Pretty Nails, Ugly Health Effects?

March 13, 2019

Pretty Nails, Ugly Health Effects?

Fancy a manicure this weekend? We do too, but not with these 7 toxic ingredients lurking in our nail polishes (shrieks!).

Let’s start with the infamous ‘toxic-trio’. There has been a strong movement in the early-2000s citing exposure to these ingredients to cause a myriad of health concerns. Since then, many brands, including OPI and Essie have removed the ‘toxic trio’ from their formulas.

Phthalates (Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Diethylhexyl Phthalate (DEHP))
Used as: Plasticizer
Potential Concern: Endocrine disruptor, reproductive toxicity

Used as: Solvent
Potential Concern: Organ toxicity, irritation (skin, eyes, lungs), reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity

Used as: Preservative
Potential Concern: Carcinogen, allergen, organ toxicity

While three-free polish may be devoid of a few chemicals, it’s still infused with others as replacement. Hence, many nail polish companies have gone beyond and have now vowed to be ‘5-free’ and better still, ‘7-free’, excluding these ingredients:

Used as: Give nail polishes the shiny, glossy look
Potential Concern: Skin irritation, allergen
Formaldehyde Resin
Used as: Nail polish hardener
Potential Concern: Organ toxicity, irritation (skin, eyes, lungs)
Triphenyl Phosphate (TPHP)
Used as: Increase flexibility
Potential Concern: Reproductive toxicity, endocrine disruptor
Used as: Solvent and prevents nail polishes from being ‘’lumpy’
Potential Concern: Allergen, vapors can cause eye and skin irritation 

These ingredients may seem like a handful (and mouthful), but it is important to start learning how to read the labels and look for nail polishes with the least hazardous ingredients in them. Some of these ingredients are also responsible for the nasty smell at nail salons. So if your nail salon does not have adequate ventilation, you end up inhaling a mishmash of toxic fumes.

Alternatively, consider a water-based nail polish to enjoy a peace of mind and colourful nails. Compared to regular nail polishes, they do not contain toxic ingredients and contain little or no smell and look equally as good!

Check out our favorite water-based nail polish, Gofun Nail hailing all the way from Kyoto below. They are breathable, contain NO chemical fumes and are perfectly safe for pregnant women and children:

Sources: EWG

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