Weekly manis/pedis are a must, but many of us are unaware of the potential health hazards that our favorite “me-time” activity carries.
Nail polish is one of the most toxic beauty products, mainly because of the toxic chemicals and solvents that are used to make them. New York Times explosive feature, “The Price Of Nice Nails,” says nail salon workers suffer from cancer, miscarriages, lung disease and other fatal illnesses because of the long-term exposure to hazardous chemicals while on the job.
The most common ingredients are:
Toulene– used to help polish apply smoothly, but causes reproductive harm and dizziness. It is also found in gasoline and the CDC warns that it can cause central nervous system problems.
Formaldehyde– This colorless, flammable chemical and known carcinogen) is found in polishes. It is also used to preserve dead bodies and when used in lab preparations, there are strict warnings to avoid inhalation or skin contact. Some individuals may experience exposure side affects such as watery eyes; burning sensations in the eyes, nose, and throat, coughing, wheezing, nausea, and skin irritation.
Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) -used to make nail polish pliable. It is known to be a “reproductive toxicant” and is banned from usage in cosmetics in Europe. One environment group classifies this chemical to be highly dangerous and warns that it can cause organ problems.
For those of you that want to start experimenting with less potent polishes, check out our list of safer non toxic nail polishes that are free of these toxic chemicals.
Sheswai Lacquer is free of formaldehyde, toluene and DBPs. Each bottle’s cap is made from sustain-ably harvested wood and grown on family – owned tree farms.
Acquarella is a non-toxic water-based line that doesn’t contain formaldehyde, toluene, ketones, DBF, polyurethanes, parabens, mercury, lead or other toxic colorants.
Priti NYC is a “5-free” non-toxic nail polish that includes lacquers, top coats and base coats. The brand also sells non carcinogenic, biodegradable soy-based polish removers.
This non-toxic, water based nail polish has little to no smell, is long lasting, chip-resistant, and easily peels off.
Zoya is a long-lasting toxin-free formula with over 300 “5-free” vegan friendly, fashion colors.
This kid-friendly non-toxic line contains no toxic chemicals and is free of formaldehyde, toluene, phthalates, Bisphenol A, ethyl acetate and acetone.
Scotch Naturals NaturaLaq™ is an all natural nature-based nail lacquer. This quick-drying
non-toxic polish is 100% free of all phthalates, parabens, and toxins.
Honeybee Gardens water-based polish is free from harsh chemical odors and contains no FD & C colors, toluene, DBP, xylene or formaldehyde. Remove it using the brand’s acetone-free nail polish remover ($2.99) that includes horsetail extract to strengthen nails, and is fortified with vitamin E and aloe to soothe and protect cuticles.
This water-based odorless and peel-away nail polish features natural colors and mineral pigments instead of synthetics.
SpaRitual is also vegan and free of DBP, toluene, camphor, formaldehyde and formaldehyde resin. These vegan non-toxic nail polishes range from $6.50 for mini polishes to $12 for a full-sized bottle.