Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Is My Makeup Killing Me? Nail Polish

As people are becoming more health conscious, it still amazes me how makeup seems to be so low on the list of things that people are concerned about. While cult workout routines and crazy health foods are sky rocketing in sales, people are still blindly buying makeup with little concern which scares me because makeup is something you are piling directly onto your face and leaving there for hours, allowing a whole host of chemicals to sink in and directly enter your bloodstream. Now I'm not saying that everything I use is 100% natural and harmful chemical free, but I've decided it's high time to educate myself and the masses about what it is exactly we are doing to ourselves in our quest for beauty. First up is a look in my favorite product, nail polishes.


So you see a lot of polishes these days advertising that they are 3- or 5-free. So what exactly does that mean and why should you be concerned? Well here is a break down of what it means, as well as a look into why those chemicals were included in the formula.

3-free means that the lacquer is made without the following three chemicals:
Dibutyl Phthalate: this is used to keep polish from chipping, and has been linked to cancer, birth defects, and is linked to obesity.
Toluene: this one is used to give polish its smooth texture but is harmful to your nervous system which can impair breathing among others things and is linked to malignant lymphoma.
Formaldehyde: this is used as a nail hardener, and is a known carcinogen and linked to a huge range of health problems.

And 5-free is the absence of the chemicals above as well as:
Formaldehyde Resin: this is a derivative of formaldehyde which is an adhesive polymer that helps the polish stick to the nail, while it is not as toxic it is a known allergen.
Camphor: this is a plasticizer which makes polish flexible after it dries and is poisonous in large doses and is known to cause seizures.

Now that we know what these nasty chemicals are, it's also important to keep in mind that nail polish makers weren't trying to kill us with toxins but each of these chemicals did have a purpose to be in the mix. Also if they are taking these chemicals out, what are they replacing them with? This is definitely a troubling question, but I must say since there has been no scathing exposé I'm going to pretend it is nothing as frightening as those. 

On a happier note here is a pretty humongous list of 3- and 5-free nail polishes I have cultivated ranging from well known brands to ones I have never even heard of, enjoy! 

"3 Free" Nail Polishes (no dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde)
A Beautiful Life, Adoree, a-england, American Apparel, Anise Cosmetics, Aura-Soma, Avon, Bari Cosmetics, BB Couture, Beauty Without Cruelty, Butter London, China Glaze, CND, Color Club, Deborah Lippmann, Del Sol, Dr's Remedy, e.l.f., Elizabeth Arden, Essie, Estee Lauder, Finger Paints, Hard Candy, Jessica Cosmetics, Jordana, Julep, Karma Organic Spa, L.A. Girl, Lancome, Le Metier, M.A.C., Maybelline Salon Expert, Milani, Nars, Nailtini, Orly, OPI, PeaceKeeper, Pop Beauty, Rescue Beauty Lounge, Rimmel, Sally Hansen, Savina, SolarActive, Soulstice Spa, SpaGlo, Tip Top Nails, uslu airlines, Wet 'n' Wild

"5 Free" Nail Polishes (no dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor)
Acquarella, Catrice, Chanel, Dashing Diva, Dazzle Dry, Dior, Essence, Givenchy, Helen E, Hopscotch Kids, Kure Bazaar, L'Oreal, Mavala, Mineral Fusion, NCLA, No Miss, Nubar, Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics, Priti NYC, Revlon, RGB, Sante, Scotch Naturals, Spa Ritual, TenOverTen, Vapour Organic Beauty, Zoya

Sorry those lists are a little ridiculous I suggest using a search function (CTRL+F) if you would like to locate your favorite polishes to see if they made the list. Please keep in mind that not all polishes within a brand is necessarily free of all these chemicals, I know for a fact that some special collections and hardening polishes from OPI contain formaldehyde and sometimes camphor too, so make sure to check the labels of each individual polish to get the full story!

By no means am I telling anyone to stop painting your nails, I mean this doesn't stop me from switching out my polish on a weekly basis but it's nice to educate ourselves on what exactly we are doing to our bodies.

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