They say that beauty is only skin-deep, but toxic chemicals in nail polish, go much further. The familiar chemical odor of standard nail polish comes from a group of ingredients that have come to be known as the “toxic trio” by health advocates, such as Alexandra Scranton, director of science and research for Women’s Voices for the Earth, and Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst at the Environmental Working Group.
All three “toxic trio” chemicals are classified as the most toxic by the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, a repository for the science behind the chemicals in personal care products which is maintained by the Environmental Working Group.
The “Toxic Trio” includes:
Dibutyl phthalate (DBP): A possible trigger of asthma attacks, this phthalate has also been associated with developmental and reproductive effects, and cancer in lab animal testing. Lunder calls it a “potent hormone disruptor that affects the male reproductive system most dramatically.”
Toluene: A solvent, also found in gasoline, that can cause dizziness and short term intoxication. Like DBP, it is a volatile chemical that can be inhaled and absorbed through the skin and nails. It could also be listed on the label as “toluol” or “phenylmethane.”
Formaldehyde: Considered a human carcinogen by U.S. health agencies, formaldehyde is an irritating chemical that causes allergic reactions in some people. It may also be listed as “formalin” on the nail polish label.
Unfortunately, there are no certifications or labeling in the United States that indicate a ‘safe’ or ‘better’ nail polish or polish remover. You should look for packaging that says that the nail polish is free specific chemicals, ie “DBP-free” and “toluene-free,” etc…
Avoid all gel manicures, even “chemical-free” gel manicures, because gel polish coats skin with multiple chemicals that can cause itching, burning, hives, and more. It also must be removed by acetone and soaked for up to 30 minutes, which can cause skin irritation and nervous system effects.
When visiting a salon, ask about the ingredients in the products they use, or bring your favorite toxic-free brand of nail polish.
North Texas Foot & Ankle podiatrists recommend Dr.’s REMEDY® Enriched Nail Polish. It is the only over the counter enriched polish, created by doctors, designed to be free from harmful toxins. Dr.’s REMEDY® does not contain the toxic trio of DBP, toluene, formaldehyde or formaldehyde resin.
It is also enriched with natural ingredients such as tea tree oil, a naturally occurring anti-fungal agent that is effective against multiple fungal organisms found on the skin. The high-quality Wheat Protein has effective moisture-binding capabilities and naturally increases shine and helps maintain optimum moisture in the skin. It also includes Garlic Bulb Extract which contains allicin, a powerful antibacterial, antifungal and anti-viral agent that joins forces with vitamin C to help kill harmful germs.
Dr.’s REMEDY® Enriched Nail Polish is available in a variety of beautiful and trendy shades. Visit North Texas Foot & Ankle to see the latest colors and purchase your own bottles!