When it comes to doing something as simple as painting your nails, your first thought isn’t whether or not you could be doing harm to yourself. But the reality is that the chemicals in nail polish are harmful to everyone who uses them, especially those who are repeatedly exposed to them. To keep yourself and those around you safe, choose polishes that are not made with the following five chemicals: dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, and camphor.
Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP)
DBP is used in nail polish to minimize chipping. Classified as endocrine disruptors, phthalates disrupt and mimic estrogen. DBP’s are proven to impair the hormonal development of male fetuses, cause organ damage and lead to early-onset menopause.
Though there has never been DBP testing done on humans, animal testing has shown that DBP decreases fertility, causes hormonal disruption, bioaccumulation, and liver damage. The European Union banned DBP in cosmetic and personal care products, and the Australian government currently classifies DBP as a risk to the human reproductive system. Although the United States government does not classify DBP as a reproductive and hormonal toxicant, the state of California does.
Toluene is a chemical ingredient that makes nail polish have a smooth application and finish. It is found in most nail polish removers. Toluene fumes are highly toxic and studies have shown that exposure to toluene can cause neurological damage, decreased brain function, impaired breathing, hearing loss, and nausea. If inhaled too frequently by pregnant women, impaired fetal development may occur. Testing on animals has also shown that that toluene is linked to reproductive impairment, immune system toxicity, and blood cancers like malignant lymphoma.
The European Union has banned the use of toluene in personal care products, including nail polish. In California, toluene is on the state’s Prop 65 list of chemicals that are harmful to fetal development.
Formaldehyde is the chemical in nail polish that hardens and strengthens it. It also preservative that protects against bacterial growth. Formaldehyde is naturally produced by the body in incredibly small amounts and at a low level, is not dangerous. But, exposure to large quantities of formaldehyde can cause throat, nose,and blood cancer.
Nail salon workers and their children are especially at risk for chronic health problems caused by formaldehyde, including asthma, convulsions, nausea, and miscarriages. Repeated exposure can cause a build-up of fluid in the lungs and cause abnormal fetal development in pregnant women. The European Union allows only limited use of formaldehyde in personal care products, while Japan and Sweden have banned it completely.
Formaldehyde resin is a by-product of formaldehyde and can be found in nail polishes that also have formaldehyde.Studies have found that formaldehyde resin can cause severe skin irritation, allergic reactions, skin de-pigmentation and loss of nerve sensation.
Camphor is the ingredient in nail polish that gives it its glossy, shiny appearance. Camphor is not as toxic as the other four ingredients mentioned, and can sometimes be found in vapor rubs or nasal sprays.
However, the safety of camphor has recently been called into question. It has been shown to trigger severe skin irritation and allergic reactions when applied topically, and inhaling its fumes can cause nausea, dizziness, and headaches. Observational studies have also linked camphor exposure to organ damage, such as liver dysfunction. Camphor in personal care products is limited to a concentration of 11% in the US, and it is being phased out in markets within the European Union.
Choosing a Safe Nail Polish
If you do want your nails painted, look for a brand that is at least free of DBP, formaldehyde, and toluene but aim for one free of all the five hazardous chemicals. Nail polish brands such as Zoya, RGB, LaCC, Ella + Mila, Priti NYC and Kure Bazaar are all brands that formulas are free of all the five above mentioned chemicals.
Who Is Natural Me Beauty?
We’re happy to announce a new collaboration with online clean beauty marketplace Natural Me Beauty to bring our natural and sustainable skincare products to a new group of customers. The Chicago company founded by a two-time cancer survivor to bring the cleanest luxury beauty brands to discerning customers.
Beauty Box Promotion
The lifestyle brand and marketplace will be providing Beauty Subscription Boxes at reasonable cost. This month’s beauty box will feature our Lavender/Tea Tree Body Balm, an all-purpose salve with nourishing olive, shea, mango and other oils to nourish skin and hair.
You can learn more about this promotion by reading Natural Me Beauty’s promotional e-mail. It’s available for only $19.99 and contains full and sample size beauty products with skin-nourishing natural ingredients.
A New Sales Channel
We hope to make our products available to Natural Me Beauty customers on an ongoing basis with this new collaboration. For us, it’s a win-win. Spreading the message about the importance of living clean and reading labels is something that we’re both passionate about.
