The TOXIC Trio

Hey there ladies,

I am putting this together as a sign of concern regarding the nail polish market. I am that girl who always had long, strong, natural nails and because I rarely had a broken one, I never really bothered to do any research. The only thought I ever had regarding this was about those stubborn nail polish stains, that won’t go away when you use nail polish remover. Still, I didn’t give a darn about the chemicals present in our usual nail polish and a recent event made me think about it.

I was typing an email, when I noticed half of my nail just falling of. It didn’t rip, it just cracked and at a closer inspection, I saw how the first layer of my nail plate was peeled off along with the polish. Luckily, it wasn’t the case to go to the doctors, but it really was an eye-opening experience for me.

I have been painting my nails for 15 years, and I have probably used anything you can find on the popular market, always checking the expiration date when I purchase a new one and never buying from unauthorised retailers. I have always thought that spending a bit more money on a product will guarantee you quality, BUT in this case, it’s very hard to actually find something that won’t damage your fingernails and possibly, your own health.

HARD, BUT NOT IMPOSSIBLE. Hang on with me.

On a closer look, you can easily check for these three TOXIC ingredients:

  • Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) – classified by the EU as a suspected endocrine disruptor and as toxic to reproduction, also VERY TOXIC to aquatic life.
  • Formaldehyde – The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen. (that strong smell that nail polish has comes from this)
  •  Toluene –  this chemical can cause dermatitis with prolonged contact, also inhalation of toluene vapour can affect the central nervous system causing slight drowsiness and headache at low levels and Irritation of the nose, throat and respiratory tract at increased levels.

I decided to throw away everything  I had, and start some serious research. Right now, I haven’t used nail polish in almost 2 weeks, and I can already tell the difference, really. They do now look considerably healthier, but a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do..

I love colouring my nails and I’m not going to give up this pleasure. So far, I’ve found only 6 brands that don’t do the toxic trio:

I’m very excited to try what I found, and I will let you know more about them soon – I just placed the orders and some come from the US which is going to take a while. Before purchasing something: beware of false advertising, read the reviews, do your research, pay special attention to the labels and the ingredients.

What about ACETONE – the main ingredient from the nail polish removers? It’s not a secret that it’s damaging, but it seems a harder thing to replace. I have found a few alternatives to it, but I’m not yet very convinced. I would like to know if you ever tried these options, and what your thoughts were.

  • a solution made from white vinegar and lemon juice
  • paint your nails with a new coat of nail polish an remove it immediately
  • rubbing alcohol
  • scrubbing your nails with toothpaste

I am thinking about the people working in nail salons, and the danger they expose themselves to daily. All those vapours they inhale daily can’t do any good. I really hope that in future, these kind of salons will only work with natural ingredients, and stop playing with their employers health. I may be dreaming a little bit too much, but I also know I won’t ever step in a nail salon again for this reason.

P.S: Do any of you know what’s the deal with THE BODY SHOP nail polish – I purchased some a few month ago, really nice colours, no toxic smell, but they don’t last. Apparently, they’re “organic”, but I can’t seem to find the actual ingredients on the bottles, nor online. Is it false advertising or not?

At the end of the day, you simply have to ask yourself, is it really worth it?

Check Care2 for more recommended nail polish.

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