Is Toxin Free Nail Polish Really Safer?
Several nail polish brands that claim to be “clean” often tell you that they have a 10-Free, 15-Free, and now even a 21-Free formula. But what exactly does that mean? For the most part, there were three main toxic chemicals that were once used in nail polish, and are no longer included:
Toluene Is Toxin Free Nail Polish Really Safer
Toluene is a colorless, flammable liquid with a sweet, pungent odor. It is a type of aromatic hydrocarbon that is commonly used as a solvent in the production of various industrial products such as paints, adhesives, and rubber. Toluene is also found naturally in crude oil and in small amounts in gasoline. Exposure to toluene can be harmful to human health, causing irritation to the eyes, skin, and respiratory system, as well as affecting the central nervous system.
Formaldehyde Is Toxin Free Nail Polish Really Safer
Formaldehyde is a colorless, strong-smelling gas that is commonly used in the production of various industrial and household products, such as adhesives, coatings, and plastics. It is also found naturally in the environment and is produced as a byproduct of combustion. Exposure to formaldehyde can cause irritation to the eyes, nose, throat, and skin, as well as exacerbate asthma symptoms. Long-term exposure to high levels of formaldehyde has been linked to an increased risk of certain types of cancer. Due to its potential health hazards, the use and disposal of formaldehyde are highly regulated by various government agencies.
DBP (Dibutyl phthalate)
Dibutyl phthalate, commonly referred to as DBP, is a colorless, oily liquid with a mild, floral odor. It is used primarily as a plasticizer to make plastics more flexible and resilient. DBP is also used in a variety of personal care products, such as nail polish, hairspray, and perfumes, to help the products adhere to the skin or hair. Exposure to DBP has been linked to negative health effects, such as developmental and reproductive toxicity, as well as liver and kidney damage. As a result, the use of DBP is regulated in many countries, including the European Union, where it has been banned for use in cosmetics since 2004.
Toxin Free Bananas
Now over the years nail polish companies have started increasing that list to exclude more chemicals claiming that they’re making their nail polish less toxic. Some have even gone so far as to say that their nail polish is also “gluten free” and “sodium lauryl sulfate” free.
The problem with those claims is that nail polish never had those ingredients to begin with. It’s like saying “You’ll love our new toxin free bananas!” Free of cyanide, benzene and phthalates. It's silly because bananas don't have any of these ingredients to begin with.
Is Toxin Free Nail Polish Really Safer
For the most part, these lists of chemicals are just a marketing gimmick to make you believe that you’re paying extra money for a safer brand of nail polish. When in fact there’s little to no difference.
If you are sensitive to chemical smells, or just want to be safer when applying your nail polish, simply use a mask and apply your nail polish in a well ventilated area.