Is it unhealthy to wear nail polish?

Nail polish: is it safe or toxic for your body?

Many beauty products, most of all cosmetics, are recently being the center of attention in researches about their toxicity. As these substances often come in contact with people's skins, it's necessary to verify their safety. So, does nail polish contain dangerous chemicals? Or is it safe to use?

Being informed of what goes into your body is important to achieve a healthy life, as you can control that there won't be any chemicals or toxins that'll affect your body. However, in the case of nail polish, it's sometimes hard to determine which compounds have been combined. The weak regulation on labeling and the allowed chemicals can be a challenge, but there are some ingredients to pay close attention to.

In spite of the weak restrictions regarding nail polish ingredients, there are certain chemicals to be aware of.

First of all, there's toluene. This paint thinner is a liquid that can be found both in nail polish and glue. Its toxicity levels may vary according to each person and the state of the substance. Even though nail polish includes much lower doses than what's considered dangerous, toluene toxicity has been paired with dry skin, numbness, and dizziness.

Secondly, another known substance present in nail polish and potentially harmful is DBP, Dibutyl Phthalate. It's used to make products like nail polish more flexible. The research made on this subject, on animal studies, showed that its long- and short-term toxicity levels were fairly low, although short-term exposure was associated with nausea and irritation in the eyes, skin, mouth, nose, and throat.

The last one of this "toxic trio" is formaldehyde. Before worrying about the appearance of this substance in some fruits, it's important to remember that its presence there is natural and doesn't reach high concentration levels. Formaldehyde is regulated by the FDA in nail polish, but the average concentrations in nail hardeners (as high as 5%) and nail polish (up to 0.5%) are still very high.

Lucky for you, this doesn't mean you need to get rid of your nail polish collection or swear off it. Instead of wearing it regularly, choose some special occasions for it. However, if you work in a cosmetic salon or another environment where nail polish is a constant presence, make sure to ventilate the room properly and pay extra attention to your cuticles in order to have less nail polish touching your skin.

Alternating between wearing nail polish and giving them a nail care treatment can prevent negative effects of the “toxic trio”.

Hopefully, you're not scared of nail polishes but are willing to take some precautions when wearing some. Alternate between uses and save some days for your nail care routine -no polishes allowed!

Tina Reese

Tina is an award-winning columnist and beauty editor. Passionate about all aspects of makeup and skincare, she spends her days trying out new launches and researching the ever-changing world of beauty trends. Follow Tina’s articles and you’ll always stay updated on who’s who and what’s what of the beauty industry.+ info

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