The Benefits of Using 5-Free Nail Polish

February 10, 2016

Currently Wearing: Doe My Dear

L to R: Psycho Candy, Porn-A-Thon, She Said Yeah, Lovers Creep, City of Compton

Ladies, if you haven’t taken a moment to think about what ingredients make up your favorite nail polish, now is definitely the time! You may think I’m overreacting, but I have a feeling you’ll re-think what lacquers will garnish those pretty little finger tips after reading this post!

As you may know, I’m on a journey toward styling my life-as a whole- happy! For me, this includes lifestyle changes that are beneficial to my personal well-being and have less of an impact on the environment, a topic that has become increasingly important to me in the last three years. While working at a boutique, I discovered a brand called RGB, which pride themselves in creating “5-Free” nail polishes. But, what exactly does 5-Free mean?

I immediately ran over to computer to google “5-Free Nail Polishes” and was blown away by how oblivious I had been, carelessly applying polish after polish my entire life without stopping to think what ingredients were lurking inside.  I was stunned to learn that a large variety of nail lacquers on the market are comprised of chemicals that are harmful to both ourselves and the environment, and that’s simply no bueno in my book!

 5-Free nail lacquers are created WITHOUT or are FREE OF 5 of the most common chemicals found in nail polishes:

Toluene, Dibutyl Phthlate (DBP), Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin and Camphor.

Still sound completely foreign to you? Let me break it down for you:

Toluene: have you ever noticed that strong scent that immediately fills the room right after opening a bottle of nail polish? I mean, its impossible to miss. Pretty reminiscent to paint thinner, wouldn’t you agree? Well, that unpleasant scent is attributed to Toluene, a toxic liquid used as a solvent. Simply breathing it in or getting it on your skin can cause skin irritation, cause nausea, light-headedness and may also cause birth defects and developmental issues in children of pregnant women if exposed to Toluene long enough.

Dibutyl Phthlate: aka DBP is commonly used as a plasticizer. This is one scary chemical, which has also been linked to birth defects and equally, if not, more worrisome–cancer! So toxic, in fact, that DBP made it on California’s Proposition 65 List of suspected teratogens, comprised of agents that cause malformations of an embryo.

Formaldehyde: most commonly used to preserve the corpse of dead animals and sometimes even humans. So creepy. Not only can this chemical trigger an attack for those who suffer from asthma, but it’s also a known human carcinogen, meaning it’s an agent directly involved in causing cancer!

Formaldehyde Resin while derivative of Formaldehyde, it isn’t AS harmful as Formaldehyde and is commonly used in the production of paint and adhesives. While not as toxic as it’s mother, Formaldehyde Resin can trigger skin outbreaks and respiratory problems if exposed to for long periods of time.

Camphor: ever wonder why after nail polish removable, you’re left with a yellow stain on your nails? You’ll have Camphor to thank. This chemical is acts as a cover on your nails, which not only deprives your nails of nutrients, camphor is a poison that can cause seizures as well as liver damage if consumed by mouth or when applied to skin!

Frightening right?!

If after reading this post and processing this most unpleasant information you’re feeling just as paranoid as I was, you may want to set aside some time to do a bit more research on the polishes currently gracing your collection and weed yourself out of the most harmful ones OR start anew by purchasing lacquers that are 5-Free or even 7-Free!

One 5-Free nail polish brand I’ve fallen head over heels for is Smith & Cult, which I first discovered in my goodie bag after attending a launch party for fashion-forward shoe line Ateljé 71 just over a year ago. I am so incredibly impressed with the formula that I’m now 8 Smith & Cult polishes deep and yearnig for more! The formulation is incredible: smooth, saturated, easy to apply, little drying time and the perfect amount of shine! At $18 a pop (which I know can seem like a hunk of change for a polish), Smith & Cult has created the most wonderful, long-lasting nail lacquer in the prettiest color varities, that make it easy to achieve salon quality nails right at home! Plus, they’re free of those super icky chemicals, making it worth every penny!

A few other companies that make wonderful 5-Free nail lacquers to keep on your radar: Chanel, Odeme, RGB, Tenoverten & Zoya.

Knowledge is power, m’dears. I hope you take this post and the ingredients in the products you use regularly into serious consideration. At the very least, if you are pregnant, I highly encourage you to transition into solely using 5 or 7-Free nail polishes!

Will you join me on this journey toward taking better care of ourselves in 2016? 


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February 10th, 2016 | Lisa | Posted in: Tags: ,


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