Nail Polish and the Danger Lurking within!

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Women love nail polish! There’s no questioning that. To be honest, those colorful little bottles are so alluring even just to look at. Salons are thronged by women of every age for perfectly painted nails. Be it French manicure, Shellac, or just a normal slick of nail color, women love painted nails.

But like every cosmetic product, nail polish use has its downsides. All nail polish lovers know that too much nail polish use dries up the nails and makes them turn yellow. However, there is far more danger lurking inside your favorite little bottle of nail glory; very harmful chemicals! Research has shown that this type of cosmetic can cause much more serious harm to our health than we imagined.

As we all can imagine, nail polish is made of chemicals. Colouring agents, fragrance, solvents, stabilizers and the likes. The dangers of nail polish lie in its toxicity. Dr. Thu Quach, of Stanford University and the Cancer Prevention Institute of California, says exposure to the chemicals in nail polish can lead to issues ranging from cancer to fertility problems!

The following components are found in almost all nail care cosmetics, capable of seriously damaging your health:


This is a colorless gas which helps increase a nail polish’s shelf life. It is a known carcinogen. People with allergies can develop dermatitis if they come in contact with formaldehyde. It can even cause chemical burns. It can trigger heart rhythm disorders, convulsions, and even cancer in severe cases.


For a smooth finish, nail polish manufacturers use a solvent called toluene. It also makes sure the pigment in the nail polish lasts long and doesn’t separate in the bottle. Toluene can affect the central nervous system and cause reproductive disorders. Headaches, weakness, fainting, and nausea are just some of the likely consequences of using nail polish.

Dibutyl Рhthalate

This chemical substance is used in nail polish as a fragrance. The presence of this dangerous component may cause you endocrine disorders, gynecological diseases, and diseases of the respiratory tract.

Scientists conducted a study with a group of 24 women. 6 hours after painting their nails, most of the participants were displaying elevated levels of diphenyl phosphate — a derivative of triphenyl phosphate which is formed in the process of metabolism. 10 hours after the beginning of the experiment, the levels of diphenyl phosphate in the bodies of all participants rose to 7 times above the norm. These results are truly alarming.

Apart from the above 3 chemicals, there are many other chemicals hiding inside these colorful bottles. More than the users, salon workers are affected by these chemicals. They have to breathe in these chemicals all day while attending to clients. They pay a huge price in the form of their health.

Exposure to nail care products with harmful chemicals can result in a number of health issues, ranging from skin irritations, eye irritation and diseases, and allergic reactions. The overexposure to solvents in nail polish can also cause breathing problems, headaches, and serious reproductive issues.

Of course, it is difficult to leave cosmetics altogether. So is the case with nail polish. Rather than leaving it altogether, consider using it less frequently and not leaving it on your nails for too long. Or make a green switch! There are a number of brands that are now manufacturing nail polish without the 3 most harmful chemicals.

These natural nail polishes are water-based rather than solvent-based, odorless and do not use known carcinogens. They do not use toxic paint and are mostly vegan nail lacquers. They do not use fragrance either. And the results are the same as traditional nail polish, without all the damaging effects!

So when you go on a shopping spree next, look for these things before buying another bottle of nail polish. Buy a product that doesn’t contain formaldehyde, formaldehyde resins, toluene, dibutyl phthalates, or camphor. As should be the case with anything we purchase, look at the label first and ascertain whether there are any harmful substances inside.

Making the switch to healthier alternatives will prove beneficial in the long run even if it seems frivolous at first! Live green!

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