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Nitrocellulose in nail polish – how does it fit with conscious beauty

For us conscious beauty means considering both ourselves and our environment. That's why we have been working on 100% natural nail colors since day one. Even though we strive for it every day, such a formula isn't yet possible. Just like almost all other solvent-based nail polishes, our plant-based nail colors also contain nitrocellulose. We explain below how this ingredient fits into our philosophy.



Nitrocellulose is often criticised and is considered to be a potentially harmful substance. And it's important to us not only to be transparent about the ingredients we use but also to make them easier to understand. That's why we're explaining here what nitrocellulose is, what it's all about and why nitrocellulose isn't really a deal breaker for gitti or for your health.


What is nitrocellulose?

Nitrocellulose is the film-forming polymer responsible for binding all the components of a nail color together. When applied, nitrocellulose thus significantly increases the durability of nail colors. Our nitrocellulose is obtained from cellulose or plant fibres.





gitti's solution:

We want to replace as many artificial ingredients with plant-based alternatives as possible. That's why, when it comes to nitrocellulose, we use the plant-based option. Our nitrocellulose is obtained from cellulose, or plant fibres, more specifically, nitrated cotton fibres that create compounds of chemical bonds (esters). Nitrocellulose that has been obtained from cotton fibres has a great advantage over the artificial alternative – its environmental footprint. Much fewer CO2 emissions are produced in the sustainable manufacture of this natural alternative than in the production of synthetic nitrocellulose, and in doing so we are able to make a positive contribution to both the planet and our environment.

Most important questions & answers around nitrocellulose

  • Inhibitors and innovative production techniques: How can we be sure that nitrocellulose isn't a dealbreaker for gitti

    First things first: By itself nitrocellulose is a safe ingredient. Critically, however, in the production of pigmented cosmetics, nitrocellulose is often combined with stearalkonium bentonite to ensure the best solubility and an even distribution of color pigments. The reaction of these two elements can lead to the production of nitrosamines, and it's these nitrosamines that are suspected of potentially causing cancer - not nitrocellulose itself. At gitti we prevent this reaction by using the safe, plant-based inhibitor tocopherol. This prevents the development of nitrosamines during the production and bottling of our nail colors. We also produce our nail colors in cool conditions, as nitrosamines can occur more easily at higher temperatures. This is a truly innovative technique and a solution we are extremely proud of!

  • What are nitrosamines all about?

    Nerdy details: Nitrosamines are organic substances found in many cosmetics and food (e.g. meat, fish and dried spices) among other things. They can even be formed in the body during digestion. Nitrosamines have been examined and tested for many years. The EU cosmetic regulation (EU NO. 1223/2009) limits nitrosamines in cosmetic goods to minimal levels. As described above, our formulas have been developed in such a way that the production of nitrosamines is either reduced or completely prevented. Also, there have not yet been any concrete findings as to whether nitrosamines are significantly more concerning in nail polish than in other products in which they can also be found. As nail polish is not ingested, the risk is believed to be small. And in addition to EU regulations for cosmetics, which of course we adhere to, we are pleased to be able to offer you a safe product. On our journey towards creating a 100% natural formula, we will return to this question again and again, so that we may always offer you the most innovative solution possible.

  • What are negative CodeCheck reviews all about? is a useful advice service, especially when it comes to living a more conscious lifestyle. The review system does however fall down when it comes to nitrocellulose as an ingredient, ranking it as orange or of significant concern. There are many reasons for this: it does not distinguish between natural and synthetic alternatives. CodeCheck also doesn't take the concentration of a particular ingredient in a product into account either. That means, that for the review, it makes no difference whether the product contains 100% or only 0.1% or less of the potentially harmful ingredient. It also does not take into consideration how the product is used. Some ingredients are highly concerning when consumed orally, but much less so when not ingested. Just as we are constantly working on improving our formulas, CodeCheck is also continuously working on optimising its review system.

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