A relatively new term for me on my path to living a cleaner, less toxic and more sustainable lifestyle was the discovery of "5 Free"
Prior to my pregnancy, I could always be found in the nail salon getting mani-pedis of all kinds! My favourite term was "Refill please!" or "Full Set" when I'd clearly left it too long. I later discovered Shellac and was a huge fan. The thought didn't even cross my mind of trying paint my own nails. In my opinion, that was for kids and I was totally over it!
Fast forward to post pregnancy with my newborn and I couldn't even remember what it felt like to wear nail extensions, let alone have my nails painted. I felt my hands were constantly washing plates or rolling up dirty nappies to even notice that nails were assets that could be decorated.
The first thing I noticed once I did manage to pull out my stale polish collection, was the toxic smell that emanated from the bottle as I opened it.
"Was this because I had left them for too long or was this normal?"
The fumes were so strong that I abandoned ship, now totally uninterested in even finishing my left thumb. I'd kind of gotten into the habit of exploring the back of packets and checking out the ingredients of everything in the house. Since having my son and finding myself more ethically conscientious about the products I was using, it led me once again down a rabbit hole of an internet search that totally hit me for 6....
Below I've listed the top 5 toxins commonly found in nail polishes.
What are the Top 5 Nasties?
Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP)
Is a commonly used plasticizer, a substance used to change the properties of plastics. There are several types of phthalates and DBP is one of these. Some phthalates are suspected to be so harmful that they are prohibited in all toys and child care articles. DPB is also known to be bad for the reproductive system.
Is a substance with many uses. It can be included in glue on particle board, in clothes or to fix colour. The vapours can trigger asthma and the substance is also a known carcinogen (that's right - cancer causing)
Is a solvent with a very strong smell. Inhalation of this is not recommended because of the damage that the solvent may cause in the form of nausea, dizziness and fatigue.
Is a substance that causes yellow colour and removes nourishment from your nails.
Is a derivative of formaldehyde and is often used for surface treatment or as glue. It is not as dangerous as formaldehyde but can cause allergy
There are many polishes that are 3-Free, but the best brands in this space take it one step further provide a wide variety of 10-Free polishes and exclude camphor and formaldehyde resin from their products!