In the summertime, when we all enjoy the freedom of throwing on a pair of sandals, many of us like to show off all kinds of colorful shades on our toes and fingers. However, nail polish and the products related to maintaining your nails are among some of the most dangerous cosmetics. EnviroCitizen.org found that according to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, most nail polishes contain dibutyl phthalates, formaldehyde and toulene, all of which are carcinogenic to us, as well as toxic to the environment. There are a few brands, however, that are not as toxic, allowing you to show off your pedicure without the worry.
Here is a little information to help you judge whether or not eco-friendly alternatives are right for you. Chemicals in products applied to the nails go straight to the bloodstream, via the skin, without passing through the liver. Many polishes contain formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen along with its many other undesirable qualities as well as dibutyl phthalate. Nail polish also often contains the volatile organic compound (VOC) toluene, a neurotoxin over time. With this in mind, you can see why it may be a good idea to shift over to other products.
OPI, Orly and Sally Hansen have made measures to get rid of the most toxic chemicals such as toluene. These you can get at most supermarkets. Acquarella’s got a non-toxic line which is water-based, so that’s even better as water is always safe. Suncoat’s polishes are water-based and free of many of the top carcinogens, too. Polished Mama is a very interesting brand to note as well. It was developed for mothers who were pregnant or breastfeeding who wanted to enjoy having them nails done, but also wanted to take care of their babies without the worry of exposing them to toxins. Polished Mama is water-based and has no significant odor or harmful fumes. It’s also non-toxic.
If you need to remove your nail polish, there many eco-friendly nail polish removers available. The Polished Mama polish remover is formulated with soybean and corn oils along with aloe vera extract and the scent of coconut and lemongrass. EnviroCitizen.org has read reviews that not how great it smells as it does not have the toxic, strong, chemical smell like conventional brands. This kind of nail polish remover is formulated to work on the water based ones only. It also may take more time and effort to remove the polish, but the tradeoffs of health and safety help justify the extra labor.
Check out EnviroCitizen.org’s selection of eco-friendly nail polishes and nail polish removers.