It may be time to reassess your favorite nail polish

favorite nail polish

Who doesn’t love going to the nail salon to get a manicure and pedicure, right? I sure do. But when the time comes to select my color, I used to base it on what holiday would match an upcoming event or holiday. I say “used to” because I recently learned about the effects of nail polish.

Not long ago, there was a study done at Duke University that revealed a toxin called triphenyl phosphate (TPHP, TPhP or TPP) found in all the women who participated, only 10 hours after applying nail polish. The researchers believe that the toxin either seeps in through the cuticles, or that some other ingredient in the nail polish causes the nail to become more absorbent. So why should you be concerned about TPHP?

The dangers inside

According to Dr. Heather Stapleton, the head researcher from the study, “TPHP may affect hormone regulation, metabolism, reproduction and development”, in addition to being a skin irritant and an allergen.

Unfortunately, that’s not all. There are other toxins found in nail polish like formaldehyde (a carcinogen), toluene (found in gasoline), and dibutyl phthalate (which can affect a woman’s egg quality and risk of miscarriage), to name a few.

It can be hard to know which nail polish brands are safe or have low toxicity levels, but if you’re ever wondering, you can always look up its EWG score (safety guide for cosmetics and personal care products).

The safe alternativessafe nail polish

There are great alternatives that have little to no toxin levels, based on their EWG score. Here are some that I’ve tried and love. Remember, the base coat is the MOST IMPORTANT to switch, so if you aren’t ready to make the full switch, please consider picking up a base coat that is safer.

• Acquarella is water-based, and offers over 50 colors to choose from. They are free from formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate and wheat products.

Piggy Paint is water-based and as “Natural as Mud”! It’s my recommendation for girls of all ages, as it’s not only non-toxic, but also odorless. This will be my go-to when my girls are old enough.

• Spiritual is vegan, eco-friendly, and free of dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde and others. They have so many colors to choose from, you might have a hard time deciding.

There are tons of others out there, but the key thing to keep in mind is to choose brands that are water-based instead of chemical, or brands that use all natural ingredients. Happy painting!