The Effects of Nail Polish

In 2006 studies found that nail polishes contained high levels of these very toxic chemicals: formaldehyde, toluene, plasticizer dibutyl phthalate. Many nail polish companies voluntarily removed them from their product. In 2012, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control exposed that some companies changed the label of the product not the actual product itself. So what is formaldehyde, toluene, plasticizer dibutyl phthalate?

  • Formaldehyde: a colorless, flammable, strong-smelling chemical that is used in building material and to produce many household products. Commonly used as an industrial, germicide, and disinfectant, and as a preservative in mortuaries and medical laboratories. Has been classified as a human carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) by the International Agency for Research on Cancer and as a probable human carcinogen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Toluene: a clear, colorless liquid which becomes a vapor when exposed to air at room temperature. Long term exposure may lead to tiredness, slow reaction, difficulty sleeping, numbness in the hands or feet, or female reproductive system damage and pregnancy loss.
  • Plasticizer Dibutyl Phthalate: used mainly in nail products as a solvent for dyes and as a plasticizer that prevents nail polishes from becoming brittle. Is absorbed through the skin and can enhance the capacity of other chemicals to cause genetic mutations. Interferes with hormone function, may cause harm to an unborn child and impair fertility.

As Israelite women of the Most High we always want to look our best but also take into consideration our health. This article is not to scare you away from all nail polishes but just to inform you of what the prolonged use of these chemicals called “toxic trio” can cause. You don’t need to completely stay away from nail polish, you just need to find a good brand with less harmful chemicals and go natural once in a while.

You can also try water based nail polish and water based nail polish remover. Water based nail polish is odorless, solvent free, dries fast and removes easily. There is so many to choose from, a bottle will run you anywhere from $9 – $20, all well worth it. Below you will find a list of a few water based nail polishes to help you with your search.

*Acquarella                            *Scotch Naturals                               *Suncoat

*Keeki pure and simple nail polish (safe for kids)                        *Hopscotch kids

*Piggy paint

This is a great website where you can check your current products to see how safe they are. Just enter the name and it will tell you exactly how it rates, what kind of ingredients it has and how they affect you. Hope this was helpful to everyone. Be sure to leave a comment if you have tried a water based nail polish.


  1. I am glad you shared this with us. I never knew about water based polishes and polish remover, I most certainly would like to try them. Also, it is good to go natural every once in awhile because I noticed that the polish makes my toenails weak and then they start to chip at the corners to where I have a lot of nail to cut off. So these polishes aren’t good for us and can do some ugly things to our nails like even turn yellow if you leave polish on to long.

  2. Thanks for this article. Great topic and good advice.

  3. Thank you for this research
    I would have known this about nail polish.

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