When pregnant, many women worry about everything from how much coffee they can drink to whether or not they can keep jumping in their workout class. Wearing nail polish is another common concern. For many women, a manicure/pedicure is a relaxing ritual that’s hard to give up. Unfortunately, there’s so much misinformation out there related to what is and what isn’t safe, it’s hard to know what’s actually necessary to give up.
As with most things, it’s usually safest to do DIY manicures or pedicures where you can control the products being used. “I always recommend avoiding dangerous chemicals in all aspects of your beauty routine whenever possible, whether you are pregnant or not,” says Jin Soon Choi, the fashion world’s go-to for nails. “JINsoon polishes are 10-free, meaning they’re made without the 10 most commonly used harsh chemicals in nail polish such as formaldehyde, toluene, dbp, formaldehyde resin, camphor, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, triphenyl phosphate, parabens and lead. Unfortunately, these ingredients are used because they extend the life applied nail polish and are inexpensive, but their dangers range from skin irritations and allergic reactions to exposure to low grade carcinogens while actually making the nails brittle or peel.”
Having the proper polish for DIY manicures isn’t the end of the story, however. “Many times, women who DIY manis and pedis don’t incorporate proper cuticle and nail care in their routine,” says Choi. “It’s very important to prep the nail bed by pushing back the cuticles and using a cuticle oil while doing so such as Honeysuckle + Primrose Cuticle Oil. You’ll also want to gently nourish the surrounding skin before and after nail polish application. Continued use of a cuticle oil helps to prevent bacterial buildup and results in healthy, moisturized nail beds. As for pedicures specifically, I recommend soaking the feet and exfoliating with a foot file before you moisturize and prep the toenails for polish. Lastly, it’s important to apply a base coat before applying polish and a top coat after applying polish.”
There are some things Choi says should never be done at home – namely, cutting your cuticles or removing ingrown nails. These things should only be done in a professional setting because it can lead to infections. If you’re worried about the chemicals in the products at your go-to nail spot, always bring your own.