Painting your nails is a great way to express your style and feel feminine. But there’s something you should know before you get your next manicure, pedicure or polish them at home.
Manufacturers add ingredients to nail polish to make them shiny, dry quickly and add flexibility. That may sound like a good thing, but these ingredients also can come with some serious health risks.Many brands of nail polish contain certain chemicals that can seep into your skin and into your system. And they’ve been linked to health problems like headaches, asthma, cancer… even birth defects. It’s become such a big problem that these chemicals are now being referred to as the “toxic trio” or the “Big 3.” Let’s have a look at them. I’m going to show you some simple ways you can avoid these toxins and still keep your nails looking good. But before I do, I want to give you a little background on the “Big 3” and why you should do your best to avoid them:
Formaldehyde. This is also found in other beauty products like keratin treatments and air fresheners. It’s also a known carcinogen that’s been linked to several different types of cancer including nose and throat. Inhalation of formaldehyde fumes can also irritate your eyes, inhibit your breathing and give you headaches.
Toluene. Inhaling toluene can irritate your eyes, throat and lungs. It’s also damaging to your nervous system and is associated with side effects like fatigue, confusion and memory loss. What’s worse is that toluene’s been linked to birth defects in lab animals… and is thought to cause similar effects in humans.
Dibutyl phthalate (DBP). DBP is what keeps your polish from becoming brittle. But it can also be known to affect your reproductive system. It can affect your hormones and studies show that it may cause early puberty in young girls. Heavy exposure can also cause nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches – and in extreme cases, known kidney failure. Thankfully, more and more companies are becoming aware of the dangers of these chemicals and are doing their best to provide you with safer alternatives.
There are also some things you can do to help keep your exposure to a minimum like…
1. Choosing the right nail polish. Before you pick up your next bottle, check the label to make sure the ingredients steer clear of “The Big Three.” There are also new nail polish formulas that are water based. They don’t give off harsh fumes or contain these toxic chemicals. The best part is, with most of them you don’t even need nail polish remover to get it off. All it takes is a little rubbing alcohol.
2. Be safe at the salon. If you like going to a salon to get your nails done, try to sit in a well-ventilated spot to reduce your chances of breathing in toxic fumes. Also, check the labels on the polish if you choose one of their colours… or you can always bring in your own if you like.
3. Going natural. You can also have beautiful looking, natural nails… no polish needed. Just file, wash and soak your nails to help soften your cuticles. Then let your nails dry and use a very fine file or nail buffer to bring out your nails’ natural sheen. Remember to always file in one direction to avoid lines and bumps. Finish up by moisturizing with your favorite lotion or hand cream.
Here’s to being simply beautiful.