide enough to let water molecules penetrate beside oxygen. Its ingredients play a key role in its unique structure and breathability. 

    The main question that arises here is, do your nails need to breathe? The answer is no. They get oxygen and other nutrients directly from the blood. Is the breathability of nail paints useful for nails? Yes, it is. It is helpful in keeping them healthy and shiny. 

    Breathable VS Traditional Nail Polish

    What differentiates a breathable nail paint from traditional nail polish is its impact on nails. When you apply nail polish, it creates a covering layer on your nails. This layer is impermeable with tightly packed molecules. It blocks any fluid such as water from reaching the nails. 

    On the other hand, breathable nail polish also creates a covering layer on your nails. The only difference is that the molecules are not tightly packed together. This means that it is not completely impermeable but rather permeable. The layer has tiny little pores that let oxygen and water molecules pass through it. As a result, it does not block fluids from reaching the nails. 

    Properties of Breathable Nail Polish

    Breathable nail polishes have many distinguishing characteristics. These properties provide several pieces of evidence to prove it halal. Have a look at some of them. 


    Breathable nail polishes are usually cruelty-free and vegan. This means that they are not tested on animals. Not only the final product, but the ingredients are also not tested on animals. As a result, no animals are harmed while the manufacturing and testing of these nail lacquers. 

    Animal testing is an inhumane process, and harming them is not permissible by Islam. One aspect of these nail polishes being halal is that they are not a cause of harming or abusing animals. 

    Nourishing Ingredients

    If you have used breathable nail paints earlier, you might have noticed that it leaves your nails more shiny and hydrated. The reason is essential oils present in its formulation. Besides essential oils, it also contains other nourishing ingredients in place of toxic chemicals. 

    They prevent your nails from damage and harm usually caused by harsh chemicals. They also prevent discoloration and dehydration of nails. 

    No Harsh Chemicals

    The most pleasing property of breathable nail paint is that it is free from toxic chemicals. Traditional nail polishes are made from several harsh chemicals that are harmful to your nails. It includes chemicals such as formaldehyde, toluene, paraben and xylene.

    In breathable nail paints, these chemicals are replaced with other non-toxic alternatives. They are 3-, 7-, and 9- free polishes representing the number of toxic chemicals they avoid. It prevents several nail issues and promotes healthier nails. 

    Water Permeability

    Water permeability is the most highlighting property of breathable nail paint. The interstitial spaces in the nail color’s porous layer permit water to travel through it. Due to this, they are also called water-permeable nail paints. 

    Muslim women can perform ablution (cleaning their body before prayers) without the need to take it off. This is a big relief for them as they usually avoid putting on nail enamel to refrain from the hassle of frequently removing and reapplying it. 

    No Heavy layering

    Applying lots of layers of nail paint is a tiresome task, but you have to do it for a long-lasting manicure. More layering makes it nearly impossible for the oxygen and water to pass through. Breathable nail polishes do not require you to apply multiple coats. 

    Only two thin coats of nail color are enough to keep your nails shiny for a long time. The thin layering ensures the breathability and water-permeability of the coating. 

    These properties remove all concerns related to breathable nail paints being halal. Neither they contain any impermissible ingredients nor harm any animal. Most important of all, they offer water permeability. 

    Easy Application

    Breathable nail varnish neither needs a base nor a top coat. It saves you from a multi-step nail paint application process. It also has a quicker drying time than traditional nail polishes. You can get a salon-like finish at home. 

    The easy application makes it ideal for Muslim women. Although you can offer prayers wearing this nail paint, you might prefer to remove it for ablution. You can quickly remove and reapply it without wasting much time. 

    Are Breathable Nail Polishes Really Halal?

    Yes, breathable nail polishes are really Halal. You can prove it through lab experiments. If a nail paint coating allows oxygen to penetrate, water can also pass through it. This is the key factor that helps you determine whether the nail enamel is Halal or not.

    In a lab environment, permeability of breathable nail polish can be tested using a diffusion chamber. It helps you test the permeability claim by observing whether oxygen passed through the nail polish coating or not. 

    First, the nail polish sample is placed inside the chamber. Then enter oxygen from one side of the chamber. Wait until it passes through the nail polish coating and goes to the other, empty side of the chamber. This proves that it is breathable and ablution friendly. 

    There are also alternative ways to test the permeability of breathable nail polish. Unfortunately, the "coffee filter test" is not an accurate method. In the video below we tested Mersi Halal Nail Polish using the Alka-Seltzer method. We compared the results to mainstream OPI nail polish. 



    You must consider some other important factors to ensure that you invest in the right Halal nail polish brand. 

     If breathable nail polish is halal-certified, this means it is already tested and proven true in its claim to be halal. 

    Next, research Ingredients of the nail polish. It will make it easier to determine if it is halal or not. You must keep the following factors in mind while buying a halal nail color to paint your nails. 

  • Breathability: A halal nail polish is always breathable. Make sure that you buy from a trusted brand that ensures the breathability of the product. 
  • Water -permeability: This is another major factor to consider before making your purchase decision. You can test the water permeability through the coffee filter test. It is popular among people despite being 100% efficient. 
  • Ingredients: The ingredients must not include any impermissible items. Plant-based ingredients are the best for halal nail paint. Make sure that the pigments, dyes, solvents, and UV stabilizers are all halal.
  • Manufacturing and testing: Finally, the manufacturing and testing process must also pass the halal test. This means that it must not include any prohibited practice or involve hurting any human or animal. 
  • Performing Ablution with Halal Nail Polish

    As mentioned earlier, you do not need to remove your water-permeable nail paint for performing ablution. However, you must be more careful. The nail paint creates a porous surface with tiny little pores. They require a few seconds to let the water come in contact with the nails’ surface. 

    While performing ablution, you first need to wash your hands properly. Make sure your nails spend enough time underwater. It is better to soak your hands in water for a few seconds to let it penetrate properly. This is applicable to both fingernails and toenails. 

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