Not all nail polishes are made equally. There are several chemicals and other toxic ingredients in mainstream nail polishes that can pose serious and damaging health risks. Understanding the effect of these chemicals will help you make more informed decisions when buying your next polish.
In this blog post, we will be covering all you need to know about non-toxic nail polishes and why the nail polish you are using right now might be harmful.
The Importance of Non-Toxic Nail Polish
As several studies have demonstrated, your body can absorb nail polish chemicals. So it's never been more important health-wise to use non-toxic nail varnish. Toxins can cause harm ranging from headaches to kidney problems to cancer, so using non-toxic nail polish is a great way to stay safe without sacrificing your nails' appearance!
Non-toxic nail polish is available in several variants, each of which excludes certain chemicals, ingredients, and products that could harm you. At Côte, we produce a range of gorgeous non-toxic nail polish and a nail polish remover that is non-toxic, durable, vegan, and cruelty-free.
What is Clean Nail Polish?
The term 'clean nail polish' refers to only nail polish that is free from toxic ingredients to support a safe, non-toxic formula. There are different formulae available, including 3- free, 5- free, 7-free, and 10-free. Each number corresponds to the number of chemicals they omit.
You can learn more about the different types of cleaner nail polish below:
Dibutyl Phthalate (DPB), Formaldehyde, and Toluene, which are considered the "Toxic Trio", are not found in this formula. The three chemicals on this list are by far the most toxic, as they are associated with some of the most devastating diseases, such as cancer.
By replacing these chemicals with more natural ingredients, the cleaner nail polish formula ensures you can enjoy a safer wearing experience.
A 5-free formula excludes Dibutyl Phthalate (DPB), Formaldehyde, Toluene, Formaldehyde Resin, and Camphor. By avoiding these 5 toxins, you can wear beautiful color polish without having to worry about possible side effects.
In this type of formula, chemicals such as Dibutyl Phthalate, Formaldehyde, Toluene, Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor, Ethyl Tosylamide, and Xylene are omitted.
Many of these toxins are associated with causing irritation within the skin and eyes, alongside developing more serious health conditions, such as thyroid and cancer problems.
10-free nail polish excludes the same toxins as 7-free, plus Parabens, Triphenyl Phosphate, and Gluten. Parabens and Triphenyl Phosphate may cause adverse hormonal reactions that can make you more susceptible to mental health issues, as well as fatigue or frequent headaches.
Due to its gluten-free formula, the 10-free nail polish formula is an ideal choice if you suffer from gluten intolerance or celiac disease. Without these, you can also enjoy a more environmentally friendly formula!
Plant-Based and Vegan:
Some of the best nontoxic nail polishes, like Côte, are also cruelty-free and vegan and transform the concept of clean beauty into one that also values animal welfare and sustainability. At Côte, we are committed to delivering high-quality ethical products. Therefore, all of our nail polish ingredients are vegan, cruelty-free, and toxin-free.
Why Should I Care About Toxins in Nail Polish?
From causing skin irritation to increasing your risk of cancer, the toxic chemicals used in conventional nail polish can be extremely damaging to your own nails, as well as your wider health.
Here are the potential health risks associated with each of the 10 harmful chemicals that are NOT included in Côte products:
Dibutyl Phthalate (DPB):
DPB is used in nail products to act as a plasticizer that keeps polish flexible and prevents it from becoming brittle. It also has some dangerous and serious side effects associated with long-term use, as it can affect your endocrine system, which governs your hormones.
Repeated exposure to DPB can increase your risk of thyroid issues, which may cause you to experience fatigue, skin irritation, and disturbances in your mental health. It can also hamper developmental growth and the reproductive system, so it's best to avoid it if you're trying to conceive or you are already pregnant.
Formaldehyde is commonly used within nail polish formulas to help harden the polish to the nail for an easier drying process. Despite this, the chemical is a widely known toxin that is actually banned in some countries around the world, including Japan and Sweden.
