Is Nail Polish Halal?

Is Nail Polish Halal? - Mersi Cosmetics

Over the past few years, the cosmetics and beauty industry has witnessed a  massive revolution. Terms like vegan cosmetics, halal beauty, and sustainable fashion are more often discussed than before. Due to this, you may have witnessed greater diversity in the beauty industry than ever before. 

One of the buzzwords in the industry nowadays is halal cosmetics and particularly halal nail polish. Is nail polish halal, what makes it halal, is it better than the traditional ones, and several other similar questions are a part of discussions.

Do you have the same questions in your mind? If yes, we are here to answer. This question requires a detailed look into the evolution of traditional nail polish into halal nail polish, and this is what this article offers. Let’s dig in to discover some interesting details. 

History Of Nail Polish

Nail Polish is an ancient beauty product found as early as 3000 BC in China. The use of nail polish signified the class of the person wearing it. In ancient Greece, the lower and middle class would wear nude nail polish, while the upper class would wear bright red nail polish.

All of these nail polishes contained naturally found polishers and dyes like henna and beeswax to tint the color of nails. The type of nail polish we know took its form in the 1930s after car varnishes were invented in the 1920s. The regular nail polish of today consists of a lacquer painted on nails and toenails to make them look appealing.

Many people choose to use nail art as a form of self-expression, encasing their art on a canvas as small as a nail, with nail paint being their medium. The paints that lacquer your toenails red or make your fingernails luxuriously long and shapely can contain chemicals that are suspected or known to cause cancer and congenital disabilities.

The long-term effects of many of the ingredients found in traditional nail polish are still unclear. Nail polish makers have been under pressure to reduce or eliminate potentially toxic ingredients, including phthalates, toluene, and formaldehyde.

What are the Toxic 3?

The nail polish world knows all about the toxic 3. After there was an uproar about not enough being done about toxic ingredients in nail polish, the common users got to know about the three main ingredients in nail polish, which were called to be the reason for its toxicity. 

All three of these ingredients are found in car paints, which are recommended to be performed in a well-ventilated area with a mask. 

Spas, on the other hand, have the opposite environment, where manicurists sit in the fumes of nail paint all day in an extremely poorly ventilated building. It is often centrally air-conditioned, meaning the air keeps being recirculated, and little to no fresh air is let in.

What are those toxic 3? Let’s have a look. 

1. Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is a toxic ingredient that is a known carcinogen. A carcinogen is a substance capable of causing cancer. This means that the nail polish we sometimes put on to feel put together, or which people have relied on for years to not only put them in a better mood but to give off a sophisticated look, has been putting them more at risk of cancer. 

Women primarily use nail polish, and women in the USA are at a high risk of breast cancer; that is, 1 in 8 women is at risk of developing breast cancer. Using nail polish with formaldehyde seems dangerous, if not foolish, with so many good alternatives out there with natural ingredients without carcinogens in them.

2. Toluene

The biggest problem with these toxic ingredients is that they are in a product that is exposed to the human body for the long term. Many women keep their nails manicured at all times and replace an old manicure with a new one, prolonging their exposure to toxic ingredients.

Toluene also has a long list of effects, from eye irritation to kidney and nervous system damage. Long-term exposure to toxins is extremely dangerous for the body and can lead to permanent damage.

3. Phthalates

Long exposure to Phthalates is known to disrupt the functioning of the endocrine.

The endocrine gland is responsible for hormone secretion and regulation of the body. Disruption of the endocrine gland leads to hormonal imbalances, diabetes, and thyroid issues.

After the mass campaigning against these three ingredients, many brands went “toxic-free”, meaning they removed these three ingredients without doing anything to reformulate nail polish, so it doesn't have the same ingredients as car paint, just in smaller quantities.

Once the consumers got to know about this issue, they started taking more interest in the ingredient lists, and this gave rise to clean beauty products, ranging from cruelty-free, halal, breathable, or vegan.

Alternatives To Traditional Nail Polish

Here are some alternative nail polishes which rose to take the place of traditional nail polish after consumers started looking for alternatives.

The alternatives have now become just as good, if not better, for your nails than traditional nail polish.

An important practice is to give yourself a break from wearing nail polish and letting your nails polish free from time to time. It is recommended to go bare for a week every 2 months.

Non-Toxic Nail Polish

After the awareness was spread about the toxic 3 during the mid-2000s, many manufacturers launched flashy campaigns promoting that three specific solvents and plasticizers were no longer being used in their formulas, toluene, phthalates, and formaldehyde.

Since nail polish isn't regulated by the FDA, anyone can label themselves whatever they want. Many companies used that to their advantage and displayed that they were now “non-toxic”. In reality, they had simply substituted the 3 chemicals with other chemicals which didn't have extensive research done on them to avoid public scrutiny. 

Beautiful nails that won’t chip are important, but not at the cost of your health and safety, which is why we recommend you closely study the ingredient list of your nail polish before you buy it and do a quick google search on the info of some of the ingredients. Sticking to a brand you think is reliable is always a good idea.

