Progressive Polishes – our sustainable approach to beauty

Progressive Polishes – our sustainable approach to beauty

When it comes to beauty, nail polish has often been seen as the more precarious and less caring sibling of lipsticks, shadows and blushers. From day one, however, it became our founder Sonia Hully’s mission to overturn this opinion. 

How? By delivering a healthier manicure – vibrant, glossy, premium quality colour that not only avoided drying or damaging our nails but also helped overcome the issues many of us were already experiencing as a result of pollution, our lifestyles or acrylic and gel manicures. 

“Such a gorgeous colour and lasted over a week!” Lily on Lilac Fairy

Sonia has always championed healthy, sustainable and environmentally conscious living and, though our industry has come a long way in recent years, this founding principal back in 2012 (especially for nail polishes) was nothing short of revolutionary.  

What’s inside really counts

Our philosophy encompasses every aspect of our business, though, of course, everything started with our formulation. The first Nailberry polishes were many months in development and, when launched in 2014, were not only free of the three most concerning ingredients – formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate (the latter of which was actually banned by the European Union in 2004) – but were also cruelty-free.

Our commitment to cruelty-free

Animal testing for cosmetics ingredients, as you’ll know, has been illegal in the EU since 2009 (it was already illegal to test cosmetic products in the EU). However, it wasn’t until 2013 that this ban was extended to include the sale of cosmetics that may have been animal tested elsewhere in the world. 

Nailberry ingredients have never and will never result in the demise of an animal, nor are any of our ingredients derived from animal by-products, such as carmine (a red colour used widely in the cosmetics industry). We work very closely with ingredient suppliers, obtaining cruelty-free and vegan certification for both their and our products. Furthermore, our products will never be distributed in China (who test beauty products entering their country on animals), and we always decline Fashion Week partnership offers from brands using fur. 

A dynamic approach to development

Though the first Nailberry polishes had just hit the market, Sonia’s forward thinking and dynamic approach drove her continued work with our French laboratory to create an even healthier polish. 

Less than 12 months later, L’Oxygéné was launched – a formula now also free from camphor and formaldehyde resin, as well as formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate. Importantly, however, this new polish was oxygen and moisture permeable, making it instantly inclusive for all.

A quick dip into moisture-permeable polishes

Though our polishes do, of course, dry on your nails, the formula allows moisture penetration on a molecular level. This provides further benefit to nail physiology and also helps make our beautiful colours and treatments more accessible - for example, it can be considered as part of personal decision-making regarding the wearing of nail colour when performing Wudu.

Continuing the challenge 

We still didn’t stop there and in 2017 proudly launched our new (and current) polish – the best we believe a nail polish can be – breathable, vegan-friendly, certified cruelty-free, certified Halal and free from:

  1. Camphor 
  2. Formaldehyde 
  3. Formaldehyde resin
  4. Toluene 
  5. Dibutyl phthalate
  6. Xylene
  7. Ethyl Tosylamide
  8. Triphenyl Phosphate
  9. Alcohol
  10. Parabens
  11. Animal Derivatives 
  12. Gluten

 It’s important to note that regulatory bodies allow many of the above ingredients to be used in cosmetics, within given concentrations. However, many are known to have some rather unpleasant side effects – not just for the longer-term health of our nails. Others would undermine both our and your cultural or lifestyle choices. In a bid to ensure everyone can enjoy joyous colour and a healthy manicure, we therefore choose not to use them.

“Absolutely LOVE this shade. The bright orange/coral really pops and lasts a long time too.”Siobhan on Pop My Berry

Positive packaging… and partners

We work primarily with glass, which is, of course, the safest, most effective packaging material for nail polish… plus it has the added benefit of being entirely recyclable. 

Aside from this, however, we actively use as little plastic as possible. We won’t wrap and seal our bottles in plastic, unlike many brands, nor do we use excessive packaging. 

When you buy a Nailberry polish (or set of polishes), it arrives safely and securely in a recyclable cardboard gift box, which we recommend you retain and use to store your polishes. Once you’ve finished with it, please be sure to recycle this with your other card and paper waste. 

We also choose all our partners very carefully, inspecting their stance on sustainability. We actively selected a European-based manufacturing partner (rather than going further afield to a cheaper producer) – this minimises the miles our polishes travel and therefore their carbon footprint. This partner also scores very well on Ecovadis, a platform that assesses environmental and social performance.

Future focussed 

We remain committed to our responsibility towards our customers and environment, and are fortunate that our industry continues to research and innovate in support of this pursuit. We aren’t perfect, but we will always bring you your healthiest ever manicure while avoiding negatively impact our planet… and with more exciting developments in the pipeline, we recommend you watch this space!