10 List of Toxic Chemicals in Nail Polish for Your Beauty to Avoid

Manicure and pedicure might be sounds like heaven in women’s ear, getting the shoulders massaged and their nail polished will make any woman feel relax and bring back the good mood. However it must be so frustrating when we dig further and found out that some nail polish contain chemical that will harm yourself.

In this modern era every product depend on chemical in their product making, it is no longer a shocking event when we know that some of that chemical is harmful and even some chemicals known to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity . More surprisingly those harmful chemicals are also found in toiletries product and even those chemicals are in cosmetic product.

With so much brands and type of nail polish around the world range from the nail polish that is sparkling in light to the one who is glowing in the dark because it contains chemical that glow under black light it could be really our fault if we do not know which one is the harmful one or not. Because California government has issued a list of chemical banned in California, we could easily spot which chemical is harmful for us.

List of Toxic Chemicals In Nail Polish

For that reason, we have gathered the list of harmful chemicals in nail polish :

1. Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)

This organic compound with chemical formula of C6H4(CO2C4H9)2 known to be one of harmful chemical found in nail polish. This chemical is produced by reaction of n-butanol with  phthalic anhydride. As known  phthalic could cause damage to endocrine. As the matter of fact, this chemical is proven has relation with hormonal development of male fetuses, cause organ damage, and may even instigate early-onset menopause.

In Europe this chemical has been banned for long time since 1999 for it use in cosmetic product including in nail polish, in Unites States America this chemical has been included in California Proposition 65 and the Australian government currently classifies DBP as a risk to the human reproductive system. But this chemical still used in some application as plasticizer resulting some product like PVC in plumbing. This, you may also read further about 8 Harmful Chemicals In Nail Polish

2. Tolune

This chemical is mostly used in nail polish to smoothing and purifying the nail polish and also used in nail removers. This chemical smell like paint thinners with chemical formula of C7H8 . It is firstly found in 1873 by a chemist name Filip Walter. This chemical is used in many area such as explosive, foam, solvent, fuel and other niche application.

However when it is used in nail polish it is quiet harmful. The inhalation of this chemical could cause severe decease and even death. At mild stage of its harm it could make tiredness, confusion, weakness, drunken-type actions, memory loss, nausea, loss of appetite, hearing loss, and color vision loss. If the symptoms continue it will make human having light-headedness, nausea, or sleepiness, unconsciousness, and even death. Due to this harm, the chemical is investigated to be included into carcinogenic.  

3. Formaldehyde

Also known as methanal is one of organic compound that is widely used in various application so it is produced in big amount in every year. It is estimated that there are 8,7 million tons of this chemical produced every year. With the chemical symbol of CH2O this chemical is used in many applications including in nail polish.

The main purpose of the usage of this formaldehyde is to prevent bacterial growth or in other words this chemical is assigned as preservative. Although it has remarkable functions, it also has bad and harmful effect. It is known that excessive use this chemical could cause cancer of the throat, nose, and blood. In certain country like Japan and Sweden the use of this chemical is prohibited.  

4. Camphor

This chemical is widely used in nail polish to make nail polish more glossy and shinny appearance. However it is noted that camphor bring harm to its user. This waxy, flammable, white or transparent solid with a strong aroma chemical has chemical symbol of C10H16O .

It is one of chemical that derived from plant, it can be extracted from camphor laurel. In some cases the uses of camphor to human skin could cause and trigger severe skin irritation and allergic reactions when applied topically, and inhaling its fumes can cause nausea, dizziness, and headaches. For that reason the usage of camphor is limited, in United States America camphor is only can be used under 11% concentration.

5. Paraben

This chemical is actually type of substance that form many cosmetic including nail polish product. This chemical is use as preservative agent in those product. In case excessive and long term usage this compound could cause allergic reaction, breast cancer to disruptive estrogenic activity.

To avoid those unwanted side effect the European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety (SCCS) suggest a maximum authorized concentration for only 0,4% for one ester or 0.8% when used in combination in 2013. So, it is suggested to only use product who contain paraben under this concentration.

6. Triphenyl Phosphate

Also known as TPhP is one of colorless ester that can be found in nail polish product. This chemical with symbol of OP(OC6H5)3 is used in nail polish to make it more flexible and less brittle. Like DBP this chemical is also known as endocrine disruptor. For this mean it will disturb human’s hormones and cause several deceased like infertility, abnormal fetal development, hormonal imbalances and several types of cancer among others.

7. Formaldehyde Resin

Although it is not really a toxic chemical, but Formaldehyde Resin could cause some mild decease which also we avoid to have. This chemical in several cases could cause allergic reactions, skin irritations, and discoloration and loss of nerve sensation.

8. Methacrylate Monomers

Other than using nail polish some of women are fond of using artificial nails, it is reported that some artificial nails contain Methacrylate Monomers. This chemical could cause mild toxicity such as Irritation of the skin, eye, and nasal cavity when it is used in excessive amount. 

9. Methacrylic Acid

Even though it is sounds the same with Methacrylate Monomers, this chemical is different from the previous one. This chemical mostly used in nail primer and labelled with professional used only because of its poisonous. With chemical formula of C4H6O2 this chemical sold in child-resistant packaging to avoid unwanted event.

10. Acetonitrile

The last of the list of toxic chemicals in nail polish is acetonitrile. This chemical with formula of CH3CN is found in the pair of nail polish that is nail polish remover. It is safe to use this chemical under suggested dose but when it use excessively it could cause human poisoning.

So, that is all the list of harmful chemicals that might be found in your nail polish, nail remover and maybe in many other cosmetics. Some brands of nail polish are smart enough not to longer using this harmful chemical as their ingredient, now it is your choice not to buy and use one which contain those chemicals above.