It's Time To Let Your Mainstream Nail Polish Go

It's Time To Let Your Mainstream Nail Polish Go

Ingredients are important not only in the food we eat, but in the nail polish we wear. You've probably seen some nail polish brands make claims like 5-free and 7-free, but what does that actually mean?


Let's take a look at Essie's ingredient list for their cult-favorite color, Ballet Slippers:

Ethyl acetate, butyl acetate, nitrocellulose, propyl acetate, tosylamide/formaldehyde resin, isopropyl alcohol, trimethyl pentanyl diisobutyrate, triphenyl phosphateethyl tosylamidecamphor, stearalkonium bentonite, diacetone alcohol, stearalkonium hectonite, benzophenone-1, synthetic fluorphlogopite, citric acid, silica, aluminum hydroxide, colophonium/rosin/colophane, calcium aluminum borosilicate, aqua/water/eau, aluminum calcium sodium silicate, calcium sodium borosilicate, dimethicone, alumina, polyethylene terephthalate, oleth-10 phosphate. polyurethane-33


Here's a breakdown of what shouldn't be in there:

1. Tosylamide/formadehyde resin - While not as toxic as Formaldehyde, this derivative can cause allergic reactions

2. Triphenyl phosphate - Commonly found in fire retardants; has been linked to reproductive and developmental issues when tested in animals

3. Ethyl tosylamide - Banned in European cosmetics due to its similarity to antibiotics; there is concern that exposure to this chemical can help the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria

4. Camphor - Use of this chemical is restricted in Canada; can cause skin irritation among other things


Some brands I love:

Rooted Woman - A Black-owned and operated brand that promotes self-care through ethical, non-toxic nail polish and treatments

J. Hannah - Primarily a jewelry brand that also creates USA-made, non-toxic, cruelty-free polishes meant to complement a well-adorned hand

Pear Nova

Ruth Polish

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