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3 Scary Ingredients Hiding in Your Nail Polish


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If you’ve been following my articles here at CF, you probably know that nail polish isn’t just a hobby for me – it’s an obsession. So, years ago, when I first found out that some polishes contained some pretty nasty chemicals, I immediately began to research these ingredients, and to search for safe alternatives.

The main nasty chemicals found in nail polish? Formaldehyde, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), and Toluene. These ingredients can typically be found in many less expensive polishes – scary, I know. On the upside, many big name companies are realizing that their consumers won’t buy polishes containing these three chemicals and have removed them from their ingredients.

Below, I’ll explain what these ingredients are, and why you don’t want them in your polish, as well as list some brands who don’t include these chemicals in their products.


When I started researching this stuff, this was the only ingredient of the three that I had actually heard of before and finding that this was in my nail polish totally grossed me out! The reason? Formaldehyde is typically used as a preservative, a sterilizer, and to embalm bodies. It’s also used in particle board and plywood because of its adhesive properties. (Yes, that means your IKEA furniture probably contains formaldehyde as well.)

Though it is less commonly included in nail polish these days, formaldehyde is often added to nail hardeners, and many nail companies include nail hardeners in all of their colored polishes as an added bonus. Not a great bonus in my opinion, considering that formaldehyde has been connected to lung and nasal cancer, and is considered a known carcinogen by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

So, while you probably aren’t going to develop cancer just because you painted your nails with a formaldehyde-containing polish (unless you drink or inhale the polish, which I’m going to have to advise against), I would still personally avoid any products containing this chemical – it’s just not worth the risk.

Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP)

This chemical is used to make plastics that are extra-flexible; think shower curtains, rain boots, hairspray, and plastic wrap. Its goal in nail polish? To ward off cracks, chips, and all those other issues that make us cringe when they happen to our freshly-painted nails.

While DBP is not believed to be a carcinogen, it has been linked to reproductive issues if the mother is exposed to it while pregnant. While companies are still allowed to put it into products in the US (though it has been phased out by most major nail polish manufacturers), it has been banned for use in cosmetics by the European Union. That, to me, sends a clear message that this chemical is one to watch out for, and even though the US hasn’t banned it, it’s still a scary substance.


Often included in polish to make it apply more smoothly, toluene is another scary chemical that can be found in many polishes. Nail polish isn’t its only application, though, it is also included in gasoline as an octane booster, and is also used as a raw material to create TNT.

Toluene has been known to affect the nervous system and to cause dizziness, headaches, eye irritation, nausea, birth defects, developmental abnormalities, and liver and kidney damage. I don’t know about you, but those potential side effects do not sound worth it to me. Again, this chemical has also been banned by the European Union, but not by the US.

Avoiding “The Big Three” – Safe Polish Recommendations

Now that we’ve gone over the basic uses of these chemicals, and their potential hazards, I have some good news! In recent years, most big nail polish brands have become aware of these harmful substances (and that people won’t buy polish containing them), and have removed them from their formulas! These days, it’s easier than ever to avoid these chemicals.

Some of my favorite brands that have eliminated these 3 nasty ingredients are: OPI, most China Glaze polishes (check the label to be sure), butter LONDON, Essie, Sally Hansen Salon, MAC, Rescue Beauty Lounge, Wet n’ Wild, NYC, Deborah Lippmann, Chanel, and Zoya.

And that’s just the beginning – there are many more brands out there that have gone without these 3 ingredients. In fact, going “clean” almost appears to be the new standard in nail polish, which is very exciting! As a polish lover, I hope to someday see all brands eliminate these ingredients from their formulas.

What do you think?

What do you guys think of these 3 ingredients and their inclusion in nail polish? Do you wonder about any other polish ingredients? Do you want to know of other brands that avoid these chemicals or some more natural brands? Let me know in the comments!

Posted on on March 19, 2011 / Filed Under: Beauty & Hair / Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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85 Responses to “3 Scary Ingredients Hiding in Your Nail Polish”

  1. 1
    March 19th, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Thanks for posting this! I immediately went and checked all of my nail polish bottles and thankfully they don’t have these chemicals. I’ll definitely check from now on and I’ll try to buy more “clean” varieties.
    This definitely makes my wonder about other ingredients in there that may be unsafe.

