Posted on by Paul WebDev

How Harmful is Your Favorite Nail Polish?

Nail polish
is culture and even religion for some (raise your hand if you have more than 20
nail polishes at home). Getting your nails done is probably one of the nicest
and relaxing beauty rituals you can enjoy, when you have some “you” time. Sounds
wonderful (and it is, indeed), but have you ever thought about what’s in your
nail polish? What is it made of? Is it safe?

“Those pretty little bottles in your
beauty cabinets might have some dirty secrets that they don’t want you to
know” –

What Is Nail Polish Made From

Good nail
polish has 3 main characteristics – durability, good coverage and resistance to
chipping and peeling. It’s no wonder that behind these characteristics stands
some serious chemistry. The base for almost every nail polish is nitrocellulose
dissolved in butyl/ethyl acetate and some pigment. While these are considered relatively
safe, there are other ingredients lurking in your nail polish bottles that can
do some serious damage on the environment and threaten your overall health.

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The Toxic Trio

Apart from
the above mentioned ingredients, there are 3 compounds found in nail polish
that no one talks about, because all 3 of them are “supposed” to be no longer in
used. Let me introduce you to the so called
Toxic Trio – dibutyl phthalate,
formaldehyde and toluene. Even their names sound 
nasty, don’t they?

Now, how
about we run quickly through some of their “benefits”?

  • Toluene 
    neurotoxin; has negative effects on the normal development of the fetus in
    pregnant women; can cause kidney damage
  • Formaldehyde – well know cancerogenic substance; highly toxic; eye, skin and respiratory
  • Dibutyl
    phthalate (DBT)
    – hormone disruptor; linked to birth defects

Sounds scary, doesn’t it? What’s
even scarier is that we are sold promises for “nail polish free of toxins”. And
we buy them. Everyday.

In their article
The Toxic Trio in “Non-Toxic” Nail Polish, Organic Gardening mentions a very interesting
fact, worth paying attention to: 

recent report from California’s Department of Toxic Substances Control has
found that nearly all the nail polishes the state agency tested that claimed to
be free of a so-called “toxic trio” of chemicals linked to cancer, neurological
damage, and reproductive harm in fact contained the chemicals, sometimes at
higher levels than nail polishes that made no such claims.”

In case you are wondering why
no one talks about that out loud, I’d like to ask you a question: If you were
“What we sell is toxic!” would you buy it? I doubt it. Besides that, hiding
some “insignificant details” does not equal lying, right?

If the facts I’ve presented
to you do not sound very nice and you are ready to quit coloring your nails,
hold on. There is always an alternative – a safe one.

Truly Non-Toxic Nail Polishes

non-toxic nail polish exist?
 Yes, it does! 

A few days ago I’ve stumbled upon
a very helpful article by Juliet from Lace’n’Ruffles where
she shares with her readers a list of brands that offer nail polish, free of nasty
chemicals. Not only this – there are also several companies that sell water
based nail polishes, where solvents are completely replaced by water! How cool
is that?! No solvent means: no health risk for you and less damage for the
environment. And yes – the “green” nail polishes are just as good and durable
as the ones, filled with poison, that high-end brands make you pay for.
 You can
have my word for it. Now go and paint your nails. And be safe.

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