What You Really Need to Know About the Chemicals in Your Nail Polish
Are non-toxic nail polishes all they're cracked up to be? Here's what you need to know
"By and large, the nine-free trend in non-toxic nail polishes is more a marketing ploy than actually having a basis in science," explains Forshage, who has produced cosmetics for beauty giants like Bath & Body Works and CoverGirl. For example, some products list gluten on their list of excluded ingredients, but that doesn't mean much. "Wheat by-products have never been part of a typical nail polish formulation, and therefore, the removal is moot," says Forshage.
Likewise, high-numbered non-toxic polishes claim to be free of chemicals that aren't typically used in nail polishes anymore -- like xylene and lead. In other words, five-free polishes may have the same exact ingredient list as a seven-or even 10-free formula.
Additionally, while some ingredients in any nail polish might be harmful at high levels, consumers typically aren't using polish in a way that could be dangerous, explains chemist Ron Robinson. "In general, nail polish is safe if used correctly," he says. Still, if you're concerned for your nail technician who works with these chemicals all day, keeping your polishes on the cleaner side could help.
Ahead, we map out exactly what's missing in all of your favorite polishes, plus the prettiest colors you can feel good about buying.
Image via Getty
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