written by: Lindsay Evans•edited by: Niki Fears•updated: 8/23/2010
Conventional nail polishes contain many toxic chemicals including formaldehyde, toulene, and dibutyl-pthalate (DBP). Luckily, several companies now produce non-toxic nail polish for concerned green consumers.
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Traditional nail polish is a mixture of toxic, potentially harmful substances. The harsh fumes emitted from nail polish as it dries contains formaldehyde, dibutyl pthalate (DBP), and other chemicals that can cause health problems. Acetone nail polish remover should be avoided as well. Because the FDA has lax guidelines regarding the safety of personal care products, these and other harmful chemicals continue to be widely used in beauty products today.
If you like to use nail polish but are concerned about toxic ingredients, you now have a greener choice. Several companies offer safe, non-toxic nail polish and nail polish remover. Be an informed consumer, however, and make sure you know what you're buying. Some products may substitute other chemicals for commonly known nail polish toxins that may not be healthier alternatives.
To quickly and easily determine if an ingredient in a personal care product is safe for use, look it up on the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Database.
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Non-Toxic Nail Polishes and Removers
Nail polish that is truly non-toxic and safe to use should be free of solvents and off-gassing chemicals. The following companies are trusted sources of non-toxic nail products.
Safe Nail Polish - This aptly named company sells its products at safenailpolish.com. Safe Nail Polish is a completely odorless water based non-toxic hypo-allergenic formula that is safe to use on adults, children, and pets. Their 2009 Classic Collection includes 22 fun colors, including Coppertuned (deep, burnt red), Confetti (clear with rainbow colored sparkles), and Kotton Kandy (pink pearl). Also available on their website is their specially formulated non-toxic nail polish remover.
Polished Mama - Marketed to pregnant women wanting to use non-toxic nail products during pregnancy, Polished Mama nail polishes are great for anyone to use. Their water-based nail polish and acetone-free nail polish remover are available at polishedmama.com. They also offer manicure and pedicure kits - the perfect gift for a new mom!
Acquarella - The Acquarella nail polish system includes nail polish, nail conditioner, polish remover, and skin lotion. All products are designed to work together to give you the best non-toxic hand and nail care available. Acquarella products use high quality non-toxic ingredients and do not contain harmful chemicals. A detailed list of their product ingredients can be found on their website.