Do you face challenges meeting consumer needs for nail polish and nail care products?  Fresh looking polish that dries quickly with lasting gloss is expected. Discoloration and chipping are common complaints formulators face.  We understand how difficult it can be to tweak your formulations to achieve the desired quality while aligning with rising regulations.

First, What is the cause of these issues?

Most likely it is caused by Nitrocellulose. Nitrocellulose is a commonly used film former in nail coatings and it exhibits some undesirable traits that can cause underlying issues for nail care products.


    Weathering Test - 18 Hours Exposure

    UV Stability

    Sunlight Test - 6 Months Exposure

The most impactful problem is poor UV stability of Nitrocellulose which is responsible for the yellowing and discoloration in most nail care products, especially clear coats. High solvent demand is another challenging attribute with Nitrocellulose due to the rising pressure of VOC control regulations.

Now, Here is the solution

Eastman cellulose esters, a family of cellulose-based polymers, provide the same functionality as nitrocellulose in nail care formulations, but they also improve many other attributes of nail care products as detailed in the below table:
    PropertiesCellulose AcetatesNitrocellulose
    Chip Resistant
    Reduces cracking/chipping for longer lasting nails
    Fast Drying
    Reduces the possibility of streaking/smearing and improves wear resistance. Great for people on the go
    Excellent Clarity & Shine
    Keeps colors vibrant and won’t dull
    Prevents yellowing, increases vibrancy and gloss in UV curable formula
    Because: Safer and easier to handle due to low flammability
    Storage Stability & Hazard Rating
    Allows safer storage and flexibility to buy in greater bulk
    Smooth Application, Non-Tacky
    Allows the application to wet surfaces

How to select you Cellulose Ester grade?

    Eastman Cellulose Acetate Butyrate (CABs) are highly efficient resins widely used in high-quality solvent-borne and reactive coating systems. A variety of grades specifically engineered to provide or improve key attributes of the formulation. Three main variables in CAB determine the best grade for a given application:
    Butyryl content - Hydroxyl content - Viscosity.

    Key AttributeGrade SelectionGrade Example


    Higher butyryl content

    CAB 551-0.01


    High butyryl or hydroxyl content

    CAB 553-0.4


    Higher hydroxyl content

    CAB 553-0.4


    Higher viscosity

    CAB 381-0.5


    Lower butyryl or hydroxyl content

    CAB 381-0.5

    Chemical resistance

    Lower butyryl content

    CAB 551-0.01

    Moisture resistance

    Lower hydroxyl content

    CAB 553-0.4

    Eastman Solus™ 2100 performance additive is the newest Cellulose Esters designed to meet lower VOC levels with lower solvent demand. Eastman Solus™ 2100 features very low viscosity make it suitable for UV/LED cure systems. It also improves dry-time and prevents yellowing similar to other CABs.
    Click here to learn more about Eastman Solus™  2100

    Is it possible to blend Nitrocellulose with Cellulose Esters?

    Some formulations utilize both materials by blending Nitrocellulose in CAB/CAP solutions to improve yellowing resistance while maintining lower overall cost of the formulation. Cellulose Acetate Butyrate (CAB) will also help to achieve extended clear water white looking for the nail care products. They might also improve drytime and gloss of the blend. 


Eastman Cellulose Esters is your solution to achive Nitrocellulose free formulation. It might not be a new chemistry for the industry, but Eastman Cellulose Esters is the only solution that gives you control over your formulation. You can select specific grades to improve certain attributes of your nail product such as dry time, gloss, weathering, water or alcohol tolerance and more. The chemistry is the primary solution to prevent yellowing, discoloration, chipping and other common issues in the nail coatings market.

Would you mind answering a few questions to help us better understand your needs?


PHONE  425.372.9464