9 Best Breathable Nail Polishes (and What That Even Means)
When was the last time you had a professional manicure? Regardless of the type of manicure you had, chances are you probably didn't think to request breathable polish.
So what is breathable nail polish and how does it differ from traditional nail polish? "Traditional nail polish is formulated to create a shield that prevents hydration from passing through. That means a base coat and topcoat are necessary to ensure long wear," says Brittney Boyce, celebrity nail artist and founder of NAILS OF LA.
On the other hand, breathable nail polish is the exact opposite, as it attracts oxygen and moisture. "Think of it like contact lenses. Breathable nail polish is polish that allows for oxygen and moisture permeability, meaning oxygen and moisture can pass through the polish both ways," Boyce says.
Why does oxygen and moisture permeability matter? For a long time, it was believed to improve the health of your nails; however, that's not necessarily the case.
"Nails are dead and don't need breathing (they don't have lungs)," says Michelle Saunders, celebrity manicurist and Nailtopia brand ambassador. However, the breathable polish is actually responsible for maintaining the integrity of the polish so it can last longer on your hands. "The two-way permeability allows for additional hydration and moisture while preventing water logging, which is what happens when water is trapped in the nail bed, causing it to expand and create pressure that causes tiny cracks in traditional nail polish. In other words, it helps elongate wear time and reduce chipping," she says.
If you're looking to give your mani some fresh air, here are nine gorgeous shades that you need to try.