So .... what's the big deal with neon nail polish?
We started seeing reports flood the Internet earlier that neon nail polish is actually illegal in the United States.
Wait. So our trendy fuschia manis are straight up against the law? WTF.
But while all of these reports mentioned that neon nail polish is technically banned from production, or something, we still couldn't ascertain what it is about bright polish that's so illicit.
We had to get to the bottom of this, so we went to Doug Schoon, the chief scientific advisor for Creative Nail Design, who gave us the following statement:
“The FDA requires that all cosmetic colorants be approved for use. Colorants used to create, neon, day-glo or glow-in-the-dark nail polishes have not gone through the FDA approval process, so technically they are not allowed for use for nail polish applications.”
And Paul Bryson, director of Research and Development for OPI, told us:
"The FDA requires that all cosmetic colorants be approved for safety, and each batch must be certified for purity. While there may be nothing inherently wrong with neon colorant, it is not used by responsible companies including OPI, as it has not gone through the rigorous FDA approval process ... To note, OPI will be launching Outrageous Neons this summer – to be sold in professional salons – with a new formula featuring neons that have been FDA-approved."
So, even by just wearing that bright nail paint, you might be flouting the FDA. Wow.
Now, this doesn’t mean that your fingers are going to disintegrate thanks to that tangerine manicure that you just HAD to have. It just means that technically, your polish’s dye could be (very stylishly) unsanctioned.
Check out some celebs showing off their (illicit!) neon manicures:
Neon Nail Polish: 13 Celebrities Show Off Bright Manicures
Clarification: This article has been updated to more clearly reflect that neon nail polishes can also be made with FDA-approved colorants.