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Are Gel Nails Vegan? [And The Best Way To Ensure They Are]

Being a vegan can be hard. Especially when you begin to realize that animal products are used in a range of products and items too! But what about gel nails? Can you still get a gel manicure or are they completely ruled out? Here is what you need to know.

So. are gel nails vegan? Most gel nail products are not vegan, although there are particular brands that are. It is therefore essential that if you want a vegan gel manicure, you thoroughly research into all the products being used and seek out vegan-friendly options.

Thankfully, being vegan is getting easier.

Back in the day it was hard to find vegan-friendly nail products.

They just did not exist!

These days, there are a number of brands that are dedicated to the cause and that can enable you to get

I will shortly be outlining my favorite and go to brand.

So if you’re interested, be sure to stick around.

In the meantime, let us know take a closer look at your average gel product to see exactly whether or not it is vegan-friendly.

Is Gel Nail Polish Made From Animals?

Whether or not a gel nail polish is made from animals will depend on the brand. Unfortunately, most gel polishes on the market will include some animal-derived ingredients.

Its therefore safe to assume that most, if not all of the main brands of gel polish will contain animal based products of some sort.

And here is why:

Many brands use animal-derived ingredients to get the color, consistency, or strength required in their product.

And this can range from fish scales, insects, beeswax all the way through to beeswax.

And these animal-derived ingredients are there for a purpose.

But thankfully, these ingredients can be effectively replaced by vegan-friendly substitutes without necessarily being an inferior product.

So, it is essential that you check the bottle of each gel polish you may intend on using, or contacting the manufacturer directly if you are not sure.

If you are visiting a nail salon, its important to check with the technician in advance and ask them what products they work with.

At the same time, do ask if they have any vegan-friendly options or recommendations.

Generally, if a gel nail polish is vegan it will be clearly stated and marketed as such.

It is usually pretty clear to see.

Manufacturers have to literally change the entire formulation, and will have to put it through rigors texting to ensure the product works as well.

So, you can be sure that they will let you know its vegan!

What Makes A Gel Polish Vegan?

A vegan gel nail polish is one that does not contain any animal-derived ingredients within the formulation. Instead, they will include natural or man-made substances as a substitute.

The most commonly used vegan alternatives include aluminum or faux pearl, but other ingredients are often used to.

For a gel polish to market and advertise and vegan, it needs to be have been reviewed, tested, and examined by an accredited body.

Therefore the best way to identify if a gel polish is vegan is to look for a mention, reference, or inclusion of a logo from a recognized vegan body or institution.

The main ones to look out for include: The Vegan Society and/or Peta approved.

For the later, this will ensure that the product is cruelty-free too.

How To Get Vegan Gel Nails

There are only a handful of brands that specialize in both vegan and cruelty-free gel nail polish.

And unfortunately not every salon can offer this, as standard.

But, my go to brand is Dimension Nails.

This is a fantastic brand with a fantastic animal-focused mission statement:

“We aim to add new dimensions in the nail industry by incorporating health-conscious 10+ free formulas, a love for animals through our products, and providing education about veganism with activism at the core.”

I swear by their products, and you can affordably get vegan-friendly gel products sent both within the US and internationally.

Plus, I actually contacted them to get every Almond Nail reader a terrific extra 20% discount on their total cart value.

All you need to do is add my coupon: “thealmondnails20” at checkout.

Products Recommended:

How To Apply

Applying the products from Dimension Nails is easy, and follows the same process for general gel nail application.

Nevertheless, let us now quickly touch upon how you can do this:

  1. Start by buffing the shine from your natural nails.
  2. Remove any oil and dust with a 90% rubbing alcohol or vegan-friendly nail polish remover.
  3. Apply a layer of base gel. 
  4. Cure your nails for 30 seconds under a LED lamp or 60 secs under a UV lamp. 
  5. Apply your color gel polish. Depending on the color you may need to do between 1-3 coats. Curing in-between coats. 
  6. Cure the nails with color gel for 60 seconds under a LED lamp or 2 min under a UV lamp. 
  7. Apply a layer of topcoat. (wipe or no wipe)
  8. Cure the nails for 30 seconds under a LED lamp or 2 min under a UV lamp. 
  9. If you applied a no wipe topcoat, you’re done.
  10. If you applied a wipe topcoat, remove the top layer with 90% rubbing alcohol. 

Other Vegan Gel Manicure Considerations

One other consideration regarding a gel nail manicure, is that its not just the polish you need to consider.

You also need to ensure that your nail polish remover, and any other products you want to work with (such as cuticle oil) are vegan too.

My recommendations for such products are as follows:


Gel nails can be acrylic. But not every gel manicure will be.

In fact, it is more likely that they are not, unless you actively seek out vegan friendly products!

So, the best way to ensure you are getting a vegan manicure is to purchase directly from brands with a priority and dedication to animal-cruelty free and vegan inspired product.

This is why I highly recommended Dimension Nails.

It’s a terrific brand, with great products, and a meaningful mission.

And you can benefit from my exclusive discount coupon code too.

Just add thealmondnails20 at checkout for 20% off!

Wondering what other manicures are vegan? Check out my guides below: