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Ingredients To Avoid: Toxic Trio in Nail Polishes

It's no secret that I love playing around with nail polishes and attempting various nail art myself.
You can view all my nail design attempts on my Clozette's Profile!

And to be honest, I am aware and conscious of the possible harm these products have on me. 
Hello~ Yellow nails, I see you.

So, today I would like to share with you the top 3 ingredients I avoid in nail polishes!

1) Formaldehyde


Used as a nail strengthener
Prevent bacteria from growing in water-based products

Also found in nail glue, eyelash glue, hair gel, hair-smoothing products, baby shampoo, body soap, body wash, color cosmetics

Why should you avoid it:

It has been linked to respiratory-related cancer and even leukemia.The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen.

It is also a skin allergen and can cause dermatitis.

How to identify on a label:

Formaldehyde, quaternium-15, dimethyl-dimethyl (DMDM) hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea, diazolidinyl urea, sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, 2-bromo-2-nitropropane-1,3-diol (bromopol)

2) Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP)


keep nail polish from chipping
Used as a solvent for dyes
Used as a plasticizer to prevent nail polishes from becoming brittle

Why should you avoid it:

It is a suspected endocrine disruptor and classified as toxic to reproduction. Health Canada associates DBP with liver and kidney failure in young children when products (or polished little fingers) containing phthalates are sucked or chewed for extended periods.

3) Toluene


Used to help nail polish go on smoothly and adhere evenly to the nail

Why should you avoid it:

It is known to cause eye irritation, headaches, dizziness, and nausea. Moreover, high amounts of toluene has been linked to birth defects, developmental abnormalities, along with liver and kidney damage.

How to identify on a label:

Toluene, phenylmethane, methylbenzene, or toluol.

Safer alternatives:

1) Go bare and just shine
Yup, the best alternative is not to use nail polishes at all. If you want a little something special, the best thing you can do is to buff them with those nail buff to shine your claws to a smooth finish.

2) Use water-based nail polishes
These polishes are made with the intention to be free from these toxic ingredients. The only downside is that it wont last as long as conventional polishes.

3) Do a quick google search
You will be able to find heaps of nail polish brands that are free from these toxic. Do your homework to make sure that they are certified and are truly toxic-free and not just brands that are using the term for marketing!

4) Do the Styrofoam test

So, this test basically helps you to determine how damaging the nail polish is. The more harmful the polish have, the more the Styrofoam will "melt". I use this to test out nail polishes on my own in secret and I will avoid using those that creates the deepest holes. I love nail polishes too much to abandon them totally, so this helps me to do lesser damage to myself.