In today’s worrying climate (pun sadly intended) every little helps. With icebergs melting, glaciers vanishing and the ozone hole growing ever larger, the world is a scary place to live.
But, there are some shining lights, it’s not all doom and gloom. Big brands are starting to sit up and listen, producing increasing amounts of eco-friendly products. From electric vehicles and baby diapers to kitchenware and make-up, everyone, it seems, is slowly getting on board.
Nail polish, too, is becoming eco-friendly in its approach, and many brands are eliminating the worst of the toxic ingredients, which is good for the planet and great for our health.
What is in nail polish?
Mentioned somewhere in the ingredients list on the majority of eco-friendly nail polishes are the Big Three:
This is a known carcinogen, commonly found in products that require a plasticizer. Household paint, plastics as well as nail polish all contain this. In animal tests, it has been shown to cause nausea, sore weeping eyes, skin irritation and, in some cases, can affect the reproductive system. Recognized as an ‘endocrine disrupter’, upon contact with the environment, studies show it can enter watercourses, causing hormonal changes to fish, amphibians and aquatic mammals.
Colorless, and water-insoluble, toluene is used as a paint thinner and it has been associated with irritation of the nose, throat, and lungs, dizziness and numbness, while its environmental impact is listed as moderate/chronic. Toxic to aquatic life, and causing damage to flora, there have been no studies as yet on its impact on birds and mammals.
Used as a hardener in nail polish, it can be found in many household products, including make-up, textiles, glue and plasterboard and it poses a significant threat to the animal, human and plant life. Affecting the upper and lower respiratory tracts, cause severe eye irritation or conjunctivitis, it is a by-product of the electricity industry and is emitted in vehicle exhaust fumes.
Once in our watercourse, it can kill aquatic life, and affect the breeding cycle of mammals, reduce lifespans, and change their behavior.
Toxic Free Nail Polish
With nail polish manufacturers recognizing that many of us are worried, not only about our own health but also that of the planet, there is an increasingly large variety of ‘big three free’ polishes. Not only that but some have gone that one step further by producing cruelty-free, organic or vegan versions. Fortunately, these have proved to be popular due to their effectiveness as a polish, but also their ethical credentials.
Make-up brands, too, are jumping on board, along with other beauty products, and this can only be a good thing for all of us here now, future generations and the planet we all rely on.