  2. 2
    March 19th, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Wow! This really is an eye-opener. Thanks for warning all of us!

  3. 3
    March 19th, 2011 at 3:04 pm

    I really don’t see the big deal. Unless you’re literally EATING your nail polish, does it really matter?

  4. 4
    March 19th, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    I agree with Ashley. It’s not like we’re eating it. So it’s not a big deal to me.

  5. 5
    March 19th, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    None of these chemicals actually cause real problems for your body. Maybe research more about physiology of the body before scaring people.

  6. 6
    March 19th, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Good to know! All nail polish companies should be making the switch to less harmful chemicals. I mean really, nothing that smells that foul can be good for you haha :)

  7. 7
    March 19th, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    After reading this I went and checked and found that my Dim Sum Plum OPI has Formaldehyde resin in it. Hmmmm.

  8. 8
    March 19th, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    I just checked my nail-hardener and indeed! It had a warning for formaldehyde, saying to apply oil to the cuticle of the nail, only use for three weeks max., and if in use for two days (you apply it two days), the next take it off.

    I wondered why it looked a bit like glue (it was a bit dry, I hadn’t used it for a couple of months). So yeah, chucked that one out, and some other nail polishes that are a bit old and were chunky.

    I’m happy that the other two are banned from the European Union, that way, I don’t have to worry about them =). Thanks for the post though, because it really is important to know about these things!

  9. 9
    March 19th, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    i always knew there were harmful chemicals in nail polishes but i never knew what they were and which brands had them. …

    i know that opi and essie used to have some harmful chemicals in them a few years back

    im slowly becoming a nail polish junkie!!!

  10. 10
    March 19th, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Just a clarification…that toluene is a raw ingredient in the manufacture of TNT does not make it dangerous by itself. Plenty of non-dangerous things are used to make dangerous things. No reason to scare people unnecessarily…can we avoid these overly dramatic pronouncements?

  11. 11
    March 19th, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Formaldehyde is in Sally Hansen’s Xtreme Wear nail polish

  12. 12
    March 19th, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    Hey, I might have read too fast but I don’t think you mentioned which label colors =3 free? I know OPI must be green text label and China Glaze should be black to show they’re free of those carcinogenic ingredients.

    Do you know if Essie label colors make a difference? I only know that blue text=newer formula…

  13. 13
    March 19th, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    I’m so glad you’re touching on this topic. I’ve been going through all my cosmetics and researching them for the past year in an attempt to switch to products that aren’t so toxic. Nail polish is something I just started looking at, and your article was very helpful.

    I can understand not seeing the harm some of these chemicals can cause, but we absorb a lot through our skin (yes, I know we aren’t putting nail polish on our skin, but we’re still dealing closely with it), and even just breathing in some of these substances can be harmful. We already live in a world where we have to deal with quite a bit of pollution, so why should we expose ourselves to more?

  14. 14
    March 19th, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    I’m with Hannah. As a chemistry student, I’ve used toluene in the lab because it’s way safer than benzene. It’s a very common organic solvent. It’s even used to remove cocaine from coca leaves for Coca-Cola syrup. I wouldn’t sit there huffing the nail polish bottle for hours, but it’s harmless after your nails have dried.

  15. 15
    March 19th, 2011 at 9:52 pm

    small side comment: ikea furniture no longer contains formaldehyde =)

  16. 16
    March 19th, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    I agree with victoria. I’ve worked with Toluene, Formaldehyde and Benzene in my organic chem labs many times. As long as you’re not drinking, huffing, or bathing in it, it poses little or no risk. Yes, toluene is used as a raw ingredient in TNT. However, it undergoes many chemical reactions to transform it into a new chemical.

  17. 17
    March 19th, 2011 at 11:42 pm

    Thank you for this post! I really try to be environmentally friendly and am trying to get rid of some of the bad chemicals from my beauty wear. If you check out Ecoholic by Adria Vasil, she talks about these chemicals and mentions that brands like No-Miss, Sante, Suncoat, and Peacekeeper Cause-Metrics are mostly natural. The range of colors is far less, unfortunately, but Peacekeeper has some nice colors and run the same as Sephora by OPI. Also, Revlon doesn’t have these chemicals typically.

