I treated myself to a pedicure today as part of my oscar preparation some long overdue maintenance. At the salon they had many brands of polishes, two of which had a sign distinguishing them as toulene and formaldyhyde free ( Zoya and Sparitual brands). I chose one of those and was pleased.
When I got home I did some further sleuthing and found there may be other ingredients to avoid in polishes. In addition to the toule (which is toxic) and formaldehyde (a carcinogen), dibutyl phthalate (DBP) should be avoided because it is a hormone disruptor. Thankfully both Zoya and Sparitual do not contain DBP, either.
Even with the dangerous ingredients removed, all polishes are petroleum based. It might be good to know that as I learned from the SafeNailPolish.com site, no brand of polish is actually organic or vegan, despite how they are marketed.
Another article I read on care2.com gives a good overview of polish dangers and also describes a way to give yourself an all natural manicure, using buffing instead of polish. I actually had this done to my hands today (buffing, no polish) and it looks amazing! The nails are clear, shiny and smooth.
The Skin Deep database has a section on nail care which is helpful to find out which brands are safe (though it didn't yet have the brands I saw at the salon today). Skin Deep also helps explain the dangers of various ingredients.
I hope I can find a way to keep my pedicure safe and non-toxic, or else sandal season just won't be the same!