‘Tis the season once again! The holidays can be a joyful time, offering a chance to reconnect with friends and family, but they can also be stressful. The hustle and bustle of the season can be hectic and the pressure to buy and give gifts can be worrisome for some. In order to maneuver through this holiday season stress free, consider the following to help alleviate any holiday induced stress. Last year, we discussed Three Ways to Relieve Holiday Stress, so here are three more!
Make a Plan
Create a budget so you know your spending limit, and then stick to it. Lack of money is one of the biggest causes of stress during the holiday season. Making sure you adhere to your budget can help relieve the stress that comes along with overspending.This year, set a budget and don’t spend more than what you have planned.
Get organized by marking lists or using an appointment book to keep track of your to-dos and upcoming holiday events. It’s okay to decline an invitation to a holiday event that isn’t particularly important to you. Learning to say “no” will give you more time to say “yes” to the events that you do want to attend. It will also give you more time to complete the things you want or need to get done.
Continue To Gift Thoughtfully
You can offset the guilt of not wanting to overspend by giving something personal. You can show love and caring with any gift that is meaningful and personal and that will be worth more than a pricey gift from a big-box retailer.
You can kill two birds with one stone by searching for thoughtful gifts online at webanaturalproducts.com. This will also offset the stress that comes with shopping at an overcrowded mall during the holiday season. If you like the idea of a brick-and-mortar store, however, shop local. Most local stores have more unique, one-of-a-kind and personalized items that may not be carried by larger retailers.
Even though the holidays is a time based around giving rather than receiving, don’t forget that you deserve a little something too. This doesn’t necessarily need to come in a form of a new handbag or expensive luxury item- it can be something as simple as taking a little bit of time to set aside for yourself. This time can come in many forms such as going for a short walk, setting aside some time in the morning before you start your day, listening to some music or soaking in a nice warm bath. If you plan on giving yourself a little TLC in the form of self-care we suggest you indulge your skin with our Healthy Skin Spa Box. You could even buy two – one for you and one for a friend!
Taking care of yourself will help you deal with stressful situations during the holidays. Pay attention to your own needs and feelings and maintain a regular sleep, mealtime, and exercise schedule. But most of all, remember to embrace the season!
Although it’s been around for years, the hype that has been sparked by K-Beauty (Korean Beauty) seems as if it’s emerged overnight. Major beauty publications such as Refinery29, Bustle and Allure are all upping the hype and telling people that K-Beauty is here to stay.
What is K-Beauty?
K-Beauty is the umbrella term for all South Korean imports in the skin care, makeup and bath-and-body categories that has been sending U.S. beauty enthusiasts into a tizzy. Within the last 18 months, K-Beauty has become some kind of mega-sensation in America, due to its claims of being natural and effective, but also coming in pastel-colored packages, cute shaped bottles like pandas, cats, peeled bananas or eggs.
What K-Beauty Entails
A typical K-Beauty regime calls for incorporating up to 10 (sometimes more) steps into your morning and evening beauty routines. This regime begins with a “dual cleansing” step in which oil and water-based products are recommended, a series of sheet masks, essences, serums and rich moisturizers. After your morning regime, K-Beauty suggests applying SPF 35+, where at night the alternative is a hydrating sleep mask.
New York based dermatologist Dennis Gross, is a fan of this overly through multi step regime. Gross believes that “there’s a positive in having a beauty regime that goes beyond the basics and addresses issues such as fine lines, pores, and uneven skin tone.” Gross who doesn’t necessarily prescribe 10-step routines for his patients, still believes that a “customized skin-care routine“ makes good sense from a skin-biology standpoint.
Where To Start
Although a K-Beauty regime calls for a “10-step” routine, this isn’t a rule. If it were, it’s one that can be broken. To simplify your routine, find products that multi-task. For instance, our “Awaken” Body Smooth Sugar is a natural and gentle exfoliating organic scrub. It is made with organic sugar, coconut and apricot kernel oils and glycerin and Vitamin E to nourish and protect the skin. Since it’s a gentle exfoliator, it can be used on face and body, but only recommended for to be used on your face 2-3 times a week or as needed.
For cleansing and cleansing pores, the Activated Charcoal Botanical Bar Soap is another great option. The shea and cocoa butter bar soap contains pure activated charcoal, which is known for its ability to draw impurities and excess oil from the skin and hair. This soap is great for oily skin, or for anyone who is looking for a deep cleanse.
The Best Of K-Beauty
Soko Glam is an online marketplace that specializes in K-Beauty products and has a page on their site which is dedicated to all the best of K-Beauty products. Consider their list the ultimate starter-pack to building your K-Beauty product arsenal.