Neon Nail Polishes Aren’t FDA Approved

Neon Orange nail polish
'Neon Orange' nail polish, $6, at American Apparel.

Here’s a (neon) red flag: those brighter-than-bright polishes you paint on your fingertips might not be safe.

After reports that neon nail polishes were illegal went viral, the Huffington Post tracked down the scientists behind the polishes, who revealed that neon colorants haven’t been sanctioned by the FDA—a stamp of approval that’s mandatory before production.

“The FDA requires that all cosmetic colorants be approved for use,” explained Doug Schoon, the chief scientific officer for Creative Nail Design. “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.”

Whoops. Fortunately, the FDA is on it: OPI is launching an Outrageous Neons collection this summer featuring FDA-approved shades. Until then, we’ll get our brights courtesy of Thakoon and NARS