You’ve heard nail polish should be the “Big-Three Free,” but what does that even mean–and why should you care? Let’s talk a look …
The BIG Three
Also known as the “toxic trio,” formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP (dibutyl phthalate) used to be standard ingredients in beauty products. While most polishes today are “3-free,” some small, off-brands still contain these harmful chemicals. Here’s why you should avoid them:
Purpose: used as a hardener
Problems: It’s a carcinogen. Fumes may irritate the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs.
Purpose: helps polish glide on smooth as silk
Problems: High levels can cause irritation and may potentially damage to the nervous system
Purpose: Keeps the polish from cracking and chipping
Problems: Has been linked to hormone-production problems in a fetus. (It has been banned in Europe and was eliminated by most US producers in 2006.)
Non-Toxic Nail Color
Great polish exists on the market that offers a strong product without the harmful side effects! Popular brands such as OPI and ESSIE are Big-3 Free, but it’s always fun to try something new. We’ve found three we love!
YOU MAKE ME BLUSH
Nausil Zaheer, owner of Karma Organic Spa in Ridgewood, NJ, developed his own line of non-toxic polishes, free from the big three, toluene, formaldehyde, and DBP as well as a completely organic nail polish remover derived from soy. Karma Organic Spa, the final product of Zaheer’s vision and innovation, is the only known all-natural nail spa in the state. Karma Organics. $10; abesmarket.com
Organic Glam has a haute nail polish line for the health conscious. Choose your favorite hue from the 43 available colors. $19; theorganicpharmacy.com