Archive for the ‘Polished Mama’ Category

polishWe get a lot of questions regarding nail polish.    People want pretty toes and pretty fingernails, and while some may not even be aware of the fact that most conventional nail polishes are bad for you, a lot more people  are becoming aware of the toxicity that comes with wearing nail polish.

Essentially, nail polish is a “paint” you’re putting on your nails.   When you cover up your nails, you’re covering up their ability to breathe, which makes them weak and brittle.  Nails, like anything else on your body, fair much better when they’re left naked.  Your best bet for healthy natural looking nails?  Get some oil to rub on your cuticles nightly ( be it vitamin e, or jojoba oil.  It doesn’t have to be expensive) and buff.   But we get it.   Summer comes along and you don’t want to be “that girl” on the block.  The one with the naked, busted up feet.   Or maybe you have an event coming up and you’d like to treat yourself.

So what’s the safest bet?   Well, unfortunately, there is no truly “safe” nail polish.  All polishes are made up of a combination of chemicals to help the color bond and harden to your nail.  It’s just a matter of finding one that’s “better” for you.    However, when choosing a “safer” nail polish, you should steer clear of the major ingredients below.

Ingredients to Avoid

  • Toluene – Toluene is a solvent that can cause a whole mess of problems.   Including: reproductive and developmental toxin (awesome!),  lethargy, memory loss and skin irritation to name a few.   Toluene is used in paint thinners as well.  And really, do you want to slather paint thinner on your nails?   Yeah, I didn’t think so either.   Skin Deep gives toluene a whopping 10 on the hazard scale.
  • dibutyl phthalate – If you’ve been reading either of the ‘Mamas’ sites long enough, you’ll know to steer clear of phthalates.  Briefly, they’re endocrine disruptors.   Long term exposure to phthalates can not only hinder fertility, but may also cause liver and kidney damage.
  • Formaldehyde – Remember when you dissected that fetal pig in high school biology?  Remember the awful noxious smell that hit you in the face when they opened up the big bucket of pigs?   You can thank formaldehyde for the dizziness and raging headache you received as a result.   Formaldehyde will not only make your indoor air toxic, but it’s also a known carcinogen.  Among many things.
  • Ethyl Acetate – Another one of those respiratory irritants.   Not one that gets a lot of recognition in the grand scheme of bad nail polish ingredients, but one that I like to steer clear of nonetheless.

The good news is that a lot of companies have moved forward in removing these chemicals from their formulations.  But not all have yet, so this is definitely something you want to be on the look out for.   Oh yeah, and it might be a good time to go through all of that old nail polish you have stashed under your bed and purge it.  Old nail polish is gross anyway.

So what are our favorites?    LovelyMama Top Picks:

honeybeeHoneybee Gardens – Honeybee is a water based nail polish that comes in 21 natural colors.  That is, it contains no FD&C colorants and is easy to remove with rubbing alchohol.  They do recommend removing about a week after wear, as it tends to be harder to remove after time.  Another bonus is that this nail polish is made locally to me, here in PA, so if you’re in the area, that’s less use of resources to have it delivered, or to go out and pick some up.  One drawback of this nail polish, is that it tends to have better staying power, the longer you give it to dry.   They recommend putting it on before bed and letting it dry overnight.   For toes, that might not be the best bet, as you’ll wake up with creases in your polish job.   I hate that!

acquarellaAcquarella – Acquarella is another water based nail polish that also boasts no FD&C colorants (however, there are a few colors in question, that I know don’t exist in nature, so we’re still checking on that).  This brand says it dries fast to the touch, but like other water based nail polishes, letting it set for awhile is probably going to give you a longer lasting polish job.   Acquarella is also vegan!

peacekeeperPeace Keeper – Peace Keeper has a natural mineral based nail polish that rates well in Skin Deep (3).  They havea  paint base but don’t use any FD&C colorants.  They offer 5 shades and a clear topcoat too.  Since they aren’t totally water based they may last longer than other brands.  Nice colors!  Order right from their website IAmPeaceKeeper.com

Better Choices

(Unsure about the ingredients, so use caution)

PolishedMama – They don’t list every ingredient but they do tout “ NO toluene, xylene, formaldehyde, ethyl acetate, acetone or dibutyl phthalate” so we’re pretty comfy recommending them.  They have a remover too!

Priti Nail Polish – This one we’ve heard a lot about, but I can’t seem to find ingredients online anywhere.  They’re free of the major three ingredients.   Use at your own risk.

Take it off!!!

Ok so you chipped your nail trying to pry a bath toy out of your dishwasher… what’s safer?  We like HoneyBee’s Oderless Nail Polish Remover, available on their website.   We also like Priti’s soy based polish remover.   And of course, as mentioned above, Polished Mama has a remover as well that also works on those conventional nail polishes (you know if you’re running off to find safe remover for that nasty toxic stuff you’re currently wearing).

Go Au Natural

Not sure about this polish stuff? Try a polishless manicure… some vitamin E oil a nail file and a buffer can do wonders for your piddies.

  • With a nail file, shape your nails as desired
  • Soak hands in warm water (add a few drops of an essential oil if you like) to soften cuticles
  • Use an orange stick to push your cuticles back (we dont recommend cutting them, that could open you to bacteria and germs…)
  • Using a nail buffer, Shine your nails up to perfection.  We like the 1-2-3 Nail Buffer from Bath & Body Works or the 4 Sided Nail Buffer from HoneyBee Gardens.
  • Follow with a nice hand lotion like Revolution Organics All Over Skin Creme.  At night add a few drops of vitamin E oil to cuticles to keep them happy.

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