Ladies, we know how it is. We always want our nails to be looking fresh so we layer on coat after coat of polish. But wait…many of us don’t realize how bad this can actually be for our health. Sneaky chemicals that are absolutely awful for our bodies are often disguised in these beautiful colors. Don’t let this be the case anymore! As people are becoming more aware of the fact that what we put ON our body, we put IN our body, new products are being designed sans the nasty chemicals. We wanted to lay it all out, so read up on what it means to be “5 free” and what to avoid in those pretty polishes!
“3 Free”. Nail polishes sans Dibutyl Phthalate, Toluene, and Formaldehyde.
“5 Free”. Nail polishes sans Dibutyl Phthalate, Toluene, Formaldehyde,Formaldehyde Resin, and Camphor.
Here’s what these scandalous chemicals do:
DIBUTYL PHTHALATE (DBP)
DBP is a commonly used plasticizer and has been linked to cancer. DBP has also been connected to birth defects in studies involving lab animals. In fact, this toxin was added to the California Proposition 65 list of suspected teratogens, which are agents that cause malformations of an embryo.
Toluene is a liquid that is used as a solvent and has the familiar smell of paint thinner. You can be exposed to toluene by breathing it in or getting it on your skin, causing skin irritation. Unfortunately, inhaling high levels of toluene is said to be harmful to your nervous system and can cause light-headedness and nausea. Toluene is a toxin that may also cause birth defects and developmental problems in children of pregnant women who have had extended exposure.
Formaldehyde is a big time, major carcinogen, a factor directly involved in causing cancer. Enough said.
Formaldehyde Resin is a derivative of Formaldehyde, mainly used in the production of coatings and adhesives. It is not as toxic as Formaldehyde but can be an allergen.
Camphor can cause liver damage in rare cases when applied to skin. Linked to seizures when ingested. Nail biters be warned.
Now that you’ve got the deets, do your research! Before you head out to get your next mani/pedi, hit up your local beauty supply store and pick up a 5 Free polish to keep your nails looking fabulous AND your body chemical free! Not sure where to start? Here are some of the best non-toxic brands on the market, or see how your nail polish brand stacks up using the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.