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Natural Nail Polish

Posted Apr 01 2009 12:00am
April 3, 2009 | By niccitalbot

I love wearing nail polish but since finding out that most brands are highly toxic I’ve been put off. My two year old is always badgering me to do hers but considering she’s constantly got her fingers in her mouth, I’d rather not unless I can find a natural brand that’s less harmful. I suffer from eczema on my fingers sometimes so have avoided using polish all the time in case it makes it worse.

Natural nail polishes (water-based and solvent-based) do exist but finding a brand that is glossy and smooth, has fun colours and doesn’t chip or flake after a day’s work isn’t that easy.

So, I was pleased to receive some samples of Zoya nail polish , the brainchild of Zoya Reyzis, an aesthetitian and salon owner who came up with the idea of a ‘healthy’ nail polish while pregnant. Many nail brands aren’t safe to use during pregnancy because they contain formaldehyde, a preservative that has been linked to various skin irritations and allergies. The Zoya range is solvent-based, comes in over 300 colours, and has won a beauty award for best new product.

I used Anchor base coat, ‘Whitney’ hot pink, and Armor top coat. It went on smoothly, is glossy and thick and dried quickly. I could still smell it but it’s nowhere near as strong smelling as most brands I’ve used. We’ll see how long it lasts given the nappy changing, marigolds and swimming routine.

Nail polish contains a cocktail of toxic ingredients, which you can smell as soon as you open the bottle. However, these aren’t usually listed on the back or brand website so it’s difficult to find out exactly what’s in them. I did a bit of research and common ingredients include: –

• Toluene – petroleum-based solvents. A skin irritant that attacks the central nervous system, and has been linked to liver damage and cancer.
• Parabens – these are oestrogenic, mimicking the role of oestrogen in the body and disrupt the hormonal system. They have been linked to breast tumours.
• Phthalates – plasticizers, which are hormonal disrupters and have caused reproductive problems during animal testing. They have been linked to early puberty.
• DBP (Dibutyl Phthalate) – stops nail polish chipping. Has been linked to birth defects in animals during testing.
• Formaldehyde – a preservative, which is a skin irritant and has been linked to asthma, headaches and fatigue. It is also thought to be a carcinogen.

If you’re pregnant or allergic to any of these ingredients then it would be helpful to know when a product contains them. We may not use nail polish in high concentrations but most of us have used it regularly since youth. Repeated exposure can’t be a good thing.

Zoya also runs a nail exchange via its website so you can swap your old bottles of polish for new ones.

If you enjoy having manicures and pedicures look for an organic beauty salon that uses Zoya or equivalent brands. The Organic Pharmacy is one. A quick search on Google for ‘organic beauty salons’ brings up lots.

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