    To all the naysayers, yes, these chemicals are bad for you and absolutely bad for the environment. I think we should be scared! Then maybe we’ll stop buying the products companies give us and demand better, safer ones.

  18. 18
    March 20th, 2011 at 3:35 am

    I’m currently taking a module, “Perfume and Cosmetics”, in my college (it is offered by the science department), and I think there should be more credible research when writing such articles.

    While we do not eat our nail polishes, nail polishes are applied on our nails and sometimes go to the skin surrounding the nail, which may raise concern for skin irritation. Some chemicals may be absorbed by the skin, so yes, there is a definite cause for concern, be it skin irritation or health concerns.

    HOWEVER, there are some serious blanket statements in this article!

    Just because an organic reagent is used in manufacture of TNT does NOT mean that it is dangerous. Organic reagents are used as aerosol propellants and in many other products too. It’s unreasonable to rule them out completely just because they are used to make TNT.

    Moreover, while there are differences in regulation of cosmetics in Europe and in the US, it does not mean that there are no restrictions on such ingredients in the US. FDA imposes a maximum concentration allowed for potentially harmful ingredients. It means that we do not have to avoid such ingredients completely.

    Bottomline: Some companies phase such ingredients out as a marketing ploy, but for products manufactured by reputable companies which contain such ingred, there really is no need for undue overwhelming concern, girls.

    I really hope that there can be more in-depth scientific research before publishing such articles next time. Recommendations are helpful, but exaggerated claims are not.

  19. 19
    March 20th, 2011 at 4:24 am

    This scared me for a minute because I’m a big fan of any and all nail polish. However, I really don’t think these ingredients are that harmful in such minute quantities, and it’s not like we’re soaking our skin in the chemicals themselves. Like others mentioned we use toluene and formaldehyde in organic chemistry lab so, while they should probably be handled with care, I don’t think they’re something to really get scared about. And anyway, it seems like all the major brands I’d purchase from are among those who don’t use these chemicals anyway. Thanks for the heads up and information though :)

  20. 20
    March 20th, 2011 at 11:51 am

    I was just going to comment on the toluene, but I see that my fellow ochem nerds beat me to the punch! Lol.

  21. 21
    March 20th, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Thank you for the information! However, I feel that the author over-reacts a bit on this article. Embalming bodies really doesn’t deserve an exclamation mark. But thanks again for the useful information, I’ll keep a lookout for those ingredients from now on. :)

  22. 22
    March 20th, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    Essie polishes contain Toluene, you can smell it as soon as you open the bottle. :(

  23. 23
    March 20th, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Thanks for the info! The idea of tons of icky chemicals in my cosmetics really grosses me out – I almost exclusively buy OPI, because I know they use less harmful chemicals. I think its worth the extra money to buy products that are better for your body!

  24. 24
    March 20th, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Just because some nail polish companies have eliminated these 3 ingredients from their products doesn’t mean they haven’t swapped them out for equally “harmful” substitute chemicals that the public *isn’t* complaining about… yet.

    I’m in favor of natural ingredients in general, but I have to agree that this article is pretty alarmist. Unless you work in a nail salon I doubt exposure to nail polish is very high on the list of things that can seriously harm you.

  25. 25
    March 20th, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    So what you’re saying is I shouldn’t be biting my nail polish off?

  26. 26
    March 20th, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Thanks for this information.

    Even if these chemicals are not harmful in small quantities, if we continue to use chemicals that are potentially harmful we are putting ourselves in danger. I love nail polish as much as the next girl but I do think that we should reconsider what we are putting on and near our bodies. Skin is very absorbent and when you are putting on your nail polish, you will be inhaling these chemicals. (my mom would always make me go outside to put on nail polish)

    Often I don’t think we think enough about what is in our products that we use regularly. Being aware is important.

  27. 27
    March 21st, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    The reason that formaldehyde is linked to lung cancer is it’s presence in cigarettes. There is a big difference between smoking a pack a day and putting on nail polish.

