We all love to feel pretty and have painted nails, but the downside is that those bright little bottles can contain very nasty concoctions of chemicals indeed. Their smell alone is enough to send out warning signals! Let’s dive into some of the harmful chemicals in traditional nail polish:
🙅🏻♀️Toluene: used to aid the smooth application of nail polish and is also in regular nail polish removers. It is found in petrol and its fumes are highly toxic. It has been shown to cause reproductive harm and prolonged exposure to it can affect the central nervous system. The European Union has restricted the use of toluene in personal care products, including nail polish, and recommends pregnant women and children should not be exposed to its fumes.
🙅🏻♀️Formaldehyde: used to harden and strengthen nail polishes and also acts as a preservative discouraging the growth of bacteria. Prolonged or extensive exposure to formaldehyde fumes or dermatological contact with it can cause health issues including reproductive harm, throat cancer, asthma, nausea and convulsions.
🙅🏻♀️Dibutyl phthalate (DBP): if you’re a natural skin care adherent then phthalates are in your vocabulary as chemicals to avoid. They are most commonly used as preservatives. DBP comes with the EWG’s highest danger level warning, classing it as a reproductive and hormonal toxicant.
🙅🏻♀️Camphor: gives regular nail varnishes their gloss and is a plasticizer in nail lacquer. Although it is less toxic than the trio above, and even finds its way into vapour rubs and nasal sprays, its record for health is now being examined closely. Camphor can cause allergies and contact dermatitis and its fumes give rise to headaches and dizziness. Worse still, it is now being linked to organ damage, particularly in the liver.
🙅🏻♀️Ethyl Tosylamide: another plasticizer and used to improve the durability of the nail polish. It has a chemical composition similar to toluene, which can cause reproductive damage and respiratory complications.
🙅🏻♀️Xylene: a fragrance chemical and solvent basically used to mask other nasty smells in your nail polish. The EWG says it is of high concern: causing irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), neurotoxicity, and is an occupational hazard.
🙅🏻♀️TPHP: used to aid durability of nail varnish, it is another plasticizer and ‘glue’ to get the varnish to adhere. The chemical in full name is triphenyl phosphate, or TPHP, which becomes diphenyl phosphate or DPHP, when the body metabolizes TPHP. So be on the look out for all those acronyms. It is of great concern as a nail polish ingredient on account of its effects as an endocrine (hormone) disruptor. This is very worrying given the propensity of young girls to start to paint their nails around puberty or even earlier in life.
💞Better Options Are Available!! 💞
💅🏼Karma Organic Nail Polishes are 7 free; contain no toluene, formaldehyde, DBP (phthalate), camphor, formaldehyde resin, no xylene, and parabens...which makes them safe for pregnant women, kids of all ages, cancer patients, and allergy sufferers! They use no harmful chemicals that remain in body, unlike typical nail polish, and Karma Organic nail polish does not have a harsh odor like most polishes.
🌸Chip resistant and durable 🌸Non-yellowing 🌸No harsh odors 🌸Over 100 colors 🌸Available in glossy and matte shades 🌸Cruelty-free (not tested on animals) 🌸Packaging is 100% recyclable 🌸Contains calcium and coffee extract to help strengthen natural nails
💅🏼Some other great non-toxic brands include: Piggy Paint, Ella + Mila, and Acquarella!
I’m always 100% transparent with y’all and I’ve always “treated myself” by getting my nails done with gel and now dipped nails, but all this research I did is making me rethink my decisions...