Various oil based nail polish in pink background

Water-based vs oil-based nail polish: Which is Better?

Water-based and oil-based nail polish both have their advantages and disadvantages. They might seem very similar at first glance, but there are many differences between these two coatings. So, which one is better? 

To get to the bottom (no pun intended) of this question, let's look at each type of polish.

Safe for Your Health

Water-based nail polish products are much more gentle on your skin and nails than oil-based lacquer. In addition, oil-based nail polish products can cause allergic reactions due to certain ingredients that may irritate sensitive or damaged skin. Water-based polishes don't contain these harmful substances, such as formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate, so they're less likely to trigger an allergic reaction than their traditional counterparts!

Easy Application

Nail art enthusiasts often prefer to use water-based nail polishes as they are versatile and allow many different designs to be created on the nails. The only disadvantage of using this kind of polish is that it requires more time for drying than traditional acrylics do, so you may have to wait longer before applying the next coat of polish if it has not yet dried completely.

woman doing painting her own nails with pink nail polish

Water-based polishes are thinner, which means they usually have a faster drying time than oil-based polishes. They also give you more room for error in application since the polish is more mobile and requires fewer coats to achieve an opaque look.

Oil-based polishes are thicker and require thin coats to achieve optimal results. In addition, they usually cost more than water-based polishes. Water-based nail polish is generally easier to apply when compared to conventional acrylic polishes.


While the traditional nail polish is made of plastic resin, water-based nail polish contains natural ingredients.

Regular nail polish is made from plastic resin and contains acetone, ethyl acetate, and nitrocellulose ingredients. These chemicals help the nail polish dry quickly and coat your nails with a shiny protective layer.

Water-based polish is more natural than regular nail polish because it's made from acrylic resins or plastics derived from plants like latex. Water-based nail polishes also contain fewer ingredients than regular ones, so they may exclude elements you're trying to avoid (like formaldehyde). In addition to being free of harsh chemicals, water-based polishes are also vegan friendly, so they're not tested on animals or made with animal products. This can be an essential factor if you're interested in buying cruelty-free products that don't hurt animals.

Water-based polishes are more environmentally friendly than traditional oil-based ones because they don't use petroleum as the base for their product.


Oil-based polishes are significantly less expensive than water-based products, making them ideal for individuals who don't want to spend a lot of money on cosmetic products. However, these savings come at the cost of quality since oil-based polishes are typically more prone to chipping and damage.


Water-based nail polishes have less drying time when compared to oil-based products.

Water-based nail polishes have a shorter drying time than oil-based products. They dry up within 10 to 15 minutes, while the latter takes 20 to 30 minutes to be completely dry. Water-based nail polishes are also known as quick-drying nail polish or fast drying nail polish.

Caucasian woman blowing air on her nails to dry her polish

This is particularly useful for people who tend to smudge their nails together when applying a top coat which can ruin your manicure and add more time to your manicure schedule. In addition, the faster drying time of water-based nail polish will allow you to apply multiple coats in one go and get out of the house in no time!


Oil-based polishes are typically stronger than their water-based counterparts.

As stated earlier, water-based polishes are generally gentler and safer than their oil-based counterparts. But this safety comes at the cost of durability. While you won't have to worry about harming your nails, your polish job won't stand up very well to the wear and tear of everyday routines like washing your hands or doing the dishes. On the other hand, oil-based polishes tend to be stronger and more durable due to their chemical composition; they're harder to chip and peel off, making them last longer on one's nails. They also tend to be thicker and more opaque, providing better coverage for those who want a uniform colour over their entire nail bed.

Many people prefer water-based nail polish due to its environmentally friendly nature. Still, if you're looking for something that lasts longer—and is generally more durable—you may want to consider an oil-based option instead.

Water-based nail polishes require thin coats to achieve optimal results, while oil-based resins do not require this step due to the strength of their formula.

If you are planning on applying water-based nail polish, you need to know that you will have to use several thin coats. This is because water-based nail polishes are not as strong as oil-based ones. These thin coats will ensure that your nail polish doesn't crack or peel off the first time something comes in contact with it.

On the other hand, oil-based polishes don't require thin coats because they are stronger than their water-based counterparts. This is because they have a higher concentration of solvents in them, which helps them adhere better to the surface of your nails.


Another advantage of using water-based rather than oil-based polishes is that they last longer on nails and are resistant to chipping and peeling off easily.

Hands with nail polish with teal background

When it comes to long-lasting nail polish, water-based is the way to go. You may have experienced oil-based polishes coming off your nails in days (or even hours) and leaving you with bare or chipped spots. You'llYou'll be happy to know that this doesn't happen as often with water-based polishes, which tend to last longer on nails and are resistant to chipping and peeling easily. So if the long-lasting polish is important for you, water is generally better than oil-based.

But more importantly: Another advantage of using water-based rather than oil-based polishes is that they last longer on nails and are resistant to chipping and peeling off easily.


Water-based nail polish tends to be better for people who want easy application and quick drying time, but oil-based ones might be more suited if you're looking for something more durable or cheaper. After that, it's up to your personal preference!

Whether you are a nail polish connoisseur or a beginner, you will likely find something appealing about water-based nail polishes. Their non-toxic nature, minimalist packaging, and wide range of colours and finishes make them appealing to any nail art fan. 

Water-based nail polishes offer a natural and chemical-free option that can be used by children and adults alike. The best part? They are very easy to apply and so much fun to use. Give them a try today as an alternative to your old nail polish! Check out our nail polish line here. 

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