Pretty colors on your hand can do wonders, especially during pregnancy. However, not all nail polish brands will benefit your hands other than providing it with appealing color and shine. Fortunately, though there is no proof that manicures and pedicures have any significant adverse effects on you and your baby. There are recent reports from the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) revealing certain chemicals present in some nail polish, nail polish removers, and other nail products that can cause several health issues. Skin irritation, rashes, contact dermatitis, poisoning, and even death, have been associated with the misuse of these products.
These could definitely raise the concerns of those who use such products, especially those who are heavy with their babies. Using nail products such as these may lead to a certain level of exposure to the volatile substances included in the formulas. However, occasional as well as very limited contact with these compounds may not create a potential risk to a woman’s fertility and even the health of the fetus.
There may be available studies revealing the effects of working with nail polish on reproduction. Nonetheless, there may be several other factors that may be linked to such adverse effects. It could be the inappropriate use of the products or ingestion of the products that have already dried on the skin when using the hands to prepare or eat food. The extent of the exposure may also vary depending on the ventilation provided while doing the nail cleaning and polishing. It may also have to do with the quality and formulation of the nail polish product, as well as the maintenance of the application.
What’s in your nail polish?
There are many compounds in traditional acrylics that are known to be hazardous to the health. Here are some of them:
Toluene is added to some nail polish formulation as it helps the product to level easily on the nail surface. It allows the polish to glide smoothly and not create lumps on the nails. It is noted, however, that this chemical may damage the nervous system and also cause birth defects if one is exposed to beyond the allowable or safe levels while using the nail polish product. This could be probably only if you inhale Toluene directly and constantly. Otherwise, your nails, as well as your health won’t be affected by occasional use and limited exposure.
This chemical is added to nail polish products as a hardening compound. However, exposure to high levels of this compound may increase the risk of cancer. It can also cause irritation to the eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. Nonetheless, with the strict regulations employed in the production of such products, it is very unlikely that the nail polish will affect you.
Some nail polish manufacturers replaced formaldehyde. This compound is known to be toxic when ingested and will create systemic effects if ever it absorbed into the bloodstream.
Resins (such as formaldehyde resins)
Studies show that resins can cause severe skin irritations, allergic reactions, depigmentation, and also a loss of nerve sensation.
Phthalates are considered as endocrine disruptors. They are known to mimic the hormone estrogen in the body. Studies reveal that these compounds may impair the hormonal development of male fetuses, cause damage to the organ, and may even trigger the early onset of menopause.
Camphor makes some nail polish products to shine. Research reveals, however, that exposure to camphor may trigger allergic reactions and severe skin irritations. It is also linked to liver dysfunction.
Having said all these, it might lift your spirits to know that there are safe nail polish for pregnancy. Several nail pigment formulas today are made with essential nutrients that help the nails and the skin to be revitalized and allow the nails to grow healthier and stronger with each application of the polish.
Moreover, with the continuous research in the nail management industry, many nail polish manufacturers have found a solution to formulating longer-wearing manicures and pedicures. Some other types of nail polish formulas have been added years ago to provide other options for nail polish lovers. Gel, gel types, as well as dip powder, are other nail polish pigment choices that will allow you to wear chip-free nails longer. Some formulas may even allow your nail polish to lasts for up to three weeks. That means a less frequent visit to the salon. Or if you still prefer to DIY, that will mean that you will just have to do your nails for about once, at most twice, in a month.
Safety Tips to Use Nails Polish for Pregnancy
If ever you would want to have your nails done next time, make sure to consider these tips:
- Use only nail polish products that are safer and healthier to your nails. Look for 3-free or 5-free, 7-free, even 9-free non-toxic nail polish products to use. Formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBT) and toluene are known as the toxic trio. They have been replaced by some nail polish manufacturers with healthier ingredients for better manicure and pedicure results.
A 5-Free nail polish are free of these toxic trio, as well as formaldehyde resin, and camphor. Bliss Genius Nail Polish is one formula that offers such alternative. So does other these nail polish brands: Chanel, Dior, and Jamberry.
A 7-Free nail polish brands are free of the five compounds and also ethyl tosylamide and xylene. Cote, Deborah Lippmann, LVX, and Ulta, provide nail polish colors that are 7-free. 8-free formulations, on the other hand, are also free of phosphate, aside from the seven other compounds mentioned. Butter London is one nail polish brand that offers such product.
Finally, Londontown and Acquarella are a couple of nail polish brands that offer nail polish colors that are 9-free. These are nail polish pigments that are free of formaldehyde, formaldehyde-like derivatives, toluene, DBP, phthalates, camphor, ketones, petrochemical solