Choosing the right nail polish is about more than just color and staying power-it's about your safety as well. In recent years, several ingredients used to make nail polish have been found to have adverse effects on health, including cancer, asthma and birth defects. While many companies have banned the use of these ingredients, some continue to make and sell nail polish with these potentially unsafe chemicals.
The "toxic trio"
There are three ingredients causing quite a bit of concern in nail polish formulas, which together are known as the "toxic trio." These chemicals have traditionally used to make nail polish, and continue to be used by some companies, even despite concern about their safety.
Are these chemicals legal?
In the United States, cosmetic companies are not required to test their products for safety, which is why certain nail polish brands still legally sell polishes made with this toxic trio of ingredients. This is in contrast to the European Union, which in 2004 banned the use of any personal care product known or suspected to cause cancer or birth defects.
Criticism from consumers, however, has driven many of the major U.S. nail polish companies to stop using DBP and other toxic ingredients in their polishes.
"Three free" brands
If you're not sure whether a company uses the "toxic trio" in their nail polishes, be sure to contact them or check their website. Some of the major brands who boast a "three free" status, which means free of DBP, formaldehyde and toulene, include:
And many more.
Safety shouldn't have to be a concern while picking out nail polishes, but luckily growing concern has caused many major companies to change their formulas and make them safer. Be aware of which brands use the "toxic trio" of chemicals when you're getting ready for your next manicure.