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#GoneGreen2016 Day 92 / 365

In a scientific study co-authored by Heather Stapleton of Duke University and EWG toxicologist Joanna Congleton found that a chemical added to nail polish to make it more flexible and chip-resistant got into the bodies of all 26 women who volunteered to paint their nails for the study. The evidence showed up in their urine within half a day.

If you’re someone who goes to get your nails done in a salon, one thing to consider as well, on an ethical level, is the health of the people who work there. If using one bottle of nail polish alone caused all 26 women who participated in the study above to have immediate evidence of harm, imagine what breathing in that monstrosity of chemicals 8-10 hours a day, 5-7 days a week does to a person (with or without a paper mask on their mouth). Because of this, it is important to demand from your salon that the nail polishes used are as toxic free as can be.

Harmful beauty products is no new thing, the American beauty brand and lobbyist group, Beauty Counter has been lobbying congress for years to have harmful chemicals banned from the beauty industry. And slowly but surely, they and other groups like them have been gaining ground. There have been various scandals that have rocked the cosmetics industry as well, from L’Oreal having lead found in their lipsticks to carcinogens in Johnson’s & Johnson's baby shampoo and talcum powder.

No nail polish is completely natural, but there are some brands who have made efforts towards being as ‘green’ as they 'can be', so I thought I’d make it easy to spot them.

There are various categories when it comes to 'non-toxic' nail polish, as various 'non-toxic' brands fall under the spectrum of 'kind of conscious' to 'credibly conscious'. Here’s what to look for, in order from worst to best:
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3 – Free
Products claiming to be ‘3-Free’ indicate the product is free from toluene, dibutyl phthalates, or formaldehyde. All of which are known carcinogens.

TOLUENE
This is a neurological and developmental toxicant that causes headaches, dizziness, nausea, loss of short-term memory, and is proven to be toxic to a developing fetus. According the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, it is also a moderate skin irritant that can cause dermatitis with prolonged contact

DIBUTYL PHTHALATE (DBP)
Banned from cosmetics in Europe back in 2003, this chemical is still allowed to be used in the US. Dibutyl phthalate can cause adverse effects on the male and female reproductive systems, as well as developmental problems in infants and children.

FORMALDEHYDE
This is a common ingredient in nail polish and is classified by the Agency for Research on Cancer as a known human carcinogen.
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5 – Free
Nail polishes listed as ‘5-Free’ exclude the above three known carcinogen and also exclude formaldehyde resin and camphor. 

FORMALDEHYDE RESIN
Though it hasn’t been linked to cancer like formaldehyde, it is a known skin allergen known to cause dermatitis and can release a gas that might contain formaldehyde. 

CAMPHOR
This comes from the wood of a camphor tree, which sounds really lovely, but it is known to cause nausea, dizziness, and headaches when inhaled.

7-Free
‘7-Free’ brands exclude all of the chemicals from '3-free' and '5-free' and exclude, in addition, Xylene and Tosylamide.

XYLENE
A known allergen and possible carcinogen, according to research from the International Agency on Research For Cancer Scientific Publications Series

TOSYLAMIDE
This is a plasticizer that helps dry your nails quickly. This is another ingredient that has been barred from beauty brands in Europe due to its antibiotic properties and concern over antibiotic resistance

THE BEST NON-TOXIC ECO-FRIENDLY NAIL POLISH BRANDS
SIENNA BYRON BAY | 7-Free | Vegan | Cruelty Free 
They've got a clean make up with no formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, synthetic camphor, xylene, tosylamide, benzophenone-1, animal parts or any other nasties. Their polish is also vegan and cruelty free. Their bottles are made from recyclable glass and capped with wood made from a local non-native pest tree. Removing these trees is helping the local rainforest regenerate and old native species are now re-growing. 

MINERAL FUSION | 5-Free | Vegan | Cruelty-Free 
You can watch my review on mineral fusion here. This brand creates their polishes with a antioxidant-rich, 100% vegan formula. Their products are free of formaldehyde, toluene, camphor, TPHP and dibutyl phthalate. Find it HERE

(FOR KIDS) PIGGY PAINT | WATER-BASED | NON-TOXIC | HYPOALLERGENIC | CRUELTY-FREE 
Melanie Hurley created Piggy Paint after dropping a glob of solvent-based polish on a foam plate she was painting her daughter’s fingernails over. She watched as the bubble ‘ate’ though the plate and decided that flammable substances that could eat through foam wasn’t right for her children’s fingernails which would eventually end up in their mouths. It is free of formaldehyde, toluene, phthalates, biphenyl A, ethyl acetate and acetone… and made in the USA! Find it HERE 

ACQUARELLA | 7-FREE (+more) | CHEMICAL FREE |
With an EWG rating of 1 (the best rating a beauty product can get) this brand is one of the best in the industry. They use water as their solvent and an engineered safe copolymer structure. Find it HERE


Photos: I took 'em ... with the direction of my husfriend Shane Woodward who you see lounging out of focus in the background ;)