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Here’s why you need to be using non-toxic nail polish

For many people, getting a manicure is a regular form of self-care. The routine allows for a little bit of luxury, but doesn’t feel so over the top luxurious that it’s going to break the bank. While getting your nails done can feel relaxing and like the perfect fix of pampering, a nail salon may not be the safest place to be. The products they use there, nail polish in particular, may make your nails look nice, but they may cause more harm than good. In fact, both nail polish and nail polish remover have toxic chemicals. Let’s talk about why you may need to dump your nail polish and look into the benefits of natural and non-toxic nail polish.

What makes some nail polishes toxic?

The chemicals found in nail polish vary by brand. Bhere are three common ingredients across the board. They’re formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and toluene.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers these chemicals to be carcinogens. They can also make your nails weak and brittle and they can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions, according to Energy Matters.

Anything that’s in the nail polish you use gets absorbed through your nail beds and finds its way into your bloodstream. This could cause damage to your organs. But the exact amount of absorption is not clear according to Harvard Health Publishing. Yes, there is some natural protection from the keratin in your fingernails. But the more you expose your nails to nail polish’s toxic chemicals, the more sensitive and permeable that protection becomes.

What potential harm can toxic nail polish cause?

The chemicals found in regular nail polish contain carcinogens, i.e., they cause cancer. The negatives of those chemicals don’t stop there.

DBP is also an endocrine disruptor. That means it creates hormonal changes that can increase the risk of diabetes or thyroid disorders. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Guideline for Dibutyl Phthalate reported that DBP exposure can cause pain, numbness and spasms in your limbs. They also found that DBP-exposed women reported more menstrual disorders, miscarriages, reduced gestation and reduced delivery rates.

Toluene is often linked to eye irritation, kidney disease and nervous system malfunctions. Additionally, according to The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), toluene can cause fatigue, confusion, weakness, drunken-type actions, memory loss and hearing and color vision loss. The ATSDR also noted that breathing in very high levels of toluene during a pregnancy could result in birth defects and physical growth problems. It is not clear what kind of affect, if any, there is when someone has exposure to low levels of toluene while pregnant.

According to the FDA, Formaldehyde may cause skin irritation and allergic reactions.

What makes non-toxic and natural nail polish different?

We don’t intend to scare you off of your manicure indulgence. The good news is, there are many toxic free alternatives, like natural and organic nail polishes, at our fingertips.

These products use natural ingredients that function in the same way the chemicals found in regular nail polish do. But they avoid any interference with your hormones, reproductive system and nervous system.

If you’re looking for a natural nail polish, be sure to check labels with care. Those polishes usually have “3-free” or “5-free” on their labels. These indicate the lack of common chemical ingredients.

A 3-free polish, which most natural nail polishes are today, doesn’t contain dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde or toluene. There are now also 5-free, 7-free, 9-free and even 13-free formulas on the market. These polishes are cleaner and safer than your standard nail polish, plus they offer the same wear time and shine as regular nail polish.

Non-toxic and natural nail polishes we recommend

If you’re looking for some clean alternatives to regular nail polish here’s what we recommend.

Zoya Nail Polish

This brand is both non-toxic and vegan and it’s free of 10 major chemicals. You can find a wide variety of Zoya colors in many nail salons and stores.

Sally Hansen Good. Kind. Pure Nail Color

This is Sally Hansen’s first plant-based and 100% vegan product and it is free of 16 chemicals. Not only are there 30 shades of polishes to choose from, but there is also a non-toxic top coat and nail hardener.

Smith & Cult Nail Polish

If you’re looking to splurge a little, try Smith & Cult’s natural polish. It’s vegan, gluten, paraben and cruelty free and is chip-resistant.

Butter London Patent Shine 10x Nail Lacquer

This polish has both the thickness of a gel polish and a similar wear time to a gel manicure (it can go up to 10 days without chipping!). It also has UV absorbers that fight off color fading. Butter London’s Patent Shine is also made with bamboo extract that helps strengthen the tips of your nails and it comes in at an 8-free polish.