Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Knowledge is Power: Know What's on Your Nails

I've been using nail polish since I was about 12 years old and most of the years since have also included biting my nails. It's a bad habit that I'm sure many nail bloggers share and many have stopped over the years because of nail polish. However, over those years I never stopped to consider what was in my nail polish. I just assumed that if I could put it on my nails, it would be safe.

Now as I've learned more and more about the nail polish industry, I've found that that isn't necessarily true. Chemicals such as toluene, formaldehyde, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP), which are also known as the Big 3, have been ingredients in the products I put on my nails.

Many cosmetic companies are making a very strong effort to not include these ingredients in their products. There are 3 Free, 4 Free and even 5 Free nail polishes out there. Some companies even go as far to make vegan and water based nail polishes.

There are also brands who are cruelty free, meaning they do not test on animals. At times I still can't believe that there is animal testing in the 21st Century, but it does happen. I love animals and would never think of testing anything harmful on my two cats, Dynamo and Ripley. Why should animals suffer for our vanity? It's yet another topic to consider when purchasing cosmetics. Who knew buying a bottle of nail polish could have so many implications?

To me, knowledge is power and I believe everyone should be aware of things like this. Check out these websites for more information about companies that are 3 free and more about the Big 3 toxins.

Inspirationail - A great resource for 3 free, cruelty free, vegan and water based nail polish companies.
Persephone Magazine - A good article about 3 free and a better explanation of why these chemicals could be potentially harmful.
Lacquerized - A good blog post about being cruelty free. The post is from over a year ago, so some of those brands may have stopped their animal testing.

Disclaimer: I am in no way an expert on this topic, I'm just learning all of this myself. I'm also still trying to decide if I should ditch all my non-safe polish and solely support 3 Free, vegan and cruelty free brands. I will say one thing, now I understand why some brands are more expensive than others and I won't shy away from paying that little bit more for a 3 Free product. In the future when picking up a nail polish, I'm definitely going to check out the label.

Are you tired of hearing about 3 free nail polish or is this news to you? Have you switched to brands that are only 3 Free, 4 Free, 5 Free, cruelty free or vegan? Or do you still buy some brands that are not? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic!

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