Nail Polish Kelli Donaldson Chemistry Mrs. Holloway
The History of Nail Polish It is possible that it was originated by the Chinese in 3000 B.C. Japanese and Italians are thought to have been the first to wear nail polish. The Chinese used a colored lacquer, made from Arabic gum, egg whites, gelatin and beeswax. They also used a mixture consisting of mashed rose, orchid and impatiens petals combined with alum. When applied to nails for a few hours or overnight, leaves a color ranging from pink to red. The Egyptians used reddish-brown stains derived from henna to color their nails as well as the tips of their fingers. Chinese royalty used gold and silver to improve their nails. In ancient Egypt, nail color represented your social class. Queen Nefertiti, polished her nails ruby red and Queen Cleopatra polished hers a deep rust red. Women in the lower rank, colored their nails a pale color.
Chemical Make-up Most nail polishes are made from nitrocellulose dissolved in butyl acetate or ethyl acetate. The basic ingredients include: Film forming agents Resins and plasticizers Solvents Coloring agents Adhesive polymers, like formaldehyde resin, makes sure the nitrocellulose holds on to the nail’s surface. Plasticizers are chemicals that link between polymer chains, it spaces them to make the film flexible after drying. Pigments and sparkling adds desired colors. Thickening agents maintains the sparkling particles in the arrangement while in the bottle. Ultraviolet stabilizers resist color changes when the dry film is exposed to direct sunlight.
The Process Early methods of making nail polish were not as advanced as today. One common technique was to mix cleaned scraps of movie film and other cellulose with alcohol and castor oil and leave the mixture to soak overnight in a covered container. The mixture was then strained, colored, and perfumed. Today's consumers expect a nail polish to apply smoothly, evenly, and easily; to set relatively quickly; and to be resistant to chipping and peeling. In addition, the polish should be dermatologically harmless.
Process…Cont. The steps: 1.) The pigments are mixed with nitrocellulose and plasticizer using a "two-roll" differential speed mill. This mill grinds the pigment between a pair of rollers that are able to work with increasing speed as the pigment is ground down. The goal is to produce fine dispersion of the color. 2.) When properly and fully milled, the mixture is removed from the mill in sheet form and then broken up into small chips for mixing with the solvent. The mixing is performed in stainless steel kettles that can hold anywhere from 5 to 2,000 gallons. The temperature of the kettle, and the rate of cooling, are controlled by both computers and technicians. This step is performed in a special room or area designed to control the hazards of fire and explosion. 3.) Materials are mixed in computerized, closed kettles. At the end of the process, the mix is cooled slightly before the addition of such other materials as perfumes and moisturizers. 4.) The mixture is then pumped into smaller, 55 gallon drums, and then trucked to a production line. The finished nail polish is pumped into explosion proof pumps, and then into smaller bottles suitable for the retail market.
How does nail polish affect everyday life? Nail polish is usually worn by women, but it may also be worn by men. Traditional colors for nail polish are red, pink and brown, although it can now be found in nearly every color and shade desired. French manicures traditionally mimic the color of natural nails, with a clear, beige or soft pink polish on most of the nail and a white finish at the tips. Black and other dark nail polish shades have been popular with Goths and punks of both genders since the 1970s; however, it has now gained popularity in the mainstream fashion world. Nail polish may also be used to complete an outfit. In this case, women, and occasionally men, match the color of the nail polish to the colors of the clothing. Some types of polish are advertised to cause nail growth, make nails stronger, prevent nails from breaking, cracking and splitting and stop nail biting. Nail polish may be applied as one of several components in a manicure.