Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Beware of the Toxic Trio in Nail Care Products

What price are you willing to pay for nice nails?

Consumer Awareness is essential when it comes to cosmetic products:  Formaldehyde, DBP and Toluene are 3 harmful ingredients you want to avoid at all cost!

In our attempts to look and feel beautiful we subject our nails, skin and hair to countless cosmetic products.  Unfortunately, not all of these products are 100 % beneficial for our bodies and may affect our health down the road.

My reasons for writing this article are two-fold:

Firstly,  I want to encourage all consumers to become knowledgeable and ask questions about the products they are using.  Be pro-active, contact the companies, demand answers to your questions!

Secondly,  I would like to highlight 3 potentially detrimental ingredients – known as the “toxic trio” readily found in nail care products and warn consumers of these, but at the same time I am offering links to well-written articles on the subject for all to read and form their own opinion.

Number 1 “Nasty” - Formaldehyde can be found in so many household products that you really ought be aware.  It is often listed under several other names, perhaps to mislead the consumer into thinking that the product does not contain this “nasty” ingredient.  If you read the following names listed in the ingredients, you can be sure that they contain formaldehyde: Formalin (found in nail hardeners), Methanal, Methyl Aldehyde, Methylene Oxide, Morbicid Acid, Oxymethylene, Formalith, Formic Aldehyde, Formol, HCHO, BFV, Fannoform and Paraform.

Number 2 “Nasty” -  A chemical with the abbreviation DBP – Dibutyl Phthalate is used in a wide range of beauty and cosmetic products such as shampoos and conditioners, body lotions, hair growth formulas, antiperspirants and sunscreen.  It was even found in gum, candy and pharmaceutical items taken orally.  However, the most common products which contain DBP are nail enamels and nail hardeners.

Number 3 “Nasty” - Toluene is yet another chemical that can have very harmful effects on your body.  This organic solvent should not be inhaled as it can cause a number of health risks such as weakness, nausea, confusion and memory loss to name a few, if inhaled at low to moderate levels.   Toluene may appear on ingredient labels as Phenylmethane, Methylbenzene or Toluol.  For further information on this read -

So, be an educated consumer.  Do your own research into what you are exposing your body to.  Take a conscientious approach by contacting cosmetic companies to inquire about their ingredients.  Demand answers, otherwise avoid the product.  I have listed some of the most informative articles found online, that will shed some light on the discussion and controversy surrounding cosmetic ingredients. 

Here is a website that features an article entitled: “Beauty Secrets: Phthalates in Cosmetics and Beauty Products”/Environmental Working Group

Read the following article to hear both sides of the story regarding nail polish chemicals:  “Cosmetics makers under fire on nail polish chemicals”

Finally, I would like to direct your attention to an article that I found during my research of harmful ingredients found in nail care products.  It suggests the following:  we, as consumers, should constantly be on the look-out for less-toxic brands of nail polishes, practice BYOP – Bring Your Own Polish – on salon visits.  A further recommendation is to skip the mani and just get a pedi, limit polish use by children and pregnant women and ALWAYS apply and remove polish in a well-ventilated area.  In order to read the complete article entitled” Campaign for Safe Cosmetics:  Nail Products and Salons”  go to

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