I love my manicures, but I'm worried about exposure to formaldehyde and other nasty chemicals. Where can I find non-toxic nail products?
It seems you're not alone. "We have more and more clients asking for natural/non-toxic manicures because people become aware of side-effects and don't want to damage their nails any more," says Emmanuel Faipoux (right) of eco-friendly salon Emmanuel f. "We also noticed a lot of pregnant women who care even more about side-effects during their pregnancy."
Formaldehyde, which has been classified as carcinogenic, is just one of several common nail polish ingredients that are considered toxic. They include toluene, a petrochemical solvent that may cause damage to fetuses, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP), which carries reproductive and developmental risks and has been banned by the European Union.
Thankfully, a number of brands now specialise in toxin-free nail products. Faipoux favours Couleur Caramel. Other options include SpaRitual (available at A Beauty Bar), whose vegan polishes are made without DBP, toluene, formaldehyde and formaldehyde resin, and Zoya, with 300 toluene, formaldehyde, DBP and camphor-free colours and counting. The latter two are available at AJNP Nail Care Store www.ajnp.com.hk.
If you're not ready to give up your favourite shade, be sure to check ingredients. Essie is one of several conventional brands that are "three-free", meaning free from DPB, toluene and formaldehyde.
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