Good nail paint with a clean ingredients list doesn't require you to make a splurge, and with so many new brands coming out, you can always find something within your budget that meets your nail polish criteria. Look for brands that are transparent about their formulations and approaches, and choose from them.

Breathable Nail Polish

Breathable nail polish is formulated in such a way that the molecules are suspended, which allows water and oxygen to pass through the polish and onto your nails.

Breathable nail polish allows the natural movement of oil through and then off the nail. This means your nails stay hydrated but don't become overly soft or weak. The downside of constant nail polish use is that the pigments of the nail polish dry out the surface of your nails, and even when you put cuticle oil on your fingers, none of it reaches the nail due to the nail paint.

This is why, we recommend that if you are trying to grow out your natural nails, and are tired of them being thin and flaky, give a try to breathable nail polish a whir, and you may find some positive results.

Vegan Nail Polish

Vegans are people who don't use any animal-based products and use plant-based products in every aspect of their lives. While the commitment varies from person to person, many use vegan nail polish and even vegan hair care and makeup to avoid animal-based products.

Vegan products are not only used by vegans. Many people with allergies or religious restrictions also rely on vegan options to endure so they don't accidentally use any animal-based product prohibited for them.

Many Muslims use vegan products for this reason. Many also go the vegan route, as they know that it will be clean of many chemicals as it is plant-based, and the ingredient list is easier to comprehend for most people.

Vegan nail polish applies just like traditional nail polish and does not chip or wear off any earlier than its predecessor. The idea of vegan nail polish not being up to par with traditional nail polish is entirely untrue. Vegan nail polish has paved the way for halal and breathable nail polishes.

Halal Nail Polish

Halal nail polish offers the perfect combination of vegan, breathable, and non-toxic nail polish. It offers all these properties packed in one nail polish bottle. The word Halal means something that is permissible in Islam. While the nail polish is not Haram in Islam, it isn't water permeable; hence you cannot wear it regularly when you have to pray.

Halal nail polish, on the other hand, is a plant-based nail polish that allows water to permeate through it; hence you can perform ablution in it. Halal nail polish must not contain any alcohol or animal-based products to be considered halal.

The porous coating of halal nail polish allows water and oxygen to permeate through the nail, helping strengthen the nail and preventing nail issues such as nail fungus. Prolonged use of nail polish can cause nail fungus, which you can avoid with the help of halal nail polish.

Is Nail Polish Halal?

Islam is a religion of peace and love and promotes women to use beauty products for themselves. Islam does not prohibit the use of nail polish. However, traditional nail polish places a thick coat over fingernails and toenails, which is water resistant and does not allow any water to permeate the nail. 

In Islam, you need to perform ablution before you pray, which requires one to wash their hands and ensure water gets to every part. 

It is simply inconvenient to wear traditional nail polish as Muslims have to pray five times a day, and it is commonly accepted among scholars that ablutions are not valid with traditional nail polish.

Due to this, while not haram, many women prefer not to wear traditional nail polish during the days they have to perform prayer. This has also given rise to a market of people looking for water-permeable nail polish without any alcohol or prohibited animal-based ingredients. This has given rise to halal nail polish brands.

Can You Pray While Wearing Halal Nail Polish?

When Muslim women attempt to do wudu with traditional nail polish, it's commonly accepted among scholars that it isn't a valid ablution since the water is unable to get to their nails.

The most important question for most Muslims is, can you perform prayer while wearing halal nail polish? Since these nail polishes are water permeable, you can perform wudu in them, which is essential to your prayers. This also does not contain any alcohol or animal-based product, which is prohibited by Muslims, which is why you can pray while wearing halal nail polish.

We do recommend that you soak your hands in water for a couple of seconds to allow the water to permeate the nail to ensure your wudu. This ensures that a stylistic choice does not become an inconvenience for Muslims, who have to pray five times a day, and they too can enjoy the manicures and pedicures without having to take them off in a short while. 

Final Thoughts

A good nail polish helps set the mood of any individual, be it seasonal changes, holiday celebrations, or festivals. A good manicure always helps in setting the mood for the festivities life has to offer and has therefore become an integral part of modern society.

So, is the nail polish halal? Well, the simple answer is that not all nail polishes available in the market are halal. However, there are several halal-certified nail polishes prepared following Islamic principles. You can definitely find a bunch of amazing hues to paint your nails the way you want!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are all vegan nail polishes halal?

No, not all vegan nail polishes are halal. Vegan nail polish may not have animal-derived ingredients but can have other prohibited products, such as alcohol. On the other hand, they may be tested on animals. Halal nail polish is free from both these concerns and also permeable. 

Is halal nail polish long-lasting?

Halal nail polish is porous, allowing water and oxygen molecules to travel through the nail polish layer. This prevents the nail polish from chipping, leading to a long-lasting manicure. 

Is halal nail polish cruelty-free?

Yes, halal nail polish is cruelty-free. This means that it is not tested on animals and the whole manufacturing process does not involve harming any animal. 

How to apply halal nail polish?

To apply halal nail polish, you must first prepare your nails by trimming and buffing them. Skip the base coat because halal nail polish does not require a base coat. It works well without it. Wait for a few seconds till it dries and clean the edges of the nails. 

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