Is your nail polish impacting your health + recipe

Hands and lavender.jpg

I used to wear nail polish almost every day in my 20's, until I started learning about what was in it and what it could be doing to my body.

Nail polish used to contain some pretty toxic chemicals such as Formaldehyde which is a preservative and potential carcinogen , Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) which is used to make plastics flexible and is a reproductive and developmental toxin, and Toluene which is petroleum derived and highly toxic.  These chemicals can be absorbed into the body through the nail bed and are only some of the toxins included in nail polish formulations which contain solvents, dilutents, plasticisers, resins and pigments.  These can cause your nails to dry out, become brittle, prone to breakage and splitting, and discolouration.  These chemicals will also impact on your overall health through being absorbed into the body and inhaled.  

There are no truly toxin free nail polishes out there, some just contain less toxins than others and are marketed as being 3-free, 5-free, 7-free and 10-free depending on which chemicals  they don’t have. Nail polishes which are 3- free don’t contain the 3 most toxic ingredients  mentioned above, and 5,7 and 10-free don’t contain these plus others.   There  are  also  children's water based polishes however they don’t last as long.   Going for 10-free nail polish  means that you will be choosing the most toxin free option available.  It is also important to go without nail polish as often as possible to allow your nails to breathe.  Nails aremade up of skin cells hardened by keratin however they do allow moisture to go through to theskin below.  

Nail polish remover has a similar story and truly natural and chemical free removers do not  currently exist.  The fumes from nail polish removers are particularly problematic and can be  respiratory and eye irritants.  There are however a couple of options that are made without  some of the most toxic ingredients such as Acetone, Butyls and Toulene.  So if you still choose to wear nail polish there are things you can do to reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals, and improve the health and strength of your nails. 

If you have very brittle nails this could be due to a mineral or vitamin deficiency but also a  result of overuse of nail polish.  The below recipe to will help strengthen nails, and soften  cuticles.  This can also be used for toe nails

DIY NAIL & CUTICLE OIL
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon raw honey
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

mix all ingredients together and massage into nails and and cuticles.  Wipe off any excess.