The more we learn about the properties of the ingredients used in cosmetics, the more companies are looking for ways to omit the most hazardous of the bunch. Nail polish is no exception. What started out as “three-free” nail polishes—meaning the formulas do not include Formaldehyde, Toluene or Dibutyl Phthalate—has quickly evolved into even more health-conscious formulas.
After Formaldehyde, Toluene and Dibutyl Phthalate were found to be potentially dangerous, other chemicals were inspected and added to the growing list: Formaldehyde resin, Camphor, Ethyl Tosylamide, and Xylene were all found to also be potentially dangerous to the consumer and important to take out of the formulas, creating the “five-free” up to “ten-free” varieties available today.
Why you should be buying this next:
The goal essentially, is non-toxic nail polish; but without knowing what the ingredients do to our health, we probably won’t go out of our way to find these non-toxic options.
Dibutyl Phthalate, also referred to as DBP, is an ingredient used in plastics that is known to cause reproductive and developmental growth issues. Formaldehyde is a carcinogen, Toluene is a chemical found in petroleum that is toxic with exposure, and Camphor can cause a drying and yellowing of the nails.
And that is just three! The knowledge can feel burdensome, or it can be empowering; you as a consumer get to show companies what you support and expect, every time you exert your purchasing power. And this is your health, afterall!
Great brands to try:
If you are interested in non-toxic options, there are many brands offering a range of healthy formulas at a range of prices, so there is always an option to meet your needs. Make sure to read the ingredients listed on the bottle (or on their website) to be certain that the company lives up to their claims. Some of our favorites are classic brands such as Chanel (and their five-free options), O.P.I (also providing five-free options) and Butter London (some eight-free options).
We also love some more natural beauty brands, known for omitting parabens and animal products as well! Such lovely companies include Pacifica, RMS Beauty, and Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics.
Look at their range of shades, and give one a try! Your nails will be thanking you.