When you last bought nail polish for your pedi, did you notice all the new organic and eco-friendly ranges? They are awesome!
This isn’t just a passing trend – it’s needed because standard nail polish is really harmful to the environment. Unfortunately, it’s made of a polymer, which is essentially plastic. That’s how you get a film on your nails when you apply it.
But the good news is you don’t have to give up painting your nails because the beauty industry is on the case! Simply by switching from standard nail polish to organic and eco-friendly versions, you can do your bit to help save the planet.
What’s Wrong With Nail Polish?
Standard nail polish is full of potentially harmful ingredients that can be hazardous to your health and the environment.
When you apply nail polish, you can inhale these chemicals, especially if the room isn’t well ventilated. It’s also known that some of these chemicals can be absorbed by your body through the nailbed.
In fact, nail polish is so toxic it’s classed as household hazardous waste, similar to paint. It can’t be poured down the sink, put in the recycling or thrown in the garbage.
How To Dispose Of Nail Polish Safely
The easiest and safest way to dispose of half-empty nail polish bottles is to take them to your nearest Household Hazardous Waste facility.
Alternatively, if there’s a tiny bit of polish left in the bottle, leave the cap off so that the polish completely dries up. You can then put the bottle and cap into the regular trash.
If the bottle is half-full and you can’t use up the polish any other way, pour it onto some newspaper and let it dry out completely. Then throw the newspaper away.
Non-Toxic Nail Polish
Now that you know a bit more about how toxic standard nail polish is, it’s time to find non-toxic alternatives that are just as good. Remember, it’s not just good for the environment. It’s much better for your health too.
Organic, vegan, eco-friendly, cruelty-free: all these terms can be a bit confusing. So, you need to get label-savvy!
Basically, just as organic fruit and vegetables are grown without being sprayed with chemicals, organic nail polish contains as few chemicals as possible.
Vegan nail polish does not contain any ingredients derived from animals, while cruelty-free means the polish has not been tested on animals.
Bear in mind that eco-friendly nail polish will be thinner than your usual polish, so you’ll probably need to apply more coats to get a good finish.
Look For 10-Free Polish
Eco-friendly non-toxic nail polish is described as 5-free, 7-free, 10-free or even 16-free, meaning they don’t contain the most harmful ingredients found in standard nail polish.
The best one to look out for is 10-free nail polish. The name means it doesn’t contain the 10 most harmful and scary chemicals that make up standard nail polish. These are: formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), camphor, xylene, triphenyl phosphate (TPHP), tert-butyl hydroperoxide (TBHP), ethyl tosylamide and parabens.
Most 10-free nail polishes are both vegan and cruelty-free, but you should always check the labels carefully.
People with celiac disease may also want to look out for gluten-free nail polish, especially if they’re super-sensitive to gluten and they bite their nails!
If you love a bit of nail art for your tootsies, look out for non-toxic nail art stickers. There’s a great range available online.
Say No To Toxic Glitter
Although glitter’s great for adding a bit of bling to your toenails, it’s incredibly harmful to the environment. Standard glitter is a micro-plastic that doesn’t break up so when it goes down the drain, it ends up in our oceans where marine creatures unwittingly eat it.
But there are some eco-friendly and non-toxic glitter nail polishes out there that are made from biodegradable sources, not micro-plastics. This means you can still glam up your toenails for summer with a glittery nail polish that you know won’t harm the planet!
So, ditch your old nail polish safely and have fun trying out the new organic and eco-friendly nail polishes instead.