3 Reasons Your Nail Polish Isn't Safe

By Andrea Donsky on March 18, 2014

nail polish

Nail polish is a luxury that some women can't live without. While some choose to glam it up in today's world, it's a kind of tribal decoration that undoubtedly once carried a lot more significance than we give it credit for. However those natural dyes and resins our ancestors once used to color themselves with have been replaced by harsh chemicals.

Think your nail polish is safe and just a harmless indulgence? Guess again. Check out some of these ingredients that could be in your favorite nail polish.

1. Formaldehyde: You're probably most familiar with this ingredient. It's used in the embalming of the deceased, but unfortunately it can also be found in quite a few cosmetic products, especially nail polish. On the acute side, it can cause irritation to the skin, nose, eyes and throat. However on the severe side, it can also cause cancer. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has campaigned against the biggest nail polish brands urging them to remove formaldehyde and the two ingredients below which together, are dubbed the "toxic trio". However companies will often remove one or the other, not necessarily all three.

2. Toluene: Considered a "possible" reproductive and developmental toxin, toluene can also lead to severe headaches, dizziness and fatigue. It's common in household paints and the chemical benzene which makes plastic and synthetic fibers. It can damage the kidneys, nervous system, liver, brain and heart.

3. Dibutlyl phthalate (DBP): This chemical has been banned in Europe since 2005 but there aren't any restrictions on it here in the U.S. It's a known reproductive and developmental toxin and your body can absorb those toxins through your nails.

So, now you probably want to get that polish off of your nails, right? Don't leap for the nail polish remover just yet as the main ingredient is acetone. Acetone can irritate the eyes, nose, throat and lungs. It can lead to headaches, fatigue, dizziness, nausea and vomiting. It may cause kidney damage, abdominal pain and low blood pressure.

You can always seek out healthier nail polish and removers which in turn would be more safe. Check with your local natural food or beauty care store for options, and always read the ingredient labels. If you are like me and you like wearing nail polish, you can also check out Jamberry Nails. I recently discovered them at my son's school fun fair and I fell in love with them! The company was started by three sisters in Utah who wanted to have nice nails but didn't want any of the chemicals normally found in conventional nail polish. Jamberry nails are wraps that you apply directly to your nails using only heat. They have 350 different styles for both adults and kids. You can see what they look like here.


Photo Credit: zitona

By Andrea Donsky| March 18, 2014
Categories:  Care

About the Author

Andrea Donsky

Andrea Donsky

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of NaturallySavvy.com. She is passionate about living a natural and organic lifestyle and reading food labels. She is a mom to three beautiful children who love ground flaxseed & fish oil.

As a pioneer and visionary in the health food industry, Andrea Donsky’s passion is to inspire people to make enlightened choices for healthy living. Andrea has combined her background and expertise as both a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, and an entrepreneur, to educate the public on living an organic and non-GMO lifestyle through the creation of her businesses, books, articles, videos, speeches, and media appearances. Among her numerous publications, Andrea co-authored Unjunk Your Junk Food published by Simon & Schuster, as well as two e-books entitled “Label Lessons: Your Guide To A Healthy Shopping Cart,” and “Label Lessons: Unjunk Your Kid’s Lunch Box.”

Andrea Co-hosts Naturally Savvy Radio on RadioMD.com, a live show every Wednesday. She appears regularly as a healthy living expert on TV and radio across North America. Her segments have aired on all major networks including NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, Univision, WGN, Better TV, City TV, CTV, CBC, and Global.

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