  28. 28
    March 21st, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    Well, I religiously use my $1 bottles of Wet n’ Wild, I’m safe either way. But I agree with everyone who talked about how these chemicals probably aren’t all that bad for you. Besides, if nail polish ends up being the thing that kills me, then I guess I can live with that haha

  29. 29
    March 22nd, 2011 at 8:10 am

    I’m with the chemistry students. I think nail polish chemicals aren’t really a big deal, although I guess it’s better to be safe than sorry? I just happen to prefer OPI and Zoya anyway, because they are such great quality polishes :)

    I think there are other everyday things that people should possibly be aware of, like the toxic dye on receipts and putting hot food in styrofoam containers.

  30. 30
    March 22nd, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    I like to wear nail polish but after this i think i won’t use it anymore thank u 4 the information

  31. 31
    March 23rd, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    I have a terrible habit of picking my nail polish and sometimes I use my teeth (gross but true) so I should really pay more attention to what’s in the polish. I’m sure I’ve accidentally eaten some at one point!

  32. 32
    March 24th, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Thank you everyone for your thoughts! :)

  33. 33
    March 30th, 2011 at 10:25 am

    I’m a nail technician, for anyone who thinks “unless you’re eating it…” you’re wrong. NAILS ARE POROUS. Anything you put on them seeps through to the nail bed, then onto/into skin, or if you get paint on your cuticles. But there are nail polishes such as SpaRitual and I think Zoya that are made without these types of ingredients. You dont have to stop wearing it altogether, just do your research first.

  34. 34
    May 28th, 2011 at 3:18 pm

    I am a Dr and I do like nail polish and use regularly. People should not comment on things they don’t know about. The data about formaldehyde has been around for years. Even science labs try not to use it. DBP data is really strong and you don’t have to be pregnant. It can build up in your body and cause birth defects and genetic abnormalities that cause miscarriage or birth defects. Why would you take that risk even if you don’t “drink your nail polish”. Don’t be so naive!! It takes actual published scientific evidence to get things banned anywhere. And in the US the main companies bowed to the pressure because the evidence for phthalates is damning. Don’t risk your health, fertility and the well-being of your future children! I think it’s a no brainer.

  35. 35
    June 14th, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    I love it when the word is getting out about the toxic ingredients that are in products! A lot of companies have eliminated these three but still have many other toxins to replace them. You need to check out the company Willow Tree Minerals. They have an entire line of natural makeup & body care including non-toxic nail polish. Not only do they not contain the bad three but many others as well. I love them, check them out!!

  36. 36
    June 22nd, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    Everyone has their own opinion and yes, some of us choose not to care or to not get too worked up about it but, I do think that as young women we should care about what we put on, and in, our bodies :) I’m not saying freak out over everything you wear, just look out for certain things and try to keep your body healthy.

  37. 37
    July 17th, 2011 at 6:51 pm

    I bought some really cheap nail polishes from the market today and they contain all 3. I’ll be careful but I’m sure just using them on your nails every once in a while couldn’t do a lot of damage.

  38. 38
    August 16th, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    I am a chemist, and I agree with almost none of this article. I’m not being rude, so I hope you don’t delete my comment. I am absolutely fine with using these in the minute quantities that are in nail polish, and I’d be fine with using them as a nail technician several times daily too. Statements like some of the above (the TNT thing? Irrelevant, as other comments you have published have stated) are quite like scaremongering, and make people afraid of “chemicals”. It really doesn’t help women like me who do chemistry as a career.

  39. 39
    September 2nd, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Being a cosmetologist, breathing these chemicals is dangerous not just uncomfortable. I am surprised OSHA is not controlling this better. Beauty and fashion should not be hazardous.

  40. 40
    September 13th, 2011 at 4:27 pm

    No offense- this is a little absurd. The amount you would have to consume to actually feel any side effects is a truckload. It’s a small amount that goes on your nails. Don’t bathe in it and you’ll probably be fine.
    While I appreciate the concern, I really think statistics that showed the effects on consumers should have been reviewed and then displayed. I doubt anyone got lung cancer from nail polish. Morticians and scientists use Formaldehyde on the regular and they’re probably not this cautious.
    I really like CF but perhaps we should stick to fashion and less science- unless you have hard rock evidence to back this up.

  41. 41
    September 19th, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    wow! thats kinda gross! when my little cousin was little she used to eat that! is that bad?

