Nail polish has been one of those Do-I-Really-Have-To-Let-It-Go? kind of things. The only times in twenty-five years that my toenails weren’t painted were the durations of my two pregnancies. And now that Victoria is pushing 9-years-old, she’s a nail polish freak too. (She likes wild, alternating colors…lime green and eggplant purple at the same time. Heaven help me!)
When we began the vamoosing of our chemical-laden beauty products, I knew nail polish had to be a goner. What I didn’t count on was the difficulty in finding suitable replacements for nail polish and nail polish remover. We had just fallen in love with OPI brand and my primary concern, of course, was artificial colors. And OPI had us at “hello,” for the most part. They have voluntarily removed the three primary toxicants from their nail polishes in accord with the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. So now, most all of their cutely-named colors score an impressive “4” in the Cosmetics Safety Database.
But you know I couldn’t just stop there. I wanted to know what the “4” was all about. After all, a four is within the “moderate hazard” range. So I checked in on the database to learn that the only really harmful ingredient in any of OPI’s nail lacquers (since 2006) is Triphenyl Phosphate, an ingredient listed as a “high hazard” cited for reproductive toxicity and neurotoxicity. Egad!
Putting the nail polish on is not the only problem. Removing it is even more dangerous. I studied the ingredients of EVERY BOTTLE of nail polish remover in Wal Mart last week and did not find a single one without FD&C Blue, Red and Yellow colors. Even the “clear” ones. Come on, people. Really????? Add that to the plethora of hormone-altering parabens, and I was ultimately disgusted. I’ll be honest with you – it’s going to take a literal team of scientists and physicians well studied in the matter to convince me that toxins are not absorbed through the nail bed. (If you are one of the people who can do such convincing, bring it on, PLEASE!) If I don’t want Vic ingesting these petroleum-based artificial colors that promote hyperactivity, do I really want her soaking her hands in them?
Mint and Berry to the rescue. I found Aquarella and Scotch Naturals, both non-toxic water-based nail polishes and corresponding water-based removers. The problem is that each bottle of nail polish is $15, so it’s less likely Vic will have a rainbow of colors to choose from. But I bought some for Christmas for her, and I have to give kudos to the companies who made these products. True, the remover takes about four times as long to use (it suds up and works like a cleanser) and the nail polishes, because they are not oil-based paints, tend to chip by the second day. But they are safe.
And pretty. 🙂