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GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
A woman applying a topcoat to another woman's nails
Image by rashid khreiss / Unsplash
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Why You Should Always BYO Topcoat

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Ideally, you’ve updated your knowledge about non-toxic nail polishes. As you probably know by now, many harmful ingredients are hiding in your nail polish. This means, by the time the nail technician approaches your nails, you know how to ask for a 5-free or even 10-free nail polish. But what about your topcoat? You’re not going to believe the reasons why you should bring your own.

The Importance of The Top Coat

If you think about it, your topcoat is the invisible shield that protects your nail from the chemicals found in the nail polish. Do you want to use one that you don’t know the ingredients? The topcoat is also the reason why your perfect manicure doesn’t chip off after five seconds, thus, extending the life of your manicure.

The Dangers of Unknown Top Coats

While you may be aware of the ingredients in your favorite natural nail polish, you don’t always know the type of top coat polish your nail salon carries. It’s nearly impossible to know what’s in most nail salon polish formulas, in many cases, they’re even a blend of various clear polishes.

Most top coat polishes have toluene, used to create that smooth and glossy finish we love and adore. Toluene also gives your nails that paint-thinner smell we don’t enjoy, but we associate with getting a manicure. Repeated exposure to toluene can be harmful to your health over time.

Headaches, sleepiness, and difficulties to think clearly are all signs of toluene exposure. Some studies even showed reproductive effects and spontaneous abortions.

What to Do Instead

Since you won’t know what to expect from your nail salon’s topcoat collection, bring your own. Ideally, you should pick one that’s at least 5-free to make sure you steer away from harmful ingredients. They still work as well as other topcoats, sans the shady ingredients.

Not to mention, if you’re anything like me, aka a nail bitter, you don’t want to ingest the toluene and other nasty ingredients found in those traditional topcoats.

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Geraldine
GR8NESS Writer
Geraldine is a GR8NESS Contributing Editor who writes about self care, clean makeup and beauty, mental health, and relationships – as well as natural remedies and fitness. She’s a coffee enthusiast with Venezuelan roots, a former ballerina, and the sunscreen patrol. Most of the time, you can find her working on her skincare routine or trying a new dance workout.
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