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What is Water-Based Nail Polish?

Water-based nail polish is a healthier, eco-friendly alternative to traditional varnishes. Free from harsh chemicals, it's gentle on nails and the environment. Its water-soluble nature allows for easy application and removal, offering a durable, yet breathable coat. Discover how switching to water-based polish can transform your nail care routine and contribute to a greener planet. Ready to explore the benefits?
Anna T.
Anna T.

Water-based nail polish is a type of nail polish that uses water as a base instead of oil or some other type of chemical solvent. This polish is supposed to be a safer, chemical-free version of conventional nail polish, which might include hazardous substances such as formaldehyde and phthalates. Water-based polish may also contain non-toxic colorants, which are typically no more harmful than what is used in most children's paint sets. This type of nail polish can often be found at most stores selling all-natural products as well as online. Some types of water-based polish may come with a chemical-free remover.

This type of nail polish may be much safer for a person to wear and have less of a negative impact on the environment, but some people believe that it doesn't work quite as well as other types of nail polish. It could take more coats to get the desired color, which means that one bottle may not last long before it needs replacing. It may also be more likely to chip off after it has been applied. Another possible downside is that most types of water-based nail polish are slow to dry. It may also be slightly more expensive than other types, but this will largely depend on the brand and where it is purchased.

A bottle of nail polish remover.
A bottle of nail polish remover.

Even though there are some disadvantages to water-based nail polish, the advantages may outweigh them. Many people like the fact that there is normally no overwhelming chemical smell when opening a bottle of water-based polish. It is also typically safe for children to use and apply themselves, which is not the case with other types of polish. In most cases, a non-toxic clear top coat can be applied over the top of water-based polish to keep it from chipping or peeling off. People who are very interested in purchasing all-natural, chemical-free products tend to believe that, despite any disadvantages, the lack of chemicals and the polish's functionality make it worthwhile to use.

Clear water-based nail polish.
Clear water-based nail polish.

If a brand of water-based nail polish does not come with its own chemical-free remover, it can usually be taken off with rubbing alcohol. Some brands make polishes that can be peeled off after they are dry. Even though water-based nail polish brands are normally considered safe for children to use, it is a good idea for a parent to supervise a child while he or she is using it.

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Discussion Comments


@raynbow- When you put on water-based nail polish, make sure to put it over the tips of your nails. Finish the application by also applying it to the underside of your nails. This will help create a smooth finish that is less likely to chip.


@raynbow- I have used water-based nail polish too, and I have found that it is less likely to chip when you don't apply it thick coats. Applying a clear base coat also helps to keep it in place.


I love the fact that water-based nail polish is safer to use than traditional nail polish. However, I have found that some brands don't wear as long, and that I am always touching up chips. Does anyone have some tips for making water-based nail polish last longer?

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    • A bottle of nail polish remover.
      By: travis manley
      A bottle of nail polish remover.
    • Clear water-based nail polish.
      By: Africa Studio
      Clear water-based nail polish.
    • Water-based nail polish is eco-friendly and safer to wear.
      By: Dmytro Titov
      Water-based nail polish is eco-friendly and safer to wear.
    • Water-based nail polish may not last as long as other nail polishes.
      By: larisabozhikova
      Water-based nail polish may not last as long as other nail polishes.
    • Water-based nail polish does not possess a chemical smell.
      By: Alliance
      Water-based nail polish does not possess a chemical smell.