Ever wonder what makes nail polish so shiny with the ability to stick to your nails for days? Or what gives it such a strong scent? As with many beauty products, nail polish has an extensive chemical composition that results in an often toxic product. It is commonly overlooked as an item that needs to be green. So let us explain why everyone’s nail polish collection needs an eco-friendly makeover.
Nails are Porous
We’re all familiar with the saying, “What goes on your body, goes in your body,” and your nails are no exception. Just as you pay close attention to the moisturizers, detergents and fragrances you put on your body, it’s important to look at the ingredients in your nail polish as well. While you may not have realized it, your nails are part of your skin and very porous, allowing toxins found in nail polish to enter your bloodstream, which can lead to negative side effects.
The Toxic Trio
Have you heard of the “Toxic Trio?” As a result of the public finding out that nail polish contained potentially harmful ingredients, many brands changed their formulas to be able to label themselves as “3-Free.” That being said, these ingredients still sneak into some nail polish. By switching to eco-friendly brands you’ll be less exposed to these harmful ingredients. Here’s what you need to know about the “Toxic Trio”:
• Formaldehyde: A known carcinogen, formaldehyde is a colorless gas that is used as a preservative. Low levels of exposure can lead to skin and respiratory tract irritation, while higher levels can cause irregular heartbeat and pulmonary swelling. When in contact with the skin, it can cause dermatitis and blistering.
• Toluene: An industry solvent, toluene is used to manufacture paints, rubber, gasoline and other chemicals. According to Medscape, toluene can affect the central nervous system interacting with neurotransmitters to cause seizures, vertigo and decreased cognition and nausea.
• Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP): A common additive in fragrances, plastics and solvents, DBP makes materials more flexible and easy to shape. Banned by the European Union for use in cosmetics, it can lead to reproductive toxicity, nervous system toxicity and developmental delays.
The Environment Also Pays a Price
The harmful compounds found in nail polish put more than just your health at risk. They can also have a negative effect on the environment. Similar to household paint and batteries, when tossed in the trash, their toxic chemicals are released into the soil and groundwater. Furthermore, hazardous waste departments in many cities list nail polish as a hazardous product accepted at their facilities.So do yourself and the environment a favor and go green with your nail polish. Here are five eco-friendly brands you can start adding to your collection: Vapor Organic Beauty, Chrome Girl, Butter London, Scotch Naturals, and Zoya.