That shimmer of turquoises reflecting its own beauty on your painted nails does introduce a style and a trend to your fingers, but behind the metallic glories, the nail polish is really a hazard to the environment, moreover, your health.
Nail polish, in a way, is basically paint that stays on your nails. Like other paints, it contains several chemicals. The chemicals enable the nail polish to stay strong, reduce chipping, dry quickly, and for most, remain its glossy shine over times and exposure of UV lights. The rainbow-like colors of the nail polish come from some natural dyes, or items such as chromium, and iron oxide, to achieve the different shades. Those examples are not harmful to our body unless we do bite our fingernails everyday, or drink the entire bottle of nail polish. However, it does not mean that the nail polish is a healthy way to get trendy, and does not have any detrimental chemical. Formaldehyde, dibutyl phythalate and toluene, a combination commonly referred to as the “toxic trio”, are found recently in many brand’s ingredient chart. As you might wonder, formaldehyde is a chemical that is used in nail polishes to preserve the organic material, in this case, the dye, so it will not decompose. Exposure to formaldehyde can cause irritation to the skin, eyes, nose and throat. Dibutyl phthalate is a strong toxin that increases dizziness feeling , headaches and fatigue. By wearing a nail polish that contains the toxic trio, the negative ingredients are absorbed through the nail bed. Hence, our health is affected negatively. In addition, only because a nail polish does not contain the toxic trio, it really does not mean the nail polish is all fine and would not harm us at all. Conventional nail polishes usually mix in other dangerous but less famous and harmful as the toxic trio chemicals, such as ethyl acetate, isopropyl alcohol,dyes and more.
Even though I have mentioned several health hazards in the nail polish, do not back of and be scared of them because really, good brands do not use them any more. In 2006, Europe countries have banned the uses of many of the chemicals including the toxic trio. Unlike Europe countries, the US does not restrict beauty product to contain these chemicals. In 2007, Sally Hanse, OPI, and Orly, phased many of those underlying health hazards out of their formula. These toxic substances will definitely be a lot limited and obscure in the future, however, it is still vital to double check the ingredient chart to see if there is any harmful substances.
Have I said nail polish is only bad for your health? From ecology prospective, the nail polish only damage our living environment. When we toss any bottle of nail polish into the trash, the chemicals leech their toxicity into the soil and water. Remember they are just one type of paint. The nail polish goes to the waste facility, the same place as the batteries sit. Sound intense and scary, right?
You might wonder about how to wear nail polish without those chemical hazards. A quick and easy solution would be looking for companies that offer organic nail polishes formulated without hazardous chemicals by checking if they have signed any compact with the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. With that confirmed, you can be sure of the product and its quality. You can also search for options offered on Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database which would be very useful and handy.