Nail Varnish


I love a pop of colour somewhere and as I use only natural make-up and mostly browns and neutral shades, a touch of colour from my nail varnish always does the trick, especially as it’s sandal weather!

As we get older, we tend to need a little more ‘grooming’ and having beautifully painted nails is a wonderful place to start.  I tend to do it myself as I use varnish.  As with skincare and make-up though, I always go for toxin free product and particularly love Butter London and Nailberry - especially the Oygene range from Nailberry.  

Here are the chemicals I look to avoid and their uses in nail varnish. Also, a list of ranges that are free from any of the 3 major toxins;

1. Dbp (dibutyl phthalate)

Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) is used in nail varnish to minimize chipping. Phthalates are classified as endocrine disruptors and can mimic the hormone oestrogen in your body.

2. Toluen

Toluene is the nail polish ingredient used to create a smooth application and finish. It is also found in most conventional nail varnish removers. However, its fumes are highly toxic, hence the people in salons wearing masks.

3. Formaldehyde & Formaldehyde Resin

Formaldehyde is used to harden and strengthen nail varnish; it also works as a preservative in the product, protecting it against bacterial growth.  Formaldehyde resin is a by-product of formaldehyde that makes its way into many nail polish formulas that include formaldehyde.

If you do want to use nail varnish, choose a brand that is at least free of the “Big Three” (DBP, toluene and Formaldehyde). If you have your nails done at a salon, look for one that uses 3-free varnish or take the one you use with you for them to apply.

3-Free Nail varnish brands to look out for

Butter London (also paraben-free),
Essie, Lancome also contains no Formaldehyde resins,
OPI (though some of the nail straighteners do contain Formaldehyde)