Friday, May 6, 2016

Non-Toxic Guide to Manicure & Pedicures

Planning a mother daughter mani/pedi session to celebrate Mothers Day? It's a fun and great way to spend quality time, but traditional nail salons and nail polishes expose you to some pretty nasty chemicals - chemicals that we definitely should expose our moms or daughters too! Instead, make it a fun and non -toxic mothers day and choose a salon or spa that uses 3 or 5 free polishes.   

What does '3 Free' mean?
Traditional nail polish can contain a 'toxic trio' of chemicals: toluene, BPD and formaldehyde, obviously not a healthy thing for little girls (especially those who bite their nails or suck their thumbs) to have on their nails.  

When buying a new nail polish at a minimum look for those that are 'THREE FREE' which means they are free of these three chemicals:


  • Use: Helps nail polish go on smoothly and adhere evenly to the nail. Also used in gasoline fuels. 
  • Named a developmental toxin by the State of California
  • It has been associated with neurological side effects such as dizziness, memory loss and nausea.  It can also affect the central nervous system causing dizziness, fatigue, fainting.  It is considered a possible reproductive toxin.
  • According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) human studies have found “minor craniofacial and limb anomalies, in the children of pregnant women exposed to toluene by association between exposure to toluene and an increased incidence of spontaneous abortions, have also been noted.  “
Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
  • This particular phthalate reduces polish brittleness and cracking
  • Has been banned from nail products in the European Union and is considered a powerful developmental toxin by the state of California
  • Is especially dangerous for pregnant women since it has been associated with reproductive harm and underdeveloped genitals in baby boys. 
  • Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen. It is also an irritant to the eyes, nose and throat, and can lead to skin irritation and an allergic rash called dermatitis.
What about '5 - Free'?  An even better option if choosing a nail polish that is '5 Free'?  This means that in addition to being free of the toxic trio (formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate & toluene) the nail polish you are buying is also free of two more nasty chemicals:   

Formaldehyde resin: a derivative of Formaldehyde, mainly used in the production of coatings and adhesives. It is not as toxic as Formaldehyde but can be an allergen.

Camphor: is a poison that can cause seizures and disorientation if used in large doses. This chemical acts as a cover on your nails, depriving them of nutrients and causing yellow staining on your nails

... and '8 free' polishes??"
The gold safety standard are those that are '8 free' , which are nail polishes that do not contain
 the five chemicals mentioned above, nor these additional chemicals:

  • Ethyl tosylamide: A chemical that might provoke antibiotic resistance
  • Xylene : A possible carcinogen
  • TPHP : an endocrine disruptor
Our Favorite 'Clean' Nail Polishes Jenna Hipp - The New Moderns 8 Mini Nail Polish Collection Julep Color Treat Birthstone Collection Nail Polish, Geena Rose Quartz for January, 0.27 fl. oz. butter LONDON Amazon Exclusive Bridal Bouquet Molly-Coddled Nail Lacquer, Fruit Machine deborah lippmann Sheer Nail Lacquer, Naked Nail Lacquer Jane (001) 0.5 oz by tenoverten Zoya Naked Manicure Mini Professional Kit CHANEL LE VERNIS Longwear Nail Colour - Rouge Coco Stylo Collection (08 Pirate):
 While not all Chanel nail polishes are, this red is '5 free'!

Côte nail polish in No. 111, $18, sold at their California store and online this one is 7 free!

LVX Nail Polish, Vegan, Turkoise:  all LVX lacquers are 7 free 
(without the use of Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, DBP, Toluene,
Camphor, Xylene & Parabens. LVX is TPHP free ) 

SpaRitual Soulful Nail Lacquer - Emerald City - 0.5 oz
 are vegan and free of DBP, toluene, camphor, formaldehyde and formaldehyde resin.  Also have a great selection of colors available. 

Acquarella Nail Polish, Persnickety
has a selection of over 50+ nail polish colors. These are all water-based, and don’t contain any formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate or camphor

Green/non-toxic nail salons

Los Angeles 

New York City

Austin, Texas

 * please note: the links provided are for samples of the brands sold on Amazon.  
 Although you can purchase through Amazon, you can find more information on
 each company by going directly to their websites. The Amazon affiliates link 
 provided will give me a small percentage (at no extra cost to the person purchasing)


  1. GREAT information!!!!! It is also good to find out where they are available here in Miami!

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