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The New York Times published a piece by Sara Maslin Nir headlined "Perfect Nails, Poisoned Workers" in 2015. The essay discussed the impact that poisonous nail paints have on manicurists, who are exposed for a long time. It is still very relevant today.

After reading the piece, I think you'll start to wonder what impact these chemicals might be having on you. Every nail polish enthusiast needs to choose the best non-toxic nail polish brand.

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According to the New York Times, "A growing body of medical research shows a link between the chemicals that make nail and beauty products useful — the ingredients that make them chip-resistant and pliable, quick to dry, and brightly colored, for example — and serious health problems".

Given that the cosmetic and beauty industry's fastest-growing segment is nail care, long-term impacts of exposure to harmful nail polish chemical fumes might, at the at least, result in eye and throat irritation, headaches, dizziness, and dry, cracked skin.

In more extreme situations, these chemical vapors may result in infertility, miscarriages, and damage to the kidneys and liver.

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What should I look for in a non-toxic nail polish brand?

While many brands provide a 3 Free option that is safer and cleaner, ILNP has established the Platinum Standard for non-toxic nail beauty with unique, proprietary 7 Free formulations. The 7 most prevalent hazardous components, which are included in many nail brands, are not used in the formulation of any ILNP nail products. That's why they're our favorite!

7-Free means that in addition to not containing the “Toxic Trio” of Toluene, Formaldehyde, or Dibutyl Phthalate, our nail polishes are also free from Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor, Ethyl Tosylamide, and Xylene.

These ingredients were previously used in most nail polish formulations until recent studies found them to be potentially harmful or irritable to humans.

In order to simplify things, we've put together our "seven free list of ingredients with clear explanations of why each one is so harmful."

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7 Free List

Formaldehyde - a commonly used chemical to preserve and embalm dead animals and humans. Its vapors are also irritating and can trigger asthma. Formaldehyde is also a known human carcinogen, a factor directly involved in causing cancer.

Formaldehyde Resin - a derivative of Formaldehyde, mainly used in the production of coatings and adhesives. It is not as toxic as Formaldehyde but can be an allergen and skin irritant.

Toluene - a liquid that is used as a solvent and has the familiar smell of paint thinner. You can be exposed to toluene by breathing it in or getting it on your skin or nails. Toluene is often associated with skin irritation. Inhaling high levels of toluene is known to be harmful to the nervous system and can cause lightheadedness and nausea. Toluene is a toxin that may also cause birth defects and developmental problems in children of pregnant women who have had extended exposure.

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Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) - a commonly used plasticizer that has been linked to cancer. DBP has also been connected to birth defects in studies involving lab animals. In fact, this toxin was added to the California Proposition 65 list of suspected teratogens, which are agents that cause malformations of an embryo.

Camphor - a poison that can cause seizures and disorientation if used in large doses. This chemical acts as a cover on your nails, depriving them of nutrients and causing yellow staining of the nails, which may become permanent.

Xylene – commonly used in the manufacture of plastics and polyester fabrics. Also, as an industrial solvent, it is often used as a cleaning agent for steel and electronic components including silicon wafers and integrated circuits. Exposure to xylene can irritate the eyes, nose, skin, and throat. Xylene can also cause headaches, dizziness, confusion, loss of muscle coordination, and in high doses, death.

Ethyl Tosylamide -- is a common ingredient in nail polish that is used as a plasticizer, film former, and a viscosity control agent. According to the National Toxicology Program (NTP), ethyl tosylamide is a developmental toxin, meaning it may harm the developing fetus if a pregnant woman is exposed to it. The NTP has also classified ethyl tosylamide as a possible human carcinogen based on animal studies. Ethyl tosylamide has been linked to skin and eye irritation, and may cause allergic reactions in some individuals.

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  • STUNNING HOLOGRAPHIC - Experience all the best shades and finishes in this beautiful collection!
  • CHIP RESISTANT, EASY TO REMOVE - Our nail polishes wear like iron! Enjoy long-lasting coverage with chip-resistant durability. Removal is a breeze - nothing like glitter!
  • 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE - Not happy with the Real magic Toppers Collection? Return or exchange it for something else totally free of charge. We’ll never leave you stuck with something you don’t love!
  • PREMIUM INGREDIENTS - Designed with care and precision, only the highest-quality, best performing ingredients go into our nail polishes. We don’t cut corners!
  • 100% VEGAN, CRUELTY FREE, SAFE - We don’t use any animal derived ingredients in our nail polish. On top of that, we don’t test our products on animals, ever! All ILNP nail polishes are 5-free, non-toxic, and safe to use!


How long should nail polish be worn?

It is recommended that you remove and reapply nail polish every one to two weeks to allow your nails to breathe and prevent the polish from chipping or peeling.

What damages nails the most?

Exposure to harsh chemicals, such as those found in cleaning products or certain nail polishes, can weaken and damage nails over time.

What nutrients are essential for strong healthy nails?

A lack of essential vitamins and minerals, such as biotin, vitamin D, and iron, can lead to brittle, weak, and discolored nails.

Can medical conditions wreak havoc on nails?

Certain medical conditions, such as psoriasis, thyroid disorders, and anemia, can cause damage to the nails.

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