Natural nail polish seems kind of extreme, right? You eat right and exercise; do you really need natural nail polish? Yes! Believe it or not, what you put on your nail bed and near your cuticles does actually absorb into the body. There is no true ‘chemical-free’ nail polish on the market but there are lots of brands out there that are more natural and less-toxic. The three ingredients you are looking to avoid are:
1. Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
These three chemicals have been linked to problems ranging from skin irritation in people to birth defects in animals.
Polishes that exclude all three of the above-listed chemicals:
1. Piggy Paint, non-toxic, odorless, kid-friendly, kid-colored, water-based formula.
2. Honeybee Gardens, an alternative to solvent-based nail polish, water-based, odorless, removes with rubbing alcohol.
3. No-Miss, does not contain the three-to-avoid above, and also does not contain camphor.
4. Acquarella, water-based system of nail polish, conditioner, remover and moisturizer.
5. Suncoat, water-based nail polish that has been recognized and honored from the Canadian Health Food Association Expo.
6. Gaiam, Created by New York City’s first organic spa, our non-toxic nail polish is free of known carcinogens.
7. Peacekeeper Cause-Metics, created by the Environmental Working Group as the safest paint-based natural nail polish.
8. Sante, created without the use of formaldehydes, toluene, and colophony rosin.
9. Nubar, carcinogen-free nail care products.
10. Safe Nail Polish, non-toxic, odorless, made in the USA.
11. Priti, non-toxic, made without the evil-three and all know carcinogenic ingredients.
12. Spa Ritual, vegan nail lacquers.
So how well does the polish hold up? Very well! I used to do a base coat, two coats of color and a topcoat. Now I no longer use a base or topcoat and manage to maintain my manicure very well with only one or two coats (depending on the color).
In addition, it does come off with rubbing alcohol, which is a much better alternative to nail polish remover. You may need to rub a little longer to remove all the polish, but it is better for you and less toxic. To be even ‘greener’ you can use cotton rags instead of disposable cotton balls.
For an even more natural approach and less risk, consider an alternative to the standard manicure with nail polish. First, cut and file your nails, then soak them in organic apple cider vinegar (to treat or prevent nail fungus) or warm water; apply almond oil to the cuticle area to soften and shape the cuticle. Finally, buff with fine grade buffing files on dry nails. Moisturize your hands and voilà, done!