  42. 42
    January 24th, 2012 at 6:00 pm

    very interesting reading all these comments. for the past four months I have been having problems non stop with my bottom lip and my tongue swelling up along with the skin on my left eye. last week I went to my local hospital to have allergy test done. the result was, that I had an allergy and contact dermatitis caused by the nail products that I use. the things listed causing the allergy Formaldehyde, Toluene and DBP, needless to say I will be buying safer products from now on.

  43. 43
    February 3rd, 2012 at 2:03 pm


  44. 44
    March 3rd, 2012 at 3:56 pm

    I haven’t worn nail polish in years because of an allergic reaction to formaldehyde. My eyes swell up and get itchy within about 12 hours of polishing my nails.
    After reading several places about the removal of these chemicals I went and bought several bottles of Wet N Wild nail polish. Wore it since yesterday; and NO swelling or itching today. I’m hoping this lasts, and thank you for getting the word out there about this topic.

  45. 45
    March 10th, 2012 at 5:13 am

    Putting a little nail polish on with questionable ingredients might not seem like much when you isolate the Top 3 in a lab. I would wonder, though, if any chemist is even knowledgeable about what the total chemical load is when we expose ourselves to multiple products: antibacterial soaps, face products, hairspray, body lotions, and throw in some perfume and synthetic fragrance on top of everything you have russian roulette for chemical exposure. This is not alarmist, it’s reality and the best you can do is be aware of what you are using. Check out the Environmental Working Group of SafeCosmetics to see what is really in the products you use. There are so many options now in safe nail polishes and removers that make it easy to replace the junk.

  46. 46
    May 18th, 2012 at 9:08 am

    I have had difficulty/sensitivity to formaldehyde and toluene. These sensitivies probably go hand in hand with another preservative, cobalt, used in women’s cosmetics and personal care products.

    Revlon has also taken toluene and formaldehyde out of its nail polish as of about 10 or so years ago and used to list on the bottle that it was free of those substances. It may no longer list that bec. it has been so long….

  47. 47
    May 22nd, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    Some Sally Hansen nail strengthers have eliminated formaldyhyde

  48. 48
    June 28th, 2012 at 3:43 am

    21 years ago i came out in blisters on my stomache, itchy eyes and blotches on my chest, i also had swollen lip. after constant visits to my gp. i was sent to a dermatologist. he straight away told me i was allergic to formaldehyde. found since that natural collection is fine. have noticed many varnishes dont have the ingredients on the bottle ;-(

  49. 49
    July 13th, 2012 at 3:44 pm

    I am a skin care therapist and I do normal hand & feet treatments including painting. I have used Jessica nail polish for 11 years and at the beginning of 2012 i was informed that the distributor in my country is no longer going to be suppling it. I had to find something to replace my jessica with. I started using essie 3 months ago. the past 3 months i have battled with eczema on my eyelids, temples, sides of my mouth and neck. my eyes have swollen twice too. For the past 2 months i have tried to find the cause and with the help of a dermatologist he thinks it is the fumes from the essie polishes. They do contain formaldehyde resin and this does cause an allergic reaction (eczema/dermatitis) on the eyes and neck.
    I have seen that you have put essie as a product that doesn’t contain formaldehyde resin.

  50. 50
    July 16th, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    Sooo glad I read this. My eyes today are swelled up and extremely itchy when I used some Sally Hansen polish that DOES contain formaldehyde resin. I had stayed away from the clear thinking that was the reason as my other colors were not Sally Hansen and my eyes and face were fine. I used my daughters new color yesterday and have a miserable itchy face and look like a cyclops. So glad to know what it is. As a person with lupus I really should be extra careful what I put on and in my body.

  51. 51
    August 16th, 2012 at 9:24 am

    OMG… writing a post about this is genius!

    Thanks for taking the time to research about this stuff and helping quiet a lot of people out, judging by the majority of people who adore nail polish.

  52. 52
    August 18th, 2012 at 12:43 am

    Yes, some companies have been removing some of the ingredients in nail polish and they don’t work as well as they use to. I have used Salley Hansen Hard as Nails polish for thirty years. My nails were always beautiful. But for the last couple of years Salley Hansen polishes peel off no sooner than you can wash you hands. Also, formaldehyde is in many everyday products. But we don’t consume these products for food. How our commercially processed foods are being processed and what we’re eating is another Talk Sho!w! Much more serious than ingredients in topical nail polish.

