Slipping into your first pair of open-toed shoes since winter can be one of the most gratifying feelings after months of chill and clunky boots. Add a gorgeous pedicure and polish to the mix and you’re unstoppable. As we head into a new season and are remaining mindful of what we are putting in and on our bodies, it’s important to pay attention to the polish we’re putting on our nails.
In spite of cute colour names, bright colours and Instagrammable bottles, there are still a large number of brands that use harmful and highly toxic ingredients in nail polish products which can enter the bloodstream. The fact is, unless your nail polish bottle states that its contents are non-toxic, you can be certain it is a toxic, chemical-laden product that you need to avoid.
While there are some amazing nail brands that are going 5-free, 6-free, 11-free and even 25-free, the most important ingredients to avoid are the following three chemicals. That said, we encourage using polishes that eliminate even more than these three chemicals, like some listed in our round up below. There are plenty of amazing, high quality and trendy options.
The Big Three
Dibutyl Phthalate or DBP
Used to make plastics malleable, the European Union has banned DBP from cosmetics, skincare and toys. It has been targeted as toxic for reproductive and developmental growth. Health Canada associates DBP with liver and kidney failure in young children. It is also extremely toxic to our aquatic friends.
Toulene is a moderate skin irritant and can cause dermatitis with prolonged contact. Inhalation of toluene vapour can affect our central nervous systems, which explains the light-headedness, drowsiness and irritation of the nose and throat when you’re painting your nails.
Recognized as a carcinogen, formaldehyde is also a suspected environmental pollutant that is incredibly toxic and has no place on or in our bodies.
If your nail polish is non-toxic than you can rest assured that these three chemicals and a slew of others are not present in your bottle.
The good news is that an increasing number of brands are making on-trend, green-friendly polish hues that are perfect for anyone who loves to see a pop of colour on their fingers and toes. Take it even further with companies that don’t test on animals and you’re golden!
Lauren B. Beauty is the perfect nail polish for business people who are always on the go. It’s an easy application, and the quick dry formula is vegan-friendly and free of harsh chemicals like formaldehyde, DBP, toluene, formaldehyde resin and camphor. With a variety of colours, you are bound to find the right shade and nude for your skin tone. Although Lauren B. Beauty is located in the United States, they are still available at Vegan’s Imperative in Parkdale.
Image Credit: Lauren B. Beauty
Tenoverten’s collection has a variety of long-lasting colours that make your nails stronger and healthier. Whether you are at a salon or home Tenoverten’s nail polishes are designed to leave a smooth, streak-free finish in all their unique colours. All products are cruelty-free, vegan, and made in a US factory that honours the Leaping Bunny Program; which ensures that no animals have been tested on at any phase of product development. Tenoverten’s nail polish collection is available at salons like Her Majesty’s Pleasure, Healthwinds Spa and One2One Studio in Toronto.
Image Credit: Tenoverten Polish
Sundays Studio has perfected their nail polish formula creating the simplest and purest collection that have long-lasting strength and shine. This high-quality formula is one of the safest for clients and salon employees since it is nontoxic, cruelty-free, and vegan. Sundays’ non-toxic nail polishes are free of dibutyl phthalate, TPHP and formaldehyde and other harsh chemicals. Since Sunday Studios believe that you do not need to sacrifice the lives of animals for beauty, all their products are 100% free of animal byproduct and are not tested on animals. Sundays Studio nail polish can be purchased on thetruthbeautycompany.com.
Image Credit: Sundays Studio
In the nail polish world, you can never be too careful of the chemicals that are going at your fingertips. Aila strives to keep as many chemicals out of their nail polishes as possible by creating a 25-free formula. All of AILA nail products are vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free and are available at Clementine Fields.
Image Credit: AILA Nail Lacquers