What is so bad about toxins in Nail Polishes?

Sometimes we are a little too concerned about how lovely our nails look and are quick to try on any colour that catches our fancy without paying attention to the potential harm it could cause. Nail polishes, as colorful and exciting as they can look can be dangerously harmful due to some of their components. When we are at the beauty store to pick up some new colours in preparation for that outing with friends, one might be in a hurry and may not be able to check through the ingredient list. Another hindrance to doing this is the awfully tiny font used in presenting this information on the package. Nail polish removers also contain some of these harmful chemicals which may be carcinogenic or have hormonal imbalance effects.

The chemicals in nail polish can cause harm to people who come in contact with them. The recent New York Times stories have exposed the harmful toxins that are usually contained in nail care products and their effects. Some products contain as many as 30 different chemicals, some of which interact to form others. People who have their nails done regularly and the nail stylists who handle these products are more exposed to these health hazards. It would certainly be necessary to use products that can give that perfect finish and still be safe.

Acetone has proven to be the best nail polish remover because it easily dissolves nail polish. There have been reports on its toxicity however, this can be expected to be reduced since acetone is very volatile and stays in contact with the nails for a shorter time in contrast with non-acetone removers. It has a strong smell and this is the reason you probably cannot wait for the whole episode to be over after it starts. Continual inhalation of this substance in nail polish removers over a long time can have some drastic effects on the respiratory system. There are acetone free polish removers that are a great alternative for removing regular nail polish, such is Ella Mila’s Soy Polish Remover. This soy polish remover is acetone free, smells divine and includes Vitamins A, C & E, as well as Lavender Essential Oil, all of which promote healthy and moisturized nails. 

Some of the toxic chemicals that may be present in nail polish include; formaldehyde, camphor, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate, and toluene. Quite funnily, these are referred to as the ”Big Five” chemicals. These chemicals are particularly toxic to the user as well as the nail care expert. Dibutyl phthalate is used to reduce chipping in the nail polish. It is the manufacturer’s help in preventing some parts of the polish from coming off over time. It is mimics oestrogen (a hormone in your body) and can impair the development of male fetuses. Products containing this chemical should be avoided in pregnancy. Toluene has a pungent smell and it can be found in both nail polish and removers. It has negative effects on your health and has been linked to cause cancer. In the quest for a solution, many beauty brands have joined in intensifying the rave about “organic” beauty products which are considered safe.

Beauty brands like Deborah Lippmann, Beyond, and Ella Mila make non toxic nail care products that are affordable thereby empowering you to have safe and sustainable nail care that is beneficial to your health. These brands have put a lot of effort into discovering formulas that are free of the “Big Five”. Enough evidence on the toxicity of these chemicals have been gathered from research and nail polishes that contain them are better ignored in order to not compromise one’s wellness. Deborah Lippmann and Beyond boast of nail polish lines that is vegan. Another well known brand is Zoya. They a very wide range of long-lasting nail polishes from natural ingredients, affording a girl beauty, value for her money, and health. They were the first nail care products brand to come up with the big three free formula. It may shock you to know that most of our beauty idols have hopped on this train and are still able to pull off stunning nails.

If you are planning on getting a new nail polish, you should ensure that you buy those types that are free of dibutyl phthalate, toluene, and formaldehyde at least. The best options are those products that do not have any of the “big five” chemicals. Beyond knowing that the products are 3 or 5-free, you should seek to know the full ingredient list of the product. The ingredients that have been tagged harmful are not the only harmful ones. It is just that the others have to be used over a long time or are in very small quantity. The funny thing is that these toxic ingredients are not actually necessary to give you the colour and great finish you need. Note however, that it may not be possible to have a completely organic nail polish or polish remover. However, it is possible and better to have the product free from the harmful and unnecessary ones. Have a nice time being beautiful and healthy!

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