  53. 53
    August 30th, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    No disrespect but to all those fools who claim that ingredients in the nail polish are not harmful due allegedly to not ingesting them… wrong! Your nails are porous therefore your ARE ingesting the nail polish & its harmful ingredients through the nails & right to through the nail bed as well.

    Also please remember that even if nail polish had no harmful ingredients that it would STILL be harmful for the simple reason that nail polish prevents oxygen from getting to the nail bed as your nail breath!!! Why do you think they change color after you remove the polish. You are STARVING your nails by wearing nail polish / paint. It should really be called nail paint not nail polish.

    Furthermore I can honestly say that I find natural nails to be far & above MUCH more beautiful than painted ones as paint simply HIDES your natural beauty & does grave damage to your nails. Not to mention the adverse health affects associated with the harmful ingredients. I urge our sisters to please refrain from using nail polish at all. I appreciate your natural beauty while the manufacturers just want to make a quick buck at the expense of your health.

  54. 54
    November 6th, 2012 at 4:32 am

    This article basically wrote my chem assignment for me haha but seriously your information is spot on – people shouldn’t be freaking out cause of course it’s not going to kill you but that doesn’t exactly make it healthy or good. These chemicals are actually most dangerous if you’re in a salon or if you work as a nail technician because the ventilation is usually poor and your forced to inhale it for hours

    but again thanks haha

  55. 55
    June 11th, 2013 at 5:16 am

    thank you for sharing this information!! ^~^ it’s really helpful hehe (: just wondering, do the Korean brand, Etude House’s nail polishes contain any of the harmful substances mentioned? (:

  56. 56
    June 27th, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Everyone, please take this article seriously. Even if you don’t eat or “huff” nail polish, which I don’t encourage, these chemicals are dangerous in nail polish.

    To clarify:
    Formaldehyde = carcinogen and mutagen
    DBP = endocrine disruptor
    Toluene = neurotoxin

    Carcinogens cause cancer. Mutagens cause deformities. Endocrine disruptors mimic hormones. Neurotoxins damage neurons/nervous system, causing brain damage.

    The danger from formaldehyde and toluene comes from inhalation. As most people know, fumes are smelled when nail polish is applied. This means you are inhaling formaldehyde and toluene and exposing yourself to potential health risks. To be safe, nail polish should always be applied in a well-ventilated area. Otherwise, wear a mask to protect yourself.

    On a side note, FDA says formaldeyde in nail polish isn’t safe when it comes in contact with skin.

  57. 57
    July 1st, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    Thank you so much, I just remove the nail polish that I had on my toes only because I could not remember the brand I chose at the nail salon, but I do have one of the safe brands so I will use that. Your information is very helpful

  58. 58
    July 23rd, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    hi there
    thanks for posting this just wondering where you got the list of ingredients from because there was no references to your article ?

  59. 59
    August 22nd, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    I live in the EU so I don’t have as much to worry about, maybe thats why we can’t get certain brands here because they have that chemical in them.

  60. 60
    September 5th, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    What do you think about the children’s store JUSTICE that sells nail polish? I wonder if that is safe?

  61. 61
    September 28th, 2013 at 6:25 am

    This is great and an eye opener. I would also like to mention all this sis good for the consumer but not so good if the products are still tested on animals for the sake of vanity.

  62. 62
    September 29th, 2013 at 1:32 am

    hi im in 8th grade and i want to know what formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, and toluene in simple words
    i wanted to write the exact thing u wrote but that will be plagarizing
    pleeze someone tell me before tomorrow

  63. 63
    October 2nd, 2013 at 11:29 pm

    I would desperately like to find a polish WITH formaldehyde!! 30 years ago, a nurse told me to add 2 to 3 drops of formaldehyde to a full bottle of polish. It strengthens weak pealing nails. Boy it has worked for 30 years. I haven’t had any issues of any kind!!!!!! I didn’t get it on my skin, duh. Problem is it can’t be purchased at a local pharmacy like it used to be mostly because dumb people are dipping cigarettes in it for a high. What a difference it made in my Nails!! I couldn’t grow them at all before. Too bad others make the decisions without public opinion!

