Sunday, May 20, 2012

Toxic Tips?

As a follow up to my last post (May 7) about nail polish I thought it would be a good idea to share some other, not so fun nail news. Penny thinks it's important for all to know the good and bad of the things we like to consume. What you do with the information is your business of course (goodness knows Penny has her own share of vices). LOL!

Butter London, Bright Teal
For years the 'dangers' of nail polish has been in the news, but it seems to be increasing in recent years as nail polish manufacturers create new (and improved?) formulas. Manufacturers are also creating more polishes and techniques that you can do 'at home,' so many may be skipping the hassle of the nail salon appointment, and exposing themselves to these dangers more frequently. So it's important to hear about the latest debate on the toxic chemicals found in nail polishes and maybe learn about brands to avoid. You might want to become an ingredient reader like Penny, and choose a less harmful polish since there are so many good ones on the market.

The latest is news is that some brands have been 'mis labeled' and that harmful chemicals do exist in their polishes. Those most susceptible to their dangers (which could include cancer and birth defects) are the nail technicians and anyone working in a nail salon. A study was done in California by the Dept. of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) that showed several brands said they were free of the toxic chemicals but still showed trace amounts of them. The DTSC is recommending that all nail polish companies be required to disclose all of their ingredients. However, polish manufacturers say the report is misleading because the FDA allows these chemicals in small doses. (read full story...)

Penny has written many times about looking for 3-free and 4-free polishes. These are polishes are supposed to be free of the chemicals Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde and Toluene. Here is a quick run down:
  • Dibutyl Phthalate - DBP is a plasticiser used to prevent chips and cracks. You should be aware of formaldehyde in your treatment products, not polish. It was used in some nail polishes; all major producers began eliminating this chemical from nail polishes in the Fall of 2006. It is a suspected endocrine disruptor.
  • Formaldehyde - It is used in some nail hardeners but not in the actual polish. A resin, tosylamide/formaldehyde resin, makes the polish tough and resilient. On 10 June 2011, the US National Toxicology Program described formaldehyde as "known to be a human carcinogen." 
  • Toluene - Toluene, formerly known as toluol, is a clear, water-insoluble liquid with the typical smell of paint thinners. Inhaling toluene has potential to cause severe neurological harm.
Revlon, Fire & Ice

The fourth chemical removed from what is now called 4-free polishes is Formaldehyde Resin.
  • Formaldehyde Resin - Formaldehyde Resin (or you may see it on ingredient lists as Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin or TSFR) is an ingredient in nail polish used to add flexibility and improves adhesion to the nail plate. This resin is said to be less harmful than formaldehyde itself as it is a different chemical altogether even though formaldehyde gas is used to make it.
Most of these products are said to be dangerous if inhaled in certain quantities. For example, Formaldehyde can be toxic, allergenic, and carcinogenic. It can irritate the eyes and may cause headaches, a burning sensation in the throat, and difficulty breathing, and can trigger or aggravate asthma symptoms. Penny does have a thing for nails but I try not to spend too much time at the nail salon with each visit. I have asthma and allergies and in all the years I've been getting my nails done I have never had any reaction to the chemicals in the salon. But it doesn't mean that they can't be harmful over time. I rarely do my own nails at home, but if I did them often I would probably use a face mask like the salon technicians do. Something to consider if you're going to the nail salon is maybe to be the first appointment. Earlier in the day the air quality may be better; less toxic.

Here is a list of 3-free polishes:
China Glaze
The Hunger Games
  • OPI (green label)
  • Essie
  • China Glaze (black label)
  • Color Club
  • Sally Hansen Salon
  • Nicole by OPI
  • Illamasqua
  • Maybelline Express Finish & Maybelline Salon Expert
  • Hard Candy
  • Milani
  • Wet-n-Wild
  • Butter London
  • Priti
  • e.l.f.
Here is a list of 4-free polishes:
NARS, Thakoon
  • Zoya
  • Orly
  • SpaRitual
  • Revlon
  • MAC
  • NARS
  • Chanel
  • Dior
  • Lancome
  • Estee Lauder
  • N.Y.C. Long Wearing
  • Pop Beauty Nail Glam
  • Nailtini
  • Rescue Beauty Lounge
  • Inglot
  • Lippman
  • Sally Hansen Insta Dri
NOTE: I have not read the ingredients on all of these polishes. These are the ones mentioned elsewhere on the Internet, and some of the ones I use myself.
Sally Hansen, Lightening

Penny believes that the DTSC is right. Polish manufacturers should be required to disclose all their ingredients, so that if consumers choose to avoid certain chemicals they can. Telling me that something is "free" of chemicals only to say that the FDA allows small amounts, is fraudulent advertising if you ask me. Sadly, in my years of researching beauty products in general I've come to find that for every harmful ingredient removed (i.e. parabens, sodium laureth sulfate, ammonia, peroxide, etc), there are other chemicals that replace them or that already exists in the products that are just as harmful (i.e. ammonium hydroxide, p-Phenylenediamine, MEA). So as a consumer its worth a little research to see what you're really getting.

Be blessed. Be beautiful.

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