Although nail polish is not a necessity, many girls love it and miss it when trying to cut down on toxic exposure. But most conventional nail polishes contain extremely hazardous chemical ingredients and since nail polish is left on for relatively long periods (unlike soap or shampoo, which are rinsed off immediately) these toxins have a nice long time to soak into our system.
Listed below are the three main ingredients we look to avoid in nail polish and why*:
- Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) – neurotoxin, reproductive/developmental toxin, endocrine disruptor.
- Formaldehyde – human carcinogen, developmental/reproductive toxin, neurotoxin.
- Toluene – developmental/reproductive toxin, neurotoxin.
So what is an eco girl who likes a good mani to do? That is where Acquarella comes in. Acquarella water based nail polishes are free of the top three offenders, virtually odorless and come in a variety of gorgeous colors.
These polishes look terrific on. The application, on the other hand, takes some getting used to. First off you have to make sure your nails are free from any oils so that the water based polish sticks (remember, the whole oil and water not mixing thing) and then you need to file and buff them to a smooth surface. Next you use some of the Acquarella remover on your clean nails, to make sure they really are oil free, and then you can apply the conditioner coat. The conditioner is reapplied for the next two days and then you are finally ready for your two thin coats of color.
I admit, I did follow the instructions the first time around, but cheated after that and went straight for the color. The conditioner on its own is actually my favorite, providing a nice, clean clear coat and the color lasted on my toes almost a month without chipping.
Polish is $18 a bottle, remover is $6 and the buffer kit is $3.75. They are a bit more expensive , but the polishes are designed for a two year shelf life, so you should get your money’s worth. And if you spend $20 they will throw in a buffer kit for free.
Acquarella polishes are slightly more difficult to remove and are on the thin side, but these are small sacrifices in the name of better health.
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*All information on ingredients gathered from The Environmental Working Group (EWG).