How does breathable nail polish actually work?

How does breathable nail polish actually work?

You’ve probably heard of breathable athletic wear. You know, the cute yoga pants that draw sweat away from your body while allowing air in, even through 45 minutes of Insanity? You may have heard of breathable contact lenses, too — the kind that keeps eyes healthy by allowing oxygen and tears to move freely through the lens. There’s even breathable makeup that keeps skin looking and feeling fresh, lightweight and flawless. But, have you heard of breathable nail polish? If you have, you’ve probably wondered how water and oxygen can pass through hardened nail polish. It seems impossible, but to the contrary, it’s entirely possible.


The secret is in the science. Traditional nail polishes, lacquers, and enamels are formulated with tightly stacked molecules, with particles virtually fused together once polish is dry. Breathable nail polishes are formulated differently, keeping molecules suspended in a brick-like pattern. When nail polish is rubbed, the suspended molecules move just enough to allow H 2 O particles through. The same technology that allows water in also lets moisture escape, leaving nails clean and dry underneath.

Yeah, that’s a lot of information to process. The easiest way to see breathable nail polish in action is to watch a permeability test on Youtube. There are many to choose from. Here’s a great one from Maya Cosmetics

 So now you know how breathable nail polish works, but why should you care? Well, if you’re one of the 1 billion women (give or take a few) around the world with faith-based reasons for abstaining from manicures and pedicures, water permeability makes all the difference. For others, switching over to breathable nail polish is about peace of mind and better nail health. Although nails technically receive oxygen and nutrients from the bloodstream, many women swear their nails have visibly improved after switching to the more flexible, breathable enamels. But not all breathable nail polishes are alike. Every brand makes a unique formula, which means varying degrees of coverage and performance. Like all cosmetics, finding the brand that’s right for you is about personal preference. Keep in mind that not all nail polishes that claim to be breathable actually are. Look for brands with certifications, like Maya Cosmetics.