Is Nail Polish Damaging Your Health?

Simplify and purify. What better way to live your life? Simple and pure!” ― Tony Curl

Painting your nails can be a fun form of self-expression, but is it worth the health risk? Nail polish and nail polish remover both contain toxic chemicals that are absorbed through the nailbed and into your bloodstream, potentially damaging organs such as the kidneys or liver.

While the strong keratin of your fingernails does provide some protection, it is still penetrable. And exposure to certain toxins found in nail polish can make them more sensitive and permeable. Even more vulnerable is the skin around your nails and cuticles. Once the chemicals are absorbed, research suggests that the toxic effects can show up in just 10-15 minutes.

If you have painted your nails or visited a salon, then you also know that polish fumes off-gas into the air. Breathing in these fumes can be dangerous, bringing the toxins into your lungs and brain stem.

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Health expert Steven Magee contends that “the route back to health is to retrace your steps through sickness to understand the toxins you were exposed to.” When it comes to nail polish, there are many toxins to be wary of.

The chemicals found in your nail polish can vary by brand. Three of the most troublesome, and yet common, ingredients are formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and toluene. In addition to being known carcinogens, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises that these chemicals can make nails brittle and more likely to peel, they also can lead to skin irritation and allergic reactions that develop over time.

DBP is also an endocrine disruptor, creating hormonal changes that can increase your risk of diabetes or thyroid disorders. Meanwhile, toluene is strongly associated with eye irritation, kidney disease, and nervous system malfunctions.

It's not just the polish either, nail polish remover is also filled with toxins. You’ve probably seen warnings about isopropyl acetone, methyl ethyl ketone, and n-methyl-pyrrolidone. These are common solvents that we know have been linked to organ damage and reproductive disorders. The concern raises with repeat exposure.

Is Nail Polish Damaging Your Health? With all these health hazards, it simply isn’t worth the risk. You may want to choose natural nails from here on out. Consider a no-polish manicure instead. You can buff, shine, and shape your nails with a beautiful glass file and then massage them with a drop of organic olive oil.

Also, remember that the key to beautiful nails and glowing skin begins from the inside out. Consume whole foods and plenty of collagen-rich bone broth to encourage healthy growth. 

For additional guidance on healthy choices to improve your energy and protect your health, schedule a consultation with Rose, available by phone. 


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What To Remember:
Nail polish contains toxic chemicals that are linked to serious health conditions.
Repeat exposure intensifies the potential health problems.
Whole Nutrition can help grow healthy nails that don’t need polish to be beautiful.



Nelson, Brooke. (August, 2019).  The Scary Thing Nail Polish Does to Your Body 10 Hours After You Apply It.

Doheny, Kathleen. (April, 2012). Is Your Nail Polish Toxic?

Flory, Bree. (June, 2019). How Toxic Is Nail Polish?



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