The 411 on Nail Polish

I never paint my finger nails but I feel naked if my toes go unadorned.  A number of years butter londonago I was having a lot of yellowing and cracking with my toe nails.  I’d read that it could be caused by the formaldehyde in the nail polish.  I decided to seek out formaldehyde-free nail polish and the problem disappeared.  Formaldehyde is a know irritant and allergen. Now I read there are two other ingredients that are also problems for ones health.  Many nail polishes contain toluene, a solvent that is released into the air.  Exposure to the fumes can effect the central nervous system and cause irritation to the nose and throat, and long-term exposure can effect the liver and kidneys.  The FDA claims that the exposure from nail polish is minimal enough to pose no health risk but if I can buy polish without it, why risk it?  The last is Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP).  Phthalates are elasticizers and are used to give products durability.  DBP has been linked to thyroid problems, reproductive problems in boys whose mothers were exposed and recently diabetes.

The good news is that you can still stay chic and stylish and not sacrifice your health.  A number of companies now make nail polish that is free of formaldehyde, toluene and Dibutyl Phthalate.  They are a little pricier that drug store brands, but you are worth it!

  • Butter is a brand from London, England.  It’s available nationwide at Nordstrom and Macy’s.  For a full list of stores click here
  • I use No Miss Nail Polish that I buy at Whole Foods.  Their website doesn’t list their retailers but you can order online.
  • Honeybee Gardens has a water-based nail polish.  I haven’t tried it and can’t speak to is durability but it is highly rated and completely non-toxic.
  • Gabriel Cosmetics has a long line of cruelty free make-up and skincare.  I’ve seen their nail polish at Whole Foods but you can also order online.
  • Mineral Fusion Nail Laquer is available at Whole Foods and other health food stores.  Reviews praise their modern colors.  For Mineral Fusions’ store finder click here.

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