Did you know that your body can absorb toxins through your nail beds? This is why if you enjoy prettying up your nails with polish, it's important to buy from brands that make sure dangerous chemicals stay out of their product.
How can nail polish be dangerous to your health?
Some of the most common chemicals that conscientious people look out for in nail polish are formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and toluene. But why?
Formadehyde - Helps harden nail polish. However, it is also officially listed by the U.S. Department of Health as a chemical that is a human carcinogen. It can also cause symptoms such as headaches, watery eyes and irritation to the throat when inhaled.
Dibutyl phthalate - Helps preserve nail polish and makes it last longer, and is also most commonly used as a plasticizer in PVC, which found in cables, wires and tubing. Is that something you want to pain onto your nails? There have been studies showing a link between DBP and pregnancy complications and birth defects.
Toluene - Ensures the smooth application of nail polish, which makes sense because it is the same ingredient added to paint thinners! Toluene is a neurotoxin that can harm the nervous and reproductive systems by interfering with neuron functions in your body. Symptoms include weakness, nausea, confusions and fatigue.
These aren't the only dangerous toxins that can be found in nail polish, but they are some of the most common chemicals people try to avoid.
So what kind of polish should you buy?
You should try to purchase nail polish that are ensured to be at least 3-free nail polish (the "3-free", of course, meaning the product is free of the toxic chemicals listed above). There are also brands that sell nail polish that are 5-free and 7-free, which means they eliminate even more chemicals.
Brands that say they are both cruelty-free and provide 3-free nail polish include OPI, butter LONDON and e.l.f.
Nail polish that doesn't contain some of the aforementioned chemicals admittedly may be a little difficult to apply sometimes, but best to protect your body than to exchange money for products that can be hazardous to your health and to the environment.
Can I trust the brands that claim to carry 3-free nail polish?
In a perfect world. However, it should come as no surprise that sometimes companies advertise their nail polish as being 3-free when in fact they are not. Or sometimes companies change their policies and don't really tell their customers about it. Do some research, read reviews and watchdog websites. Just do the best you can do.