Nixing My Nail Polish

I really try to be practical with my health concerns – maintaining an overall happy medium of the “good” (fruits and veggies) and the “bad” (cheese puffs and gummy bears). There are times when I read a new piece of research and I just want to scream – WE HAVE TO LIVE PEOPLE! I mean, there are just so many things we need to avoid. It’s overwhelming!

So, for a long time, I just turned a blind eye to the reality that much of what man makes has the potential to cause some form of bodily harm! I consoled myself by thinking, “gee no one in their right mind would create products that could hurt someone.” But, I do realize there is an awful lot of corporate greed out there, and quite honestly, the testing it requires to prove a product’s safety beyond a shadow of a doubt is really very difficult. Besides, the government doesn’t mandate that most consumer products pass any type of review, so why would a manufacturer do more than is needed?

All this being considered, as a woman who is addicted to makeup, I am now starting to really pay attention to some of the findings that are surfacing about cosmetics. In particular, I was very alarmed about reports of lead in MANY major manufacturers lip sticks. Even the “natural” options like Burts Bees, had lead in their red lipsticks. Guess what my favorite lip color is? Naturally, lead red! So about a month ago, I ditched at least 5 tubes of lipstick. It was a little sad, but the fact that I had 5 tubes of red lipstick, and still many more tubes in various other colors, is even sadder.

This week I found more victims for my cosmetics burial, as I hit my nail polish collection with reckless abandon. After reading several places about how polish often contains potent chemicals such as pthylates, formaldehyde, and toluene, I decided it was time to rid my life of those nasties. I must have thrown away 12 bottles of polish after carefully trying to decipher their ultra tiny ingredient labels (when they existed – why is it legal to not have ingredients info?). With the exception of a few Revlon choices, most of my collection was trashed. It was kind of exciting however, because I told myself I would replace my collection with new, safer options. After a quick Internet search, I was able to find that one of my former favorites, Sally Hansen, Hard as Nails, has eliminated all of the known offenders from their polish. And, as luck would have it, Walgreens was having a fabulous $.99 sale on that very product!! I hit the store last night and stocked up on 5 new shades. I painted my nails a delightful mauvey-pink last night as I rejoiced in my new chemical-free life. However, after smelling the same noxious odor that my old polish had, I am not so convinced that I won’t be tossing these bottles next year. For now, I know I have done my best to get some balance – besides, now that I have my nicely polished nails I don’t want to taint them with cheese puff orange.

2 thoughts on “Nixing My Nail Polish”

  1. Thank you for visiting my blog and for the advice on the calcium supplements. Chocolate and calcium? Waaayyy more pleasant.

    Now please, please, please tell me my beloved OPI is not horrible for me.

    And, if you can’t, let’s just not speak of it again.

    Ha, ha.


    I am sooooo sorry to report that the results on OPI don’t look so good. I only have one bottle, but as I recall, in spite of not finding any info on their Web site, they do contain some of the chemicals that I mentioned.

    I have to admit though, I couldn’t bring myself to throw that one OPI bottle away – instead I just use it on my toes. I figure at least it has no chance of getting in my mouth! Ohhh the strange compromises we make for beauty.

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