3 Health-Harming Ingredients in Nail Polish (& How to Avoid Them)

As you know, I have a passion for cooking clean, delicious food for my family. And here’s the thing: I’m just as concerned about what we put on our bodies as I am about what we put into our bodies.

If you’re concerned about what goes in your body, too, it’s important to know that everything you put on your skin gets absorbed by it. When you eat food, the digestive enzymes in your stomach and small intestine break it down and eliminate waste products and toxins from your blood. But, when your skin comes in contact with a liquid or a vapor, it passes through layers of skin and enters your bloodstream directly.


An easy way to reduce your exposure to toxins is to switch to more natural nail polish that doesn’t contain these chemicals that have been proven to be (or are suspected to be) harmful to humans: dibutyl phthalate, toluene, and formaldehyde. Toluene causes headaches and sleepiness and impairs your thinking. Formaldehyde is used as a preservative and may cause fatigue, sore throat, nausea, and dizziness. Dibutyl phthalate is believed to be toxic.

It’s best to steer clear of these three harmful chemicals, especially when you’re pregnant. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up your manicure! Just make sure to pick a polish that doesn’t contain the toxic trio.

My personal favorite brand of healthy nail polish is Zoya. There are so many color options that you never go back to the toxic stuff!  Ask your local salon if they carry 3-free brands. If not, you can always bring in your favorite non-toxic polish and ask them to use that instead. I always do this, and the best part is I can touch up my own manicure at home to make it last! Bonus: My all-natural mani lasts much longer than the chemical-laden ones.

What nail polish color are you loving? Please share in the comments!

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Photo: Getty