3, 5, 7 & 10 Free Nail Polish-Are We Being Greenwashed?

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Nail Polish Greenwashedphoto credit HERE.

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t have toe nail polish on my toes.  From a very early age, I felt like my feet were ugly if I didn’t paint my toe nails.  Once I began this journey of trying to rid my beauty products of harmful toxins, I was very happy to find that there were “healthy” nail polishes.  So healthy in fact that some boasted to omit 10 harmful ingredients that typical nail polishes have!  How many more scary ingredients could there be?  Well, well, well.  Turns out, and this is brand new information to me-no polish is the only safe polish.  

Today I’m sharing with you the new research I’ve come across and also hope to encourage you to embrace your natural nails.  Honestly, I thought it was impossible for me but it turns out, I’ve come to love my natural nail more then my former polished nails!

Something I’ve become very familiar with in my natural journey is greenwashing.  This is when a company tries to appeal to the natural community by using deceptive words and packaging that give the impression that their products are safe and natural.  Unfortunately, many companies do this because the consumer demand for safe beauty products has greatly increased.  

In nail polish there are a lot of very harmful ingredients that can lead to a slew of health issues.  It is paint after all.  Some harmful ingredients in many nail polishes are formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate  triphenyl phosphate, camphor and parabens to name a few.  Many have been connected to cancer and are endocrine disruptors.  When a company boasts that their nail polish is 3, 5, 7 or even 10 free, many of the ingredients I’ve listed are in fact left out.  Unfortunately, one ingredients in particular is still part of the ingredient list that should be avoided.  That ingredient is benzophenone-1 and I did not find it omitted from any brands I have been using, including 100% Pure’s 10 free polish.  

Benzophenone-1 is used to protect the nail color from UV radiation. It is classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as possibly carcinogenic to humans, and is linked to neuronal delay, congenital malformations, male infertility, and problems with behavioral development. There is also evidence of benzophenone-1 accumulation in placentas and according to the Journal of Preventive Medicine & Hygiene, this ingredient can be detected in breast milk. 

I don’t know about you, but I was quite disappointed to uncover this information.  However, I believe in listening to your body.  There are a few toxic beauty practices I still deem necessary like dying my brows.  I try to focus on what I am doing daily and make sure those products are as clean as possible.  

When I found this info about nail polish, something in me felt willing and ready to try to let it go so I did.  I’m happy I did and know it was the right thing for me.  It’s the same as food-giving up gluten and then grains was easy because my body needed me to do that.  I’ve recently tried to give up animal products and that hasn’t worked.  I don’t believe my body needs me to do that at this time.  

My point is, be gentle with yourself.  Always try to give up what is potentially hurting your body but if you just absolutely hate letting it go then maybe it’s not the time to give it up.  

I will say, my body also does not tell me to give up wine and sugar but Lord knows those 2 habits are hurting my health.  I think some things that are good for the soul, aren’t good for the body so it’s important to find that balance.  

I hope I’ve encouraged you to listen to your body and see what you can let go of.  You’ll be surprised what you won’t miss when it’s the right thing to do for your body. 

Taking care of your nails is an important part of maintenance and using paint to cover up what you might feel is unpretty is denying self care in a way.  I encourage you to say no to “fake” nails like dips and acrylics-that’s a whole other post on how harmful those practices truly are.  Nail polish is the lesser of 2 evils but again, it is still paint and no matter what ingredients are taken out of it, it is still toxic.  

Tips on Achieving Pretty Natural Nails:

  • Add a collagen supplement like THIS to your smoothie or coffee.
  • Get a nail buffer like THIS one.  You’ll be surprised at how this little tool can transform your nails.  There is even a shine side that really gives your nails a shiny finish as if you had a clear coat on them.  This tool is also the best way to remove the yellow stain and red polish leaves behind.
  • Don’t cut your nails too short.  This can look awkward.  Keeping a medium length will help your toes look more attractive.  

What do you think?  Is painting your nails something you could let go of?  I told you my unhealthy beauty practice, what’s yours?!  

xx, Debbie Downer (lol)

p.s.  This article was inspired by THIS post.

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Jennifer Phillips worked as a licensed aesthetician for over 8 years before creating the green beauty blog, Jenni Raincloud and her natural skin care line, J. Raincloud Organics. Jennifer has been blogging full time for 7 years and loves to gain and share knowledge on living a natural lifestyle.

6 thoughts on “3, 5, 7 & 10 Free Nail Polish-Are We Being Greenwashed?”

    1. Katherine-Oh thank you for sharing! I’m interested to know that Piggy Paint has held up. I actually have a bottle for my daughter’s but never used it on myself.

  1. I still use nail polish…actually gel. I have decent natural nails but just feel girlier wearing polish, especially since my hands are very much on display at work. I appreciate this article and love that you have chosen to give it up. I just love the way I feel with matching polish on my fingers and toes. I feel the happiness and lift it gives me is totally worth it, even though I’m definitely clean and green with my skincare, house hold items, etc. Totally love that you are willing to give it up…I’m just not there yet.

    1. Elizabeth-I hear you-I hope I got across that there are somethings we can give up and somethings we can’t. It’s an individual thing! Like I said-I don’t think I’ll ever give up dying my brows and that’s probably a huge toxic load that I am ignoring on purpose-lol!

  2. Hi Jenni,
    I just can’t give up my polish. I love it so much. I can go out w/o makeup but I always have my nails polished. I even enjoy doing them! I rarely go to the salon for them.

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