Non-toxic nail polishes, salons and treatments are appealing to everyone’s senses.
If you want to nail your next manicure, consider a growing trend in the salon world—non-toxic nail polish.
With health-conscious beauty regimens on the rise, companies are following the leads of consumers and physicians to make cleaner, less toxic products that perform just as well as their toxin-heavy counterparts. With a plethora of 3-free, 5-free (free of the top three and five chemicals found in lacquers) and even vegan polishes hitting shelves, it can be overwhelming to choose something that looks good and it still good for you.
According to a 2014 survey conducted by industry publication Nails Magazine, the average price of a manicure in the US is $19.54. With many women opting to maintain their nail health with weekly or bimonthly manicures, it’s increasingly important that the products they’re using (and leaving on their nails for weeks at a time) doesn’t come at dangerous cost.
Dr. Samer Jaber, Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine cautions that there are three toxic ingredients that should be avoided if possible in nail polish. “Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and toluene and dibutyl phthalate have been linked to developmental defects,” says Jaber.
Enter the toxin-free salons that specialize in providing treatments that use locally-made, natural alternatives to traditional practices. The NYC-based salon tenoverten prides itself on their 8-free polishes that are also cruelty-free and vegan. In Los Angeles’ upscale Brentwood neighborhood, a basic manicure at the non-toxic salon Côte which goes so far as to create gluten-free polish, runs $25—just one Abraham Lincoln more than the national average of a non-specialty service.
Dr. Jaber says, “The absorption of chemicals in nail polish is unclear, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.”
If you’ve mastered painting your own nails (kudos to you), stock up on some of the safer, cleaner polishes that have recently hit shelves. Beauty brand Orly responded to the increase of gel treatments with the development their Breathable line of color that is 13-free and comes infused with Argan oil, Pro Vitamin B5 and Vitamin C. At $8.99 a bottle, you can give yourself a worry-free manicure that doesn’t require a base or topcoat.
Jewelry designer Ariel Gordon launched a line of 7-free polishes last year that cost $16 a bottle. “Being a mom, I care more and more about the chemicals I expose myself and my kids to,” says Gordon. For someone like her, showcasing her rings and bracelets are part of her job, so having nice nails to match is a must.
On that note, Dr. Jaber tells Moneyish, “I would be most careful about using nail polish with the three most common chemicals with young children as they often bite their nails and put their fingers in their mouths.”
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