Most women enjoy have their fingernails painted with nail polish. In summer the majority of women pain also their toenails for most of the season. Nail polish is also considered as a necessary addition to a woman’s appearance in many workplaces and social circles. It is a common secret that nail polish contains chemicals but a lot of people think that the nail cannot absorb them.
However, it has been found that chemicals in nail polish can enter our body within as little as a few hours of application. Nails are permeable to certain substances and, in addition to that, chemicals can be absorbed into the cuticle or around the nail. They can also be inhaled when applied in a closed room or nail salon or being ingested by nail biting.
Common Chemicals in Nail Polish
These are the most common chemicals found in nail polish and other nail products:
Formaldehyde is used to harden nail polish and in nail hardeners at increased concentration. It can cause cancer, irritate the eyes and airways and causes skin problems and nausea.
Dibutyl phthalate is a plasticizer and it softens the polish to stop it from cracking. It can harm uborn children and impair fertility.
Toluene is used to smooth the application of polish. In concentrated amounts the chemical affects the heart, liver, kidneys and the nervous system. It can lead to dizziness, unconsciousness, eye irritation, and under prolonged exposure mental impairment.
People at Higher Risk
Most people just apply nail polish without thinking about twice. We sometimes see children having their nails painted by their mothers or family. The vast majority of teenage and young girls use nail products, including polish, and a lot of them use them daily. Professionals are most exposed to danger as nail salons often contain high levels of toxic fumes.
What to do
First of all we should reconsider our beauty standards. Well treated, healthy and clean nails look much better that we think. If we still want to paint them we should consider investing in products with natural ingredients. They may cost more than chemical products but they do worth the investment.