Do you know that your nail polish can harm your body? Find out what are these health risks, and why you should be using 3-free and 5-free nail colours instead.
You eat clean, exercise regularly, and ensure that your skin, hair and body care products are natural or organic. However, have you stopped to think about the nail polish that is applied on your toe and fingernails during a manicure and pedicure?
In Singapore, it is common for the females to have a pampering manicure and pedicure every other week, with their nails painted in attractive colours. However, few stop to think about what is in the nail polish and how it affects our body.
The truth about nail polishes is that they commonly contain synthetic substances that are harmful to our body. Why else would pregnant mothers, children, and people with respiratory sensitivities be advised against using nail polish?
The top three toxic substances in conventional nail polish are listed below.
Dibutyl phthalate prevents the polish from chipping easily. However, in some countries it is listed as a hazardous substance that may cause harm to an unborn child or is a possible risk of impaired fertility.
Formaldehyde is what enables nail polish to dry into a hard surface. It is a human carcinogen, otherwise known as a cancer-causing substance. Repeated exposure or exposure to large doses can cause cancer of the throat, nose, and blood, as well as chronic health problems like asthma, nausea and even miscarriages.
Toluene is the ingredient that gives nail polish its smooth application and finish, as well as the unmistakeable pungent smell. It is also found in conventional nail polish removers. It is a moderate skin irritant and can cause dermatitis with prolonged exposure. Inhaling its fumes can impair foetal development, brain function, breathing, and cause irritation of the nose, throat, and respiratory tract.
Besides these three, there are another two substances in nail polish that are also considered a health hazard.
Formaldehyde Resin is used in nail polish for adhesion to nails, gloss, and durability. It is a synthetic resin that has been listed as causing significant allergenic effects and immune system toxicity in humans.
Camphor is a substance derived from the wood of the camphor tree but most camphor these days are produced from turpentine oil. When inhaled, especially in large doses, it can cause dizziness, headaches, and nausea.
Besides these five toxic substances, nail polishes contain many more synthetic substances, some of which are also health risks. Although they cannot be completely natural or free of chemical substances, there are alternatives.
These are called the 3-free and 5- free nail polishes, which are respectively free of the toxic trio and toxic quintet as listed above. Some are also water-based and vegan. We look at some brands that are available to Singaporeans at shops or via online shopping.
Priti NYC produces non-toxic and fashionable nail polishes that are 5-free and also sans xylene, parabens and TPHP; vegan; cruelty free; and gluten free. This makes their products safe for expectant mothers and children. The brand is regularly featured in New York, London and Paris fashion weeks, and have received the stamp of approval from designers and celebrities such as Tommy Hilfiger, Stella McCartney and Lady Gaga. Buy onlin
Creating high-fashion colours without compromising on quality and health, butter LONDON nail polishes are 8-free. Besides the toxic five above, it is also free of the hazardous substances of ethyl tosylamide, xylene, and TPHP. You may have seen the brand around, as they are used by the world’s top fashion designers. Find their nail colours on Sephora’s online store.
Acquarella nail polishes are water based, non-toxic, and recognised by PETA as they are not tested on animals or contain any animal products or by-products. The polishes dry faster and are odourless. Thus, pregnant mothers, people with respiratory sensitivities, and children can use these nail colours safely.
100% Pure nail polishes are free from the top five chemicals, as well as xylene, parabens, fragrances, phthalates, and animal ingredients. As its name suggests, all of the brand’s products are completely free of artificial colours and fragrances, synthetic chemical preservatives, all other toxins, and is 100 per cent cruelty free.
Created by Korean-born American nail artist Choi Jin Soon, JINSoon nail polishes are 5-free, and formulated with high-tech polymers and resins to ensure long wear and a shiny finish. Buy them at Vendure Singapore or online.