Most little girls like to paint their nails. But, if you're concerned about the hidden dangers lurking in nail polish, you should be! Painting your child's nails with regular polish has shocking health risks. Especially for toddlers who put their painted fingernails in their mouths!
Did you know that there are much safer options out there? Including washable nail polish. Brands like Lallabee and Suncoat Girl make natural nail polish for kids, that's water-based, non-toxic, and either wash off (Lallabee also washes off of clothes) or peel off. This means there is the added bonus of not needing harsh nail varnish remover.
Most polishes at the nail salon are NOT toxic-free. If you take your daughters to the nail salon for matching mani's here's what you could possibly be putting into their system using nail salon polish;
NAIL POLISH'S HARMFUL INGREDIENTS
The Toxic Trio
Used as a solvent for dyes, and as a plasticiser that prevents polish from becoming brittle. It is also used in PVC to render it flexible. DBP is classified by the EU a suspected endocrine disruptor. Health Canada associates it with liver and kidney failure in young children when products (or little painted fingernails!) containing phthalates are chewed or sucked for extended periods of time. DBP has been banned from children toys and items that will enter children mouths by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). However, its use in cosmetics/nail polish is not restricted.
Class as highly toxic on the EWG's Skin Deep database toluene is used in nail polish to achieve a smooth application and finish. Repeated and prolonged exposure to toluene can cause abnormal fetal development in pregnant women, reproductive toxicity, respiratory issues, dermatitis & studies on animals have shown it to be linked to several types of blood cancer.
Scoring an 8-10 on the EWG's Skin Deep database formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen linked to nasal and lung cancer by The International Agency for Research on Cancer. It is used as a nail-hardening agent in nail polish and strengthener.
OTHER TOXIC INGREDIENTS TO LOOK FOR
TOSYLAMIDE / FORMALDEHYDE RESIN
Tosylamide is a very unique resin that modifies the polymers in nail polish to form tough and shiny films (chip-proof, glossy coats). It is a derivative of formaldehyde mainly used in coatings and adhesives. Although it has not been linked to cancer like regular formaldehyde, it is known to cause dermatitis and is listed on The Contact Dermatitis Institute's Allergen Database. It may also contain residual levels of formaldehyde.
Derived from the wood of the camphor tree this is a scented substance that can cause nausea and headaches when inhaled, especially in large doses making it a very concerning chemical for nail technicians. Camphor is used to soften synthetic polymers and like DBP. It is used in nail polish to increase flexibility and durability.
TRIPHENYL PHOSPHATE (TPHP)
TPHP is kind of responsible for the whole toxic-free nail polish movement. It was found to get into women's bodies in the 2015 Duke University study, and seeing as it's used in plastics to improve flexibility and as a flame retardant, that a huge concern. Studies suggest it could be an endocrine disruptor, potentially affecting reproductive health and lipid metabolism. This is where the headline "nail polish makes you fat" comes from!
A solvent used in nail polish to help prevent them from going gloopy xylene is irritating to the skin, eyes and respiratory tract. It can cause systemic toxicity by ingestion and inhalation. Xylene exposure also increases oxidative stress.
6 NAIL POLISH BRANDS FOR KIDS
If your nail salon doesn't stock kid-friendly polish, why not take your own with you! Here are six brands that make water-based, non-toxic, toddler-safe nail polish in amazing colour and glitter colour collections. Plus kids nail polish sets with nail art stickers.
Toddler-safe water-based formula that washes off nails and clothes. Lallabee polish can be soaked in soapy water to remove. Bold, bright colours, glitter polishes and nail art stickers.
2. Piggy Paint
Founded in 2008 by Melanie Hurley who was concerned about using regular nail polish on her 2 and 4-year-old daughters. Piggy Paint has a huge choice of colours, shimmers and glitters, plus gift sets. This polish doesn't peel off though. It can be removed with Piggy Paint's own 'kinder' remover made from corn alcohol.
Safe Nails (Snails) from the Safe 'N' Beautiful Company is clearly the Chanel of kid's polish. Made in France this polish comes in fancy Italian packaging which reflects in the price tag. At almost double the price of other kid's polish, Snails retails at £8-10 depending on where you purchase. This polish is washable and can be soaked and washed off of nails to remove. They also have a collection for the grown-ups, a non-toxic, water-based, vitamin and mineral complex formula called Nail Spa.
4.Ella + Mila
An eco-friendly brand named after the twin daughters of founder, Narineh Bedrossian. Geared towards tweens and teens, who are spoilt for choice from the vast colour collection. Ella + Mila has a wonderful Mommy & Me range too. Not a water-based or peel off product, this polish can be removed with their own, kinder Soy Nail Polish Remover With Lavender Oil.
Winner of The Green Parent Natural Beauty Award in 2012, Suncoat Girl polishes are water-based and peel off. They have great children nail polish sets that include nail art stickers, makeup and even a Create Your Own Polish Colour set.
This polish is an odourless, toxic-free formula that peels off. They have 23 gloriously bold colours, including glitter ones. They offer polish sets, nail art stickers, plus vegan, fragrance-free bath bombs and makeup, free from parabens and sulphates.