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How to Find a Safer Nail Polish

Updated on February 18, 2013

my red nail polish

polish without the "toxic trio"
polish without the "toxic trio" | Source

The Search For a Safer Nail Polish

Add nail polish to the list of products on the market that contain carcinogenic ingredients. Nail polishes contain formaldehyde, toluene and DBP (dibutyl phthalate).These are known as the toxic trio. All three have been linked to cancer and reproductive problems.

What Are The Toxic Three?

Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen

DBP has been shown to be toxic to animals’ reproductive systems

Toluene has also been shown to be toxic to animals’ reproductive systems

Cosmetic companies have responded to consumer concerns, and demands to remove the toxic trio by offering nail polish without them. Unless a company specifically states that it is not using the above ingredients, most likely they remain in the product. A high price and a famous name brand is no indication that the toxins have been removed.


- I decided to try a red nail polish (see photo) that professes in its ad campaign not to have the toxic trio ingredients. As a consumer why should I believe this big manufacturer? The only thing I can immediately discern is the lack of a strong odor which has been present in other nail polishes. When I opened this bottle there was no overwhelming odor. After applying it just to my toes there was no lingering odor as I have found with other nail polishes.

- In the past I have used red nail polish and even days later when I put my hand near my face I would smell a strong odor.

- While there is no way to vouch for the safety of any nail polish it is not something I would let a little girl use.

- If you do use a nail polish there are many on the market now which are claiming to be toxin free. I can’t think of any reason to use a product that has not removed these toxins.

- If you use a nail salon you may want to bring your own toxin free products.

For further information about the many toxins in our cosmetics and health care products see the links below.

Also find current updated information about individual products


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    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 5 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      I'm like you healthylife2 - I bring my own nail polish. And for the first time in my life - I rarely wear polish. I enjoyed it so much, but I am so tired of everything being filled with toxic chemicals. We have to take a stand with our dollars. Thanks for commenting.

    • healthylife2 profile image

      Healthy Life 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      It's so scary what is in nail polish I now bring my own to the nail salon but wish there was a salon that carried safe brands.There is a reason the employees have to wear masks. I haven't found one in the whole state of Connecticut.

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      Thank you Maita - and now that spring is coming - it is time for a great pedicure. I actually own the nail polish in the photo and will take it with me for a pedicure at my wonderful local shop where I get the best reflexology and leg massage. Mmmmmm. Can't wait for flip flop season!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 7 years ago from US

      Thanks next time I will bring my own products... toxins are scary,

      Very nice BK, you know that a womans friends are her nails hehe, Maita

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      So glad you enjoyed the hub! Thanks for commenting Chris Eddy111!

    • Chris Eddy111 profile image

      Chris Eddy111 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Good Hub. The problem with the things that are "good" for you is that most times they cost more than the bad stuff. It must be a conspiracy to keep people away from healthy products.

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 8 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      It all works out, doesn't it charmbaker? The less we spend - the healthier we will probably be. Thanks for your comment and taking the time to read!

    • profile image

      Charmbaker 8 years ago

      Geeeez! And here I was feeling sorry for myself because I can no longer afford my bi-weekly trips to the nail salon! Great hub. It sure pays to be informed!