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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