What does it mean to be 10-free?
So you’ve seen the phrase on bottles of fancy ‘healthier’ nail polishes. But what does it mean and is it really worth paying more for a bottle of mail polish?
10-free means that polishes do not contain dibutyl phthalate, TPHP, toluene, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, parabens, and tert-butyl hydroperoxide.
We love painting our fingers and toes with a fresh coat of color, but we also worry about what kind of toxic ingredients are in those polished. Nail polish can be absorbed through the skin, and even be introduced in our mouth when we touch our food to eat. With very little regulation in nail polish ingredients, there is potential for these toxic ingredients to enter our bloodstreams. But no worries... when formulated correctly, 10-free nail polishes can pack a punch and can deliver beautiful shiny and opaque color.
Here’s a breakdown of each of the 10 ingredients to avoid and why:
- Dibutyl phthalate is a respiratory irritant, which poses the most hazard to nail technicians who may become exposed to large amounts.
- TPHP (Triphenyl phosphate) is a plasticizer, as well as a fire retardant, and studies have linked it to changes in normal hormone function.
- Toluene is a solvent used in polish to help it dry quickly; the health concerns associated with excessive exposure to this ingredient may include nervous system impairment and immune, kidney, liver, and reproductive effects.
- Xylene, when exposed to high concentrations in the air, can cause central nervous system depression and headaches.
- Ethyl tosylamide is banned from use in cosmetics by the European Commission but is still used in the United States. This ingredient is suspected of causing developmental and reproductive toxicity.
- Camphor is a fragrant resin still included in many nail products, but it can cause headaches, nausea and dizziness in high amounts.
- Formaldehyde resin can release formaldehyde; the short-term effects of formaldehyde exposure include respiratory and skin irritation. Long-term exposure is suspected to cause cancer.
- Parabens are a common preservative but are a suspected endocrine disruptor.
- Tert-butyl hydroperoxide may be toxic to blood, lungs, liver, the respiratory system and the central nervous system.