  64. 64
    October 4th, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Please do not fool yourself into thinking that just because these chemicals are “safe” in the chemistry lab that they are ok to apply to your nails. There will be subcutaneous absorption of the chemicals into the blood, and even in small amounts they can be carcinogenic. Why? There is so safe limit of a carcinogen…it gets absorbed and can bind to your DNA, proteins and lipids causing damage…your body may or may not be able to repair the damage And although in the short term you won’t get cancer, with continuous exposure to these chemicals cancer can occur years down the road. Toxicological effects may not be seen for years and years.

    -Pharmacy/toxicology student.

  65. 65
    October 7th, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    I liked your website very much! I’m doing my science fair project and this site was VERYYYYYY helpful! I will definitly come back to this site if I need anymore info! Thank you!!

  66. 66
    November 17th, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    I think it doesn’t really madder, as long as we don’t eat the polish. If it was dangerous to touch or did something to our nails then that is a totally different situation.

  67. 67
    February 3rd, 2014 at 10:56 am


  68. 68
    February 23rd, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    I use Herome Nail Hardener containing Formaldehyde, it is the only polish – i.e. only one, that does not cause my nails to split, and I’ve been trying various others for the past 20 years. Any suggestions please. Believe me, I’ve tried all the usual brands available in Australia. I now see that Butter brand is available, I still hesitate to purchase it in case it too causes split nails. Thanks.

  69. 69
    March 7th, 2014 at 5:49 pm

    for those who are saying that it doesn’t matter to have these ingredients because we are not eating them are wrong. yes we might not be eating them but they are absorbed. it only takes 26 seconds for all the toxics to get absorbed into you blood stream.

  70. 70
    March 18th, 2014 at 5:43 am

    thank you so much for warning us! :)

  71. 71
    March 29th, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    I’m actual y allergic to Formaldehyde, this article is very useful. Now I know what brands to avoid :-)

  72. 72
    April 22nd, 2014 at 11:02 pm

    I use Christian Dior polish does this polish contain the 3 INGREDIANTS

  73. 73
    October 17th, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    thanks so much. I actually needed to know this and now I also have to be extremely careful. thanks for posting.

  74. 74
    October 19th, 2014 at 4:36 am

    Free of Toxic Trio isn’t enough for some brands. Snails (safe nails) is 6-free
    First WASHABLE (no acetone required to remove) nail polish made in France

  75. 75
    December 13th, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    I wanted to add this website by the Environmental Working Group ( that has a searchable database which tells you the truth about ingredients. Some of the “safe” nail brands listed here are not. Sally Hansen is a big offender.

    …look at the phthalates in red (the highest level of toxicity), and Sally Hansen has these phthalates and others in their products.
    Also know this: Just because the FDA considers it safe, do your own research, as the FDA is slow to or doesn’t monitor personal products at all. Much information comes out after its too late and the damage to our health has been done.

  76. 76
    December 27th, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    To everyone that say these chemicals are not harmful. I say u don’t know s***. It took me 13 years and a lot of money to have children and when we went and had DNA test done. They found that I have some DNA twisted. Later after doing a lot of research from alot of people with degrees, they tell me that it could be from one or all of these chemicals. Now that I’ve got my children, they now have the same DNA twists that I do and other health and learning disabilities. So when you tell people that these chemicals can not hurt your lying!!!

  77. 77
    January 31st, 2015 at 8:26 am

    There are many nasty chemicals in nail polish. Just recently, a new product was launched into the market #GelMomentbyKLMGelMoment

    This is a gel nail polish, non-toxic, one-step, dries in 60 second polish so you can get that salon quality gel nail polish look from home at a fraction of the cost. Last two to three weeks.

    There is a video here
    No Toluene, formaldehydes or phthalates.

    Check it out – there are alternatives to the nasty chemical stuff.

  78. 78
    February 19th, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    I am desperately looking for a band of gel that i can use that is non toxic. i can not find any that look reliable, some gels on amazon say they are non toxic ( candy lovers brand) but i cant find their website to prove they are non toxic… im looking for a gel to actually build the nail with not just a polish.. please help!

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