I Just Threw out All My Toxic Nail Polish: Really, Why Are We Doing This to Ourselves, Ladies?

Hey everyone…

So, I’ve got a shameful admission: up until a month ago, I still periodically painted my fingernails with toxic, potentially carcinogenic, endocrine disrupting chemicals.

I know I know!! I spend a lot of my time researching healthy living. Making sure I eat organic and local. Making sure I drink water that’s been filtered to remove toxic chemicals including fluoride. Making sure I take responsibly sourced nutritional supplements and making sure I use organic bath and body products like Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soaps, which have some 18 uses the least of which is as an amazing body wash and shampoo, uses only fair trade organic, minimally processed ingredients, and has never been harsh or caused any negative reactions on anyone’s skin in my household.

Yet, somehow, my absolutely toxic and potentially dangerous nail polishes completely alluded me. They sat in their little drawer in my makeup table, some gathering dust for years, smelling like a toxic waste dump.

What in the Hell Was I Thinking?!

That’s the problem. I just wasn’t thinking about this. Call it cognitive dissonance (because that’s what it is).

Well, NO MORE. Watch the video above. I have now thrown out every single toxic, poisonous bottle. (No, not in the regular trash as at the end of the video because apparently you have to officially dispose of these things as you would hazardous waste… but that’s a whole separate video.)

Conventional nail polish is paint. I guess because we put it on our bodies, it somehow escapes us that we are literally painting ourselves.

Let me state it for the record: ladies, we are painting ourselves.

As such, nail paint includes of cocktail of toxins. The big three are as follows (via Wellness Mama):

  • Toulene– A chemical known to cause reproductive harm and dizziness. It is also found in gasoline and the CDC warns that it can cause central nervous system problems.
  • Formaldehyde– This known carcinogen is found in many nail polishes. It is also used to preserve dead things and when used in lab preparations, there are strict warnings to avoid inhalation or skin contact. [Editor’s note: a lovely ingredient also found in our vaccines.]
  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) -This chemical is banned in Europe and is known to cause reproductive problems, especially in boys. The Environmental working group classifies this chemical as the highest danger level and warns that it can cause organ problems and endocrine disruption.

Don’t forget whatever else is in there which, let’s just be honest, probably isn’t all that great either. Again, why are we painting ourselves?

And conventional nail polish remover? Have you taken a whiff of that stuff in a while?

So basically conventional polish is terrible for you. While painting your nails once probably won’t mean you wake up with cancer the next day, we can’t sit around pretending like the practice of continually slathering ourselves with toxins doesn’t have an accumulative negative effect on our bodies and our health over time.

I went off on a whole estrogen mimicker rant halfway through that video just because I don’t think people realize how completely inundated we are with foreign estrogen substances that can wreak total havoc on our bodies. Nail polish is just the tippy tip of the iceberg on that one. Estrogen mimickers not only bond with receptors in hormonal cancer cells, thus causing certain cancers like breast and ovarian for example to grow and spread, but they also screw up our hormones, which in turn screws up our metabolism and can cause all kinds of nasty health problems, everything from depression to infertility to endometriosis to autoimmune disorders to early onset puberty to weight gain to acne and so many, many more.

You see, when you eat something, it goes through your digestive system and 90% of it is filtered by your liver (which, in modern society, is working overtime, all the time). However, when you smear something on your skin, that gets 100% absorbed. Your bloodstream is fair game. All these “beauty products” might make you look like a magazine cover, but can you even pronounce most of those ingredients? Do you know what’s really in there? What studies have been done on that? What it does to lab rats (and thus, probably does to you)?

Again, it’s not that I wasn’t aware of this… Somehow I just didn’t make that mental connection when it came to my nail polish.

Are There Any Non-Toxic Polish Substitutes?

Great question. Apparently there are.

According to Wellness Mama, she’s tried several more responsible polish brands and likes Scotch Naturals the very best, followed by Acquarella and Honeybee Gardens. All of these brands claim to be eco-friendly, non-toxic, and have responsible ingredients. Scotch Naturals says it is not only eco-friendly, non-toxic and vegan, but that it is “free of harmful solvents such as butyl and ethyl acetates” and “free of phthalic anhydride, nitrocellulose, acetone and heavy metals.” Still, $16 a bottle is kinda pricey for me.

Another brand Keeki claims to be petrochemical and paraben-free, non-toxic, water-based and, of all things, organic.

Again, I have just now reached the stage of no longer painting my nails, and thus, I have not personally tested any of these brands. I actually like the way my nails look without stuff slathered all over them. For me, polish usually gets smudged before it even dries, then chips the next day and looks skanky because I put off removing it for a bajillion days in order to avoid huffing nasty removers (the less toxic ones haven’t really worked for me). I usually end up just scratching the remainder of my manicure off in my lap at random times and shuffling the flakes into the garbage, which is annoying even for me and I’m the one doing it.

It’s Not Like I Like to Poison Myself Just a Little Bit Every Now and Then…

I promise you, it’s not like I was sitting around going, “Yeah, I’ll just have a little poison every now and then…” I just truly didn’t think about it until a viewer in one of my videos for Truthstream Media called me out for a piece of old footage where I had blue polish on my fingertips. Truth be told, I’ve been painting my nails since I was in the sixth grade because, yes, it was the cool thing to do but I had no idea how nasty that stuff really is. Even in my recent engagement pictures, I went and for the first time in probably years, had my nails done at a nail salon because that’s women do for big events. Just sitting in there breathing that air was probably really bad for me, but again, I didn’t even think about it.

A lot of the stuff we do to ourselves in the name of beauty, ladies, is frankly nuts. In point of fact, a lot of this crap directly contributes to our own demise. It’s BAD for us. So why do we do it? Because a TV said we should or we aren’t good enough? Good enough for who?

WHO CARES. If someone only only likes you because you fill your armpits full of heavy metals and rub poison all over yourself, I hate to state the obvious, but that person is a shallow ass hat with some serious priority issues.

No more for me. My polishes are gone. I’m going paint-free.

In fact, I will film the trip to the recycle center where I dispose of this hazardous waste the proper way for good.

…to be continued…

About the author

Melissa Dykes

Melissa is a researcher and writer on anything that will help people make better decisions regarding what they are putting in their bodies to get healthier in this toxic soup we're all living in.

1 comment
Brie Hoffman - March 17, 2015

I have two words for you Coconut Oil! Use it for everything!

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