While Manis and pedis can be a weekly beauty routine for some women, others treat themselves with a quick nail “make over” at home before heading out to a party or weekend night out.  There are so many nail polish companies making tempting color shades in such a wide range, that it’s no wonder many of us have a whole drawer at home filled with every shade of pink imaginable. Nails, just like skin, are porous and will absorb anything added to them. Back in 2006, the news about the dangers of nail polish started with the “toxic trio” (formaldehyde, toluene, plasticizer dibutyl phthalate).  These 3 top toxins became known to the public to have very harmful effects on our respiratory systems, endocrine systems, reproductive systems, and nervous systems.  They have been linked to birth defects in babies of pregnant women who use nail polish regularly. One of the common chemicals found in nail polish, TPHP (triphenyl phosphate) for example, seems to be replacing one of the toxic 3 (phalates), but isn’t necessarily a healthier ingredient alternative.  TPHP is used in plastic manufacturing as a fire retardant in foam furniture.  It is known to be an endocrine and reproductive system disruptor.  More and more studies have been showing that the evidence for it’s harmful abuse to hormone regulation, metabolism, reproduction, and development is becoming more apparent. These new studies have lead to the belief that there is not only the toxic 3 nail polish ingredients we should be avoiding, but rather a “toxic 5”.  These chemicals include formaldehyde, toluene, phthalates, formaldehyde resin and camphor. So now what?  Is my “toxic-free” nail polish really safe? While many nail polish companies, such as Zoya and Mineral Fusion are removing the biggest (top 5) chemical offenders from their ingredient lists, they are claiming to have a safe, toxin-free product. But that’s not really the whole truth... When you take out an ingredient, it must be replaced with an ingredient that has a similar purpose.  Often times it’s a similar ingredient or even worse for our health!  Many of these substitutes include chemicals such as ethyl acetate, butyl acetate, nitrocellulose, acetone and heavy metals, all of which can be just as damaging to our bodies as the ones they are replacing! We may pay a bit extra for the “healthier” nail polish options, due to the time, effort & money that companies put into creating a more suitable nail care option, but I think it’s well worth it, and you may too! I recently discovered 2 brands that I found to be some of the least toxic options on the market, despite what other bloggers and advertisers might say about other brands like Zoya, Mineral Fusion, & Suncoat as their top choices:

1. Benecos- A German nail polish company that has a nice selection of colors.  You can easily purchase many of their polishes through Amazon, and I'm starting to see them sold in local healthfood stores in the USA!  Click HERE for their website (They ship from Europe). 2. Scotch Naturals- A water-based nail lacquer brand with tons of color options.   You can buy them on Amazon.

As for a good, fairly non-toxic nail polish remover, try Karma Organic Spa remover.  Buy from their website or find it on Amazon... Karma Organic Nail Polish Remover

DIY:  If you want to try making a nail polish remover at home, try making one this one with white vinegar & citrus:

Pour some vinegar into a small bowl, add some citrus from a lemon, lime, orange, or grapefruit (or real juice from the grocery store), and mix together. Use a cotton ball to apply. If there is anything left that is difficult to remove fully, then use your emery board to file it all off, even with the lemon juice.