Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Why do solvents make (non solvent resistant) glitter curl?

  • Why do solvents make (non solvent resistant) glitter curl?

    Posted by jasondub on May 21, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    Hey guys,

    Does anyone here know what the solvents actually do to the glitter material that causes it to curl?
    I’m currently working with some lightweight material here, similar to glitter, that’d I’d like to use in nail polish that is pretty harshly affected by solvents like IPA and Ethyl Acetate. nButyl Acetate doesn’t seem to be doing much (if any) damage to it however, it’s only been about 24 hours. 
    I’d love to use this material but I think it might require a custom nail polish base without harsh solvents like IPA and Ethyl Acetate. Anyone available (paid of course) to dig deeper into this for me?
    Bobzchemist replied 9 years, 1 month ago 3 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • Chemist77

    May 22, 2015 at 1:40 am

    Glitters IIRC are polyethylene terephthalates and one has to choose the base accordingly, just like selecting the plastic container for different products. You have to specify your requirement to the supplier and there are some good ones like IL, Fiabila, Durlin and so forth.
    Don’t forget to mention ‘shake well before use’.
    Hope this helps.

  • jasondub

    May 22, 2015 at 2:23 am

    Thanks! In this case the material affected is (at least I believe it is) aluminum.

    Take for example a nail polish OPI released a while back called “When Monkeys Fly!” that had issues with “Taco” glitter. I think they even pulled this off the shelves after people didn’t buy their excuse that this was by design.
    Here’s a pic from a Google image search (on the left).
  • Chemist77

    May 22, 2015 at 4:58 am

    You have to ask for the PDS of your glitters and inform your NP base supplier, in that case only you can avoid such situation. In case of OPI I am guessing it is the oxidation of Al in presence of solvents which caused it.

  • Bobzchemist

    May 22, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Be aware that this is a real grey area in the US due to FDA regulations. Technically, anything that imparts color to the human body (including the nails) must be a FDA approved colorant.

    This is enforced far more by fear of product litigation lawyers than by the FDA, though.

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