Nail Polish or Nail Poison?

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Blog | Aug, 20 2018

Nail Polish or Nail Poison?


We all enjoy a bit of pampering every now and again, and many associate this with getting a little “mani-pedi.” A new Duke study, however, proves that it may be time to rethink the “natural” ingredients in the nail polish your spa uses on your fingers and toes. 

What’s in that Nail Polish Anyways?

It may come as no surprise that that strong-smelling polish also comes with a laundry list of harmful ingredients. Here are just a few:

#1 Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP). DBP is used in nail polish to prevent chipping and wear. It is part of the group of solvents called phthalates. It is also is a known endocrine disruptor in both men and women. A 2007 Danish study found that a topical application of DBP in young males produced changes in reproductive systems as well as thyroid levels. It is also a powerful and dangerous xenoestrogen. A groundbreaking 2010 study of women with Breast Cancer in New Mexico found, for the first time, that exposure to phthalates “may be associated with increased risk of breast cancer.”

#2 Toluene. Toluene and its cousin benzene, is used in paint thinners, nail polishes, glues, and correction fluids. Inhaling toluene fumes has been shown in several studies to promote mutations in

Your nail beds absorb everything you put on them!

DNA that can lead to liver, lung and Breast Cancer as well as lymphoma. 

#3 Formaldehyde. Many people have heard of the dangers of the formaldehyde that may be hiding in their new furniture or new carpet. But did you know that formaldehyde is also a key ingredient in commercial nail polish? In polishes, it works as a hardener and preservative. In 1987, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified formaldehyde as a “probable human carcinogen,” especially to those who are exposed to it over a long period. Some countries, such as Japan and Sweden, have banned formaldehyde from their countries altogether.  

#4 triphenyl phosphate (TPHP). TPHP is the newest chemical additive to concern researchers, including those at Duke University. The researchers are especially concerned since it is often used as a replacement for phthalates in more “natural” nail polishes.

Essential #2 of the 7 Essentials System teaches you how to Reduce Your Toxic  Exposure. To learn more about the 7 Essentials System, go HERE to watch a FREE webinar

The Duke Study

A  2017 EWG investigation, looked at 10 popular polish brands such as Wet N Wild, Sally Hansen and Essie, among others. Triphenyl Phosphate is an “organophosphate flame retardant” or PFR. The Duke study found that PFR’s found in nail polish, mattress pads and other consumer goods may be more disruptive to the reproductive system than previously thought.  

In fact, their findings promoted them to put out a warning to women wanting to get pregnant through in-vitro fertilization. They recommended that these women not use polish that contains TPHP.

“The flame retardant PentaBDE, used in polyurethane foam, was phased out more than a decade ago after it was linked with negative health effects in animal and epidemiological studies,” says Courtney Carignan in an interview with Duke University’s Chronical Magazine

“PFRs were introduced as a safer alternative, but they have also been found in animal studies to disrupt thyroid and sex hormones—which are important for fertility and fetal development.”

Did you know that that your finger and toe nail beds are porous and actually “breathe”. Your nail beds are more permeable than skin, which means that whatever goes on the nail, is absorbed into the blood and lymphatic systems. When you block that process with toxic polish, you are , in a sense suffocating the nail bed and the organs that are energetically connected to them. 

No Nail Polish is 100% Natural

The main take away from all this is: Don’t be fooled!  Although environmental organizations, such as EcoWatch, have named a handful of brands that may be safer than others, the reality is that no nail polish is 100% safe. Instead of painting on the polish, why not opt for a mani-pedi sans polish and a reflexology or a hand massage to boot? Putting self-nurturing protocols into place is absolutely essential on the Healthy Breast journey. Just make sure that whatever you do helps your body’s healing mechanisms and does not put more toxins into it! 


Dr. Veronique Desaulniers (“Dr V”) is the founder of Breast Cancer and The 7 Essentials System ™. This step-by-step guide empowers you with knowledge so you Never Have to Fear Breast Cancer Again! To watch a FREE webinar about the 7 steps for beating breast cancer naturally, Click Here.

  • I’d like to know as well. I’ve been polishing my nails since I was 14yrs old. I’d assume that the wraps are safer.

    • Hello Diane! Thank you for your question! Even if nail wraps have less toxic ingredients in them, remember that nails are permeable and in a sense breath. So if you are blocking them with anything then their energetic connection with other organs could suffer. The best course of action is to embrace your natural beauty!