I was surprised when I did some research awhile back on cosmetics, that nail polish is one of the worst offenders for nasty, toxic ingredients. I am not big on cosmetics or even nail polish but occasionally I did like to spruce up my toes with some candy apple red nail polish since my preferred footwear is the flip-flop. And my daughter, who is totally girly would love to wear it all times but I couldn’t in good conscious let her wear it too much if it were as nasty as some research has said. Also, some of the ingredients would be especially bad for little girls (see below).
Some of the ingredients of conventional nail polish are scary…Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), formaldehyde and toluene. Dibutyl Phthalate is a plasticizing ingredient known to affect hormone function. Studies have linked phthalates to early puberty in girls, uterine problems in women, low sperm counts in men, and birth defects. Toluene is said to cause liver damage, reproductive and developmental problems, skin irritation and respiratory tract irritation. Formaldehyde is a carcinogen and inhaling the fumes can result in watery eyes, headache, burning in the throat, and labored breathing.
Just think about it…these toxins are dangerous when breathed in and nail polish is one of the smelliest beauty items around. Just think about how strong smelling it is in a nail salon. That stuff is potent. And this doesn’t address the toxins making their way into your body through your nail bed. Almost all brands of commercial nail polish contain toluene and formaldehyde and many contain Dibutyl Phthalate…except in progressive countries like the European Union which has banned all pthalates.
So are we Dying to Look Good? I kept thinking about this as I found my 4 year old daughter getting her nails painted by daddy the other day. Obviously she knew she wouldn’t get anywhere with me if she asked for nail polish so daddy got her some and he was painting her fingernails and toenails for her. After the initial cringe I decided to see if I could find some safer nail polish online. I was happy to find that there are a few options.
Just to be clear, there’s no such thing as “green” nail polish, at least not in the way we’d expect from, say, a skincare product. Ultimately, it’s paint that adheres to your nails and lasts for several days, so it’s not ever going to as easy as finding a polish that uses nothing but crushed berries. The best you can hope for is having it be free of the most common nasties. Many polish companies are now using verbiage such as 5-free for 10-free to show how many of the common nasties are NOT in their products. 10 free is about the best you can get.
Non Toxic Nail Polish
HoneyBee Garden Nail Polish – No Formaldehyde, Phthalates, Toluene or other petrochemical solvents. Completely Water Based.
100% Pure – 10-free nail polish. All natural, organic formula which is free of the common carcinogens in most nail polish.
Trust Fund – 7-free polish choice. Quick drying, long-wearing, super pigmented.
Habit – 5-free polish, vegan. I love the wooden lids!
Karma Organic Nail Polish – No Toluene, Formaldehyde, or DBP – and no harsh odors, chip resistant & durable.
Rescue Beauty Lounge – Free of toluene, formaldehyde, and pthalates and LOTS of hot colors including a red, my fave.
Piggy Paint – Non toxic nail polish for kids! Moms like it too though. ;) Fun colors…
OPI Nail Polish – This is a big nail polish company that removed toluene, formaldehyde, and pthalates from their formulations last year. Lots of options and colors.
Nubar Nail Polish – A healthy alternative for beautiful nails. These are free of toluene, formaldehyde, and pthalates. They also come in TONS of gorgeous colors.
Suncoat Natural Nail Polish Remover – Earth friendly product which is 100% Soya and Corn based. It is naturally derived from farm crops and does not contain any petroleum ingredients. Non-toxic, non-carcinogenic and is also readily biodegradable.
Sante Nail Polish Remover – Acetate-free Nail Polish Remover, based on organic ethanol and orange oil. Ingredients: Alcohol, citrus dulcis, ricinus communis, aqua (water), parfum (organic orange oil).
No more cringing when my daughter asks to paint her nails!
Monday, May 5th, 2008