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WHAT IS SAFE, NON-TOXIC NAIL POLISH?



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What 3-Free Nail Polish Does Not Include


4-Free Nail Polish

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6-Free Nail Polish

7-Free Nail Polish

There are certain ingredients in your nail polish, that may be harmful. Some you may have heard of, such as formaldehyde. Others you may not be able to even pronounce, including dibutyl phthalate. So what are these ingredients and why are nail polish that claim to be non-toxic, numbered from 3-7? This article will help you understand the ingredients and which are truly toxic and which don't matter.

What 3-Free Nail Polish Does Not Include

When a brand indicates it is 3-free, it means it does not contain the following:

  • Dibutyl phthalate - also known as DBP, it's common in nail polish and fragrances and is considered a poison. It's used to stabilize a product and as a solvent. Besides nail polish, building materials, plastics of all sorts, insecticides, children's toys may all expose you to this ingredient. In 2009, Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health concluded that the risks of exposure to DBP to humans are low. However, the European Union has banned the use of this ingredient in cosmetics and personal care products. Environmental Working Group (EWG) lists it as of high health concern and as an endocrine disruptor.

  • Toluene - is typically associated with paint thinners and used as a solvent. It's main concern is that it can cause skin irritation and other health conditions as listed under xylene below.

  • Formaldehyde - is a preservative and commonly found in cosmetics. It can be a source cause of allergies and skin irritation. The EWG reports that formaldehyde is a carcinogenic impurity released by a number of cosmetic preservatives.

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  • Formaldehyde resin - this resin may contain formaldehyde as an impurity in a small quantity. If this is in the nail polish, it's less than 0.5%.


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  • Camphor - can be toxic when inhaled or if you drink huge quantities of it. EWG rates this as low hazard. You should avoid it if you're allergic to camphor.

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  • Parabens - is a preservative but not really needed in nail polish, since other ingredients, such as solvents, form an unfavorable environment for bacteria.

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  • Xylene - is a solvent in nail polish and also found in glues/adhesives, lacquers, paints, paint thinners, rubber cements and wood stains. It can cause sever adverse effects related to heart, kidneys, lungs, and skin.

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