The scent hits you as soon as you walk into the nail salon or open a bottle of polish to paint your toes. You can probably smell it just thinking about it. I know I can. It’s full of chemicals, smells a little bit like paint thinner, and can sometimes make it difficult to breathe.
It doesn’t have to be that way, though. There is such a thing as fume-free nail polish. So, what is it? And what makes all those other pretty colored bottles bring water to our eyes?
Why Does Traditional Nail Polish Have a Strong Scent?
Nail polish has a strong scent because of the chemicals that are in the paint. Think about painting a room in your house. It smells, right? Nail polish is a type of paint, too.
The chemicals that are in traditional polish might surprise you, and many of them are toxic. They include phthalates, acetone, and toluene. The effects can be quite frightening, and these are just a few of the chemicals that be in that little bottle.
There have been ten ingredients identified in total that can have adverse effects on the body.
What is Fume-Free Nail Polish?
Fume-free nail polish is here to save the day. They’re nail polish brands that are free of these toxic and smelly chemicals. They’re often labeled as non-toxic or natural nail polish, and advertise themselves as being anywhere from “three-free” to “ten-free.”
The number represents how many “red flag” chemicals that the polish is free of. The higher the number, the less toxic nail polish is considered to be.
If you’re looking for the least harmful and most natural nail polish, opt for one that’s deemed “eight-free” as opposed to one that’s marked “three-free.”
Where Can You Buy Fume-Free Nail Polish?
The good news is that as consumer demand has increased for fume-free, non-toxic nail polish has become widely available.
Look at the bottles lined up on the racks at the drug store, at beauty retailers, or run an online search. There are tons of them out there, and they’re not at all limited when it comes to color, shine, or longevity.
You can find a list of the best-rated non-toxic nail polishes here.
What Do I Do at the Nail Salon?
Unfortunately, not all nail salons have adopted a fume-free approach to manicures and pedicures. Most haven’t. With the wide use of acetone to remove gel manicures and acrylic sets, the fumes seem inescapable.
However, the trend is catching on at some nail salons who are now offering entirely fume-free natural nail treatments to customers. Search for one near you for an entirely new experience. Some are even incorporating meditation sessions during manicures, looking to offer a more holistic experience.
Bring Your Own
What you can do to protect your health at a nail salon that hasn’t adopted a fume-free approach yet is to bring your bottle of fume-free nail polish and don’t stay inside longer than you need to.
You won’t have toxic chemicals on your nails, and it’s not likely that you’ll sustain permanent damage by being in a nail salon for short periods of time.