Not only does formaldehyde have the ability to weaken the health of your nails and make them brittle, but it has also been found to be a carcinogen, meaning it can increase the risk of cancer. The toxin can also cause irritation to your skin and eyes, which may result in severe dermatitis.
Toluene is a clear liquid that is used as a solvent in nail polish to ensure a smooth application. It can be absorbed into the body via inhalation or direct contact with the skin. Overexposure to toluene during pregnancy can cause birth defects.
The nervous system can also be affected by toluene, causing nausea, lightheadedness, and fatigue. Additionally, continued exposure to toluene at high levels can cause kidney and heart issues.
Formaldehyde resin provides a glossy finish to nail polish, helps solidify the liquid into a thicker texture, and is a preservative to prolong its shelf life. Known commonly to cause skin allergic reactions, the chemical can cause itchy, red skin.
Additionally, formaldehyde resin is a by-product of regular formaldehyde, which has been linked to an increased risk of cancer.
Camphor is a common ingredient in glossy finish nail polishes, as it adds shine. However, it can also cause severe allergic reactions that can lead to disorientation and seizures in some individuals. Even if you don't suffer from allergies, inhaling camphor can cause nausea, dizziness, and headaches.
When it comes to nail health, camphor actually deprives your nails of essential nutrients, making them weak and brittle.
Ethyl Tosylamide is a plasticizer used in nail polish to make the polish more durable to help it adhere to the nail. The chemical has actually been banned in Europe because of its high potential for causing severe allergic reactions to wearers.
It has also been linked to antibiotic resistance, which has the potential to negatively impact your health for the rest of your life.
The main purpose of xylene in conventional nail polish is to thin the solution and prevent clumps or product build-up. Xylene is an incredibly toxic chemical that can cause a negative reaction without even needing skin contact. During application, the chemical releases a fume that can cause headaches, dizziness, and lightheadedness. When worn, xylene can cause skin and eye irritation, leading to discomfort, rash, and itchiness.
Triphenyl Phosphate (TPHP):
Also known as TPP, research suggests it causes changes in hormone regulation, metabolism, and reproductive systems. It has been used in polish as a plasticizer which makes the polish flexible yet durable.
Hydrolyzed wheat protein, while considered nontoxic by some, does pose potentially serious issues for those who are gluten intolerant. Used to help moisturize soft, brittle nails, it presents an allergy concern.
Preservatives called parabens are used in polishes in order to prevent oxidation and prolong their shelf life. In addition to interfering with the hormone system, parabens are well-researched carcinogens that are linked to skin and breast cancer.
Benefits of Non-Toxic Nail Polish
Overall, using non-toxic nail polish is healthier as it omits damaging chemicals, as well as products that are not just harmful to you, but also harmful to the environment and the wellbeing of animals.
The values we hold at Côte motivate us to ensure that our nail polish formulas are of the highest quality. This reflects in our commitment to clean and safe nail varnish.
Here are a few of the top benefits of choosing non-toxic nail polish:
Non-toxic nail polishes are often more likely to be cruelty-free! Here at Côte, all of our nail polishes are toxin-free and cruelty-free for both beautiful and ethical polish.
If you love animals or follow a plant-based lifestyle, one of the main benefits of non-toxic nail varnish is that they are typically vegan. To find bold and classy vegan polishes, have a look at our non-toxic nail polish collection.
You can give yourself a boost of happiness by using fun and bright colors on your nails while feeling confident about their safety!
Safe For Pregnant Women:
Using nontoxic nail polish brands allows pregnant women to relax and paint their nails without potentially harming their unborn children.
Now that you understand the harmful chemicals in regular nail polishes, you can start to use toxin-free polishes that keep your body and nails healthy without compromising the finished nail look. At Côte, we offer vegan, cruelty-free products of the highest quality, that are FREE from the most common toxins and allergens found in nail polishes. From nail polish to nail treatments, such as our non-acetone nail polish remover, we have your back!