It might surprise you to know that conventional nail polish can actually be considered as hazardous waste. It contains a number of not-so-healthy ingredients that can be flammable, toxic, and harmful in a number of ways, even if used correctly. Furthermore, when we are done with the polish and throw it out, releasing such chemicals into the environment and landfill has potentially harmful implications as well. But for those of you that love having your nails painted pretty colours, there are solutions at hand (excuse the pun).
Some of the most harmful ingredients in conventional nailpolish are toluene, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde resin, paraben, xylene, camphor, rosin, styrene and benzophenone. These ingredients all have the potential of causing respiratory problems, headaches, eye irritations, skin complaints, and even dizziness and vomiting.
Thankfully there is another option.
Nowadays there are a number of eco brands out there, offering natural and environmentally free nail polishes without this list of ingredients. Instead of using these toxic ingredients, they have leveraged nature to use things like bamboo oil to create silica and potatoes, wheat, and corn to create agro-solvents instead of using harmful petrochemical solvents. For example, bamboo based silica, otherwise known as bamboo rhizome macerate is great for strengthening the nails and making them more resistant to wear and tear.
When it comes to removing nailpolish, commercial removers can be just as harmful. Full of acetone and alcohol, these mixtures not only strip the polish from your nails but they also remove the natural oils that your nails need to be healthy. This dries them out, leading to discolouration, breaking, and splitting. By switching out your usual nailpolish remover for an acetone free version, you can significantly improve the health of your nails and the surrounding skin.
Of course, no eco-friendly nail routine would be complete without the use of reusable nailpolish remover pads. Many of us are guilty of using disposable cotton pads or wipes that end up in the rubbish and ultimately landfill. Instead you should consider using bamboo felt or cotton versions that lift the polish from your nails and can then be washed and reused again and again.
These are just some of the steps you can take to make your nail polish routine more environmentally friendly as well as more healthy for you.