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Are You Polished?

Jan. 14, 2014|795 views


I have to admit, like most women, I love taking care of myself and making an effort to look my best. Although I don’t have much time to myself anymore, I still enjoy picking and coordinating my clothes, doing my makeup, or fixing my hair.

When I was younger I was obsessed with my nails, for many years I would let them grow and paint them in colors matching my outfits. As you can imagine those were habits of the past that I no longer dream of. The truth is that as a working mom of little ones (the youngest a baby), I am happy now if I find enough time to cut them short which is how I usually wear them.

I use nail polish occasionally but unlike in my younger years, I’m concerned about nail polish and some other cosmetics and that is why I wanted to share this post.

In 2006, health advocates raised concerns about three toxic chemicals that are common in nail polish. One is formaldehyde, which, as you may know, is used to preserve dead bodies. It’s also a known carcinogen. Another is toluene, a solvent that smells a bit like paint thinner. It helps keep those pretty colors well mixed in the bottle, but it’s also linked to developmental defects. Which is why pregnant women are often advised to avoid nail polish during pregnancy. A third component, dibutyl phthalate, is used to add sheen and flexibility. It’s also been linked to birth defects.

Many manufacturers have removed these toxins voluntarily since the outcry of the mid-2000s, but an investigation by a California agency found that, despite relabeling their products, some companies never actually removed these troubling chemicals.

No one is saying it’s never a good idea to use nail polish. But awareness is certainly a good idea. For instance, given the risks, young girls should not paint their nails, especially if they’re likely to bite them. The phthalates used in nail polish have been banned in the European Union, but the FDA has not taken similar action. According to the watchdog organization, Environmental Working Group, two industry leaders, Revlon and L’Oreal have so far refused to remove dangerous phthalates from their cosmetics, despite mounting evidence that these chemicals impact reproductive health.

Here’s a sobering final thought. The United States Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Cosmetics and Colors issued the following statement in 2012: “…a cosmetic manufacturer may use almost any raw material as a cosmetic ingredient and market the product without an approval from FDA.” In other words, you’re basically on your own. For more information about the potential dangers of cosmetics and personal care products,

If you still chose to paint your nails make sure you do so in a very well ventilated room. If possible use non-toxic water base nail polish. The HoneyBee Gardens is one of my favorite non-toxic brands!

Tags:  chemicals beware, health tips, pregnancy