Non-toxic nail polish: get pretty nails without paying the price

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Having freshly painted fingers and toes can really work wonders on your self-confidence and complete a fashionable look. But unless you’re being mindful of the ingredients used in your nail polish, you may be causing harm to your health without even knowing it. Even if you’re visiting a nail salon for your manicure and pedicure, there’s a good chance that they are using regular nail polish unless otherwise specified.

We did all the research on non-toxic nail polish so that you can sport flashy, painted nails this summer without feeling any guilt.

The harmful chemicals found in nail polish

Unfortunately, regular nail polishes purchased from the drug store and the gel polishes used at the salon can contain up to 13 chemicals that can negatively impact your health and nail health. When it comes to chemicals, the biggest concern is formaldehyde — this potentially cancer-causing ingredient can cause contact dermatitis and be absorbed into your bloodstream.

Other potentially harmful ingredients to scan for when you’re purchasing a new nail polish should include: camphor, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde resin, triphenyl phosphate, parabens, benzophenone, xylene, butyl acetate, heptane, rosin, ethyl tosylamide, and acrylamide.

Depending on the chemical, it could be disrupting your endocrine system, causing contact dermatitis and brittle nails, and in the worst cases, increasing your risk of certain cancers.

3-Free, 10-Free, and 13-Free

Thankfully, many clean beauty brands, and even larger ones that aren’t traditionally known for carrying natural products, are making things easier for those who are health conscious. This is where the “X-Free” label comes in handy.

3-Free means that the nail polish is free of toluene, formaldehyde, and dibutyl phthalate.

10-Free is taking things a step further and represents nail polish that is made without the three mentioned above, formaldehyde resin, camphor, parabens, xylene, fragrances, animal ingredients, or phthalates.

And for those who are very wary of the potentially harmful ingredients found in nail polish, 13-Free is the best option. This formula is free of formaldehyde, toluene, camphor, formaldehyde resin, xylene, parabens, phthalates, Ethyl Tosylamide, rosin, Triphenyl Phosphate, Triclosan, and animal derivatives. Nail polishes that claim to be 13-Free are also cruelty-free.

The benefits of non-toxic nail polish

Aside from the peace of mind, knowing that you’re not applying coats of harmful chemicals onto your nail beds, there are several other benefits of non-toxic nail polish. Non-toxic, cruelty-free, and vegan nail polish formulas are generally more gentle on your nails and the sensitive cuticle skin surrounding them.

Instead of causing your nails to flake or become brittle and break, non-toxic nail polish can support their natural growth so that they look healthy even when they aren’t coated in a gorgeous colour.

Because our nails are permeable, they are able to absorb the chemicals in nail polish, which can then enter our bloodstream. And what’s even more permeable is the skin around your nails. This is exactly why it’s crucial to opt for 13-Free nail polishes whenever possible.

Most importantly, opting for non-toxic nail polish and nail care products can ensure that you’re avoiding exposure to any endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). EDCs can negatively impact your metabolism, hormones, and even your reproductive system.

How to identify if a polish is free of harmful ingredients

Like with other beauty and health products, paying close attention to the front and back labels will provide you with much-needed ingredient information. Nail polishes that are free of toxins will usually have a label or marking on the front that states it is “X-Free”. But it’s still a wise idea to scan the ingredient list just to be extra safe.

The Think Dirty app can also help you determine the ingredients that you need to avoid in nail polish and other nail care items.

While it’s best to go for the polishes that are 13-Free, formulas that are even 3-Free will be better for your health and well-being than regular polishes.

So, when you’re booking your next visit to the nail salon, be sure to ask about their non-toxic options. Keeping your bathroom stocked with a few staple colours of non-toxic nail polishes (like light pink and sheer white) will also ensure you avoid formulas that are made with harmful ingredients.

Disclosure: We are a professional review and product rating website and mobile app that receives compensation from the companies whose products we review and rate. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own interpretations of a trusted source.

Non-toxic nail polish: get pretty nails without paying the price was originally published in Think Dirty on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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