There are many ingredients in many of our every day beauty products that are not exactly considered safe to be used repeatedly and very recently, I read a book that explained more on the topic. You can find that book here: 135 DIY Beauty Hacks & Recipes All Smart Girls Should Know! You’ll be surprised to know that there are three ingredients to avoid in nail care and these three ingredients have been linked to a string of medical conditions including cancers, breathing difficulties, respiratory disease, neurological diseases and more. The good news is that as long as you buy reputable brands of nail polish, you are doing your bit to avoid them. Cheaper brands tend to be the ones to look out for.
Within the EU, there are strict regulations put in place which means the three ingredients we are about to list are not used and must not be used in the production of nail polish.
Within the United States, there is actually a ban of using these three ingredients, plus two further ones, within nail polish.
Looking back at the history of nail polish, it is said to have originated as far back as 3,000 BC in China but back then it would have been made from things like vegetable dyes, beeswax, egg whites and gelatin. The reason red manicures are so popular is because the poorer classes would have worn more nude colours whereas the richer classes would have worn brighter shades – red being the most popular. Rita Hayworth made the red mani look the most popular in our current, modern day and age.
It was back in 1932 when Revlon created the first coloured nail polish and it was cream in colour. It first came about from car paint, which is why the ingredients have since been deemed not safe to use on the body. The first nail polish itself was made back in 1916 but it was a clear, completely colourless formula.
Since then, there have been a number of ingredients banned from the production of nail polish.
Also known as phenylmethane, toluol or methylbenzene, you will commonly find toluene in things like paint thinners, shoe polish, glue and other adhesives, varnishes, paints and lacquers. The most popular use for it is within gasoline in which it’s added as an additive.
Within modern nail polish, it is added to make the polish itself easier to apply. It also helps to give the polish a smoother finish and also prevents it from separating whilst in the bottle.
In just low to moderate levels of toluene inhalation, you can suffer with a number of problems including nausea, memory loss, weakness and tiredness, a lack or coordination, loss of hearing, loss of appetite and even colour blindness.
In high levels of inhalation, toluene can go further to cause unconsciousness and in very severe cases, death. With continual and prolonged use, the toxic chemical can seriously affect many parts of your body including the reproductive system, the central nervous system, and the respiratory system. Definitely one of the ingredients to avoid in nail care!
Formaldehyde can affect a number of the systems within the human body including neurological, respiratory, reproductive systems and more. It can cause irritation and inflammation on the nose, throat and eyes, and can bring on and even trigger asthma attacks. Not only that but the IRAC or International Agency for Research on Carcinogens, deemed it a carcinogen for humans. These carcinogens are often linked to various cancers.
Although rarely found in nail polish, it can be found in other beauty products and can actually counteract the problem you’re using it for. When used on dry skin, it can dry the skin out further. Despite this, it can sometimes be found in poor-quality beauty products designed to rehydrate the skin. It just doesn’t make sense.
Said to disrupt the endocrine system, it is banned under various EU directions and this is something the US has started to follow suit with, albeit many years later. The compound has since been banned in all children’s toys as well as within nail polishes and other cosmetics.
Although the EU and US directives mean that is would be rare for you to find these ingredients in your nail polish, they are definitely to be avoided and you should check the ingredients of your bottles to ensure you’re not putting yourself, or your family, in any danger of health risks. There’s nothing more important than your health – not even great nails!