20 August 2007

NP - Ingredients

Nail Polish Ingredients and Currently Available Alternatives

Here are the three (so far) ingredients I try to stay away from in polishes: Formaldehyde, Phthalates, and Toluene.

According to the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) at Physical & Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, Formaldehyde (at 37%) is Toxic and Corrosive. "Probably human carcinogen. Mutagen. May cause damage to kidneys ... Very destructive of mucous membranes and upper respiratory tract, eyes and skin."

Formaldehyde in nail treatment lacquers is usually in a resin form that while not as dangerous as Formaldehyde, is still considered "Harmful if swallowed or inhaled. May be harmful in contact with skin."

Phthalate (specifically Dibutyl Phthalate)
The MSDS states that Dibutyl Phthalate is harmful and dangerous for the environment. "May cause reproductive harm ... Very toxic to aquatic organisms."

Other phthalates are safe though, right? Not necessarily.

The MSDS states that
Toluene is Toxic and Flammable. "Toxic by inhalation, ingestion or by absorption through skin ... Experimental teratogen (birth defects)."

Here's one of the biggest problems with chemicals in our world, we know how this ONE chemical acts and reacts with the environment and in our body. We don't know how these chemicals act and interact with each other.

Solution? Currently the solution is to avoid as many chemicals as possible, especially fat soluble chemicals, because the science to study all these interactions is economically infeasible at the moment.

Fat soluble chemicals are not flushed out of your system. They are either stored for the rest of your life, or metabolized into substances that can be flushed from your system (which is why you can OD on fat soluble vitamins, but not water soluble). And by your system, I mean your internal body and cells.

Results on Kira's Manicure/Pedicure routine:
I've tossed all my old OPI polishes (I really miss some of them) and have ONLY the following in my cupboard - new OPI Australia and Russian formulas (Toluene and Phthalate free) and Revlon lacquers (all 3 free).

An Affair in Red Square
Rubble for your Thoughts
St. Petersburgundy
Suzi Says Da!

A True Ab-original
Brisbane Bronze
Canberra't Without You
Don't Melbourne the Toast
Red Hot Ayers Rock
Suzi Loves Sydney

Revlon - Who woulda thought ol' Revlon would have an up to date polish formula?

It rates a 4 out of 10 on Skin Deep's toxicity scale.

Revlon Nail Enamel Ingredients List (from bottle):
Ethyl Acetate
Butyl Acetate
Isopropyl Alcohol
Propyl Acetate
Acetyl Tributyl Citrate
Stearalkonium Bentonite
Serica (Silk Powder)
PPG-2 Dimethicone
Citric Acid
Malic Acid
Tetrabutyl Phenyl Hydroxybenzoate
Stearalkonium Hectorite
Calcium Sodium Borosilicate
and the May contain mess that generally gives lacquer its color

How does one read the extra tiny ingredients list on the back of the bottle? One sticks said bottle under her trusty Leica Microscope and hopes she interpreted the smears correctly. :)

Sheer Nude - nice, basic, no shimmer nude; so very hard to find
Iced Spice
Rosezing - sort of a bronzed copper
Totally Toffee

Other companies I may try: Butter London, China Glaze, and Zoya.

Butter London

Free of all 3 chemicals, and even better, so is their top and bottom coat treatments (practically unheard of). At least, according to their website. They would not send me either ingredients lists or MSDSs. Their rep. did tell me that they list the ingredients on the box. Oh really, that is so incredibly freakin' helpful. Purchase our item to figure out what we have in it. Thanks.

Problem, could that top be any more difficult to manipulate? Honestly, I much prefer a symmetrical applicator that I can maneuver easily.

China Glaze

Beginning with the Audry Hepburn homage "Something Blue" - their newest formulations are Toluene and Phthalate free, but according to their rep., they do have Formaldehyde resin (just like new OPIs).


Zoya strongly stresses how safe their Polish is ... quoted, word for [missing] word, from their website:

"FREE of POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS CHEMICALS. Chemicals that may cancer and birth defects. Unlike other nail lacquers, ZOYA does NOT contain formaldehyde, toluene or dibutyl phthalate (DBP). So Don’t Risk your or your babies wellbeing, Make the SAFE choice, the SMART choice, the STYLISH choice…CHOOSE ZOYA"

Their base and top coat were re-formulated from the original formulas (which were NOT safe and smart).

Zoya Anchor ingredients:
Butyl Acetate
Ethyl Acetate
SD40B Alcohol
Propyl Acetate
Isopropyl Alcohol
Tosylamide/Epoxy Resin
Polyvinyl Butyral
D&C Violet #2

Zoya Topcoat ingredients:
Butyl Acetate
Ethyl Acetate
Isopropyl Alcohol
Acrylates Copolymer
Cellulose Acetate Butyrate
Polyester Resin
Benzophenone 1
Polyurethane Resin
D&C Violet #2

Amazing how similar those two formulations are to each other.

OH, and their quick dry topcoat in the Zoya line, Hurry Up, that they sell for $16.00 per .5 oz bottle ($32.00 per oz.) has the same list of ingredients that the Quick dry from their Qtica line, 1/2 Time Drying Accelerator, has for 7.50 for .25 oz., 22.00 for 1 oz. The ingredients: silicone. Specifically Cyclomethicone and Dimethicone (with Camellia oil tossed into the Zoya Hurry up for a little ... extra oil, I guess).

Well, you are saying, what about my favorite polish/treatment, insert here, it says it is x, y, or z free. Why isn't it in your list?

Poshe - Poshe says they are Formaldehyde and Toluene free ... "Safe Nail Care for a new generation" - Poshe also includes their MSDSs directly on their website, mega plus points.

However, their Fast Basecoat and Topcoat have Butyl Benzyl Phthalate, though their treatment basecoat is free of the 3 big chemicals.

Seche Vite Quick Fast Dry - has Phthalate and Toluene. Besides that it thickens up quickly, and doesn't work well on non-3 free polishes. My old OPI manicures lasted 1 day before chipping and tip wear required complete re-do.

And all the others? Well, all the others hide their ingredients lists. If I can't figure out what's in the formula via basic 'net surfing, I'm not spending my money trying to figure it out.

So here's my list of currently (and new) in rotation products:
OPI Nail Envy Sensitive and Peeling, Formaldehyde-Free Formula (basecoat)
Lacquer - new OPI (has Formaldehyde Resin), Revlon (3 free)
CNDs Dry & Shine or Air Dry (topcoat), both 3 free


Emily said...

Interesting information about nail polish ingredients! I'll definitely look out for formaldehyde, phthalates, and toluene in my future nailpolish purchases.

Anonymous said...

Not only did your information give me to talk about in the discussion of my nail polish project at school, you managed to find an ingredient on the Revlon bottle that I couldn't read: due to the same smeary tiny letters of which you spoke. Thanks a heap!

Anonymous said...

Very useful! Thanks.

By the way, Butter London's lids separate from the brush section - there is a round applicator lid underneath the rectangular one... so no problems with manipulating it while applying.

Anonymous said...

I love my Poshe super-fast drying topcoat and you got me worried about its formula - Butyl Benzyl Phthalate. I checked my bottle of Poshe and it's not on the list! Maybe they updated the formula? Here the full list Ethyl Acetate, Butyl Acetate, Cellulose Acetate Butyrate Ester, Naphtholite, Polysiloxane Co-polymer, Dioctyl Adipate, Aminomethoxysilane, Isopropyl Alcohol, Benzophenone. Is it safe to use?

Kira said...

Re: Posh Super-Fast Drying Topcoat

It looks like Poshe is changing their ingredients list to better serve their customers.

Your list has recognizably "low toxicity" ingredients except for Naphtholite and Aminomethoxysilane; neither of which I am familiar.

I suspect Naphtholite is a derivative of Naphthalene/Naphtha (moth balls) which is a carcinogen. That would make me a touch uneasy if I am correct. Make sure you apply in a well ventilated area and try not to get any on your skin.

Aminomethoxysilane, an adhesion promoter, is Dow Corning's Z-6040 silane - 99% glycidoxypropyl trimethoxysilane and methanol. Dow's MSDS indicates it is not a highly toxic chemical but may cause some skin irritation in its pure form ... which could be said of ANY of these ingredients. Besides, its concentration is low in this product.

Anonymous said...

do you know the Rimmel nail polish formula?

Kira said...

I do not have any Rimmel polishes to check. I have had good luck typing in a certain brand along with "AND ingredients" in search engines. Good luck.