I love painting my nails. Do you know what I don’t love? Chemicals!
Traditional nail polishes contain some of the most toxic ingredients like formaldehyde, camphor, pthalate, and toluene:
- Toluene, which is made from petroleum or coal tar. Chronic exposure linked to anemia, lowered blood cell count, liver or kidney damage, and may affect a developing fetus. In nail polish, toluene is used to give the polish a smooth finish.
- Formaldehyde, a skin, eye, and respiratory irritant, and a known carcinogen (formaldehyde exposure has been associated with leukemia specifically). Formaldehyde is used in nail polish as a hardener and preservative. (source).
Many of the chemicals found in nail polish are known endocrine disrupters that can severely alter the hormone-producing glands. Check out this study’s findings:
Pubslished in..Environment International, found that all women had a metabolite of triphenyl phosphate, or TPHP, in their bodies just 10 to 14 hours after painting their nails. Their levels of diphenyl phosphate or DPHP, which forms when the body metabolizes TPHP, had increased by nearly sevenfold. (source)
It is extremely alarming that even small amounts can effect the endocrine glands. Young children and pregnant women are at an even higher risk.
Thankfully, I’ve found a few new nail polish brands that are completely non-toxic, safe for both children and pregnant women to use, and water-based.
I love this nail polish! It’s a newer brand from the makers of Piggy Paint, and they have tons of fun colors. It glides on very smoothly and if applied correctly it lasts about a week for me with no chips. It’s also pretty inexpensive compared to most non-toxic nail polish brands for only $7.99 a bottle. It’s non-toxic and there’s no odor. You can read more about it here. I highly recommend also buying their Prime+Seal system and their nail polish remover to use with their color polishes. The colored polishes dry matte, so the Prime+Seal protects from chipping and adds shine. Also, the nail polish is near-impossible to get off without their remover (I’ll explain more about this below).
Keeki Pure & Simple is another water-based brand I love. Completely non-toxic and safe for all ages. The company also owns the skincare line I reviewed a few weeks ago. The first thing I noticed about the nail polish is that it smells amazing! Instead of that awful, headache-inducing smell of normal nail polish, it smells like chocolate!! You could take this nail polish anywhere and paint your nails in public without having to worry about the smell. Again, I highly recommend you buy the base coat and top coat to use. The cuticle rejuvenator is also wonderful to use! I have pretty dry skin, so I lather this on daily. The nail polish remover is non-toxic, too, but it takes an extremely long time to take off the nail polish.
Tricks to using water-based nail polish:
Water-based nail polish is wonderful because it is non-toxic and covers the nail well. It also drys and hardens extremely fast! However, there are a few tips and tricks to using it. This is how I prepare my nails:
- Clean hands with soap and water, push back cuticles, use nail rejuvenator, and file.
- I like to take a little bit of the Keeki Pure & Simple Nail polish remover and wipe over the nails to remove all oil. Can also use a bit of rubbing alcohol.
- Apply all coats thinly and make sure each coat is completely dry before adding another. Dry with hair dryer between coats to help harden. Make sure to paint the tips of the nails, too.
- Start with base coat.
- Apply 2-3 coats of color.
- Apply 2 coats of top coat.
- Apply one more coat of base coat to seal.
- Do not get nails wet for at least an hour after painting. I like to paint mine at night so it is ready to go the next day.
- *Bonus! Soak nails in olive oil and a few drops of vitamin E after removing nail polish to nourish nails and help them grow.
One negative about water-based nail polish is that it takes forever to get off! The SOPHi brand nail polish remover probably works the best, but you will be spending more time than normal trying to get the nail polish off. However, it is still a non-toxic nail polish remover that I feel good about using.
What are your thoughts on regular vs. non-toxic nail polishes? Do you have favorite brands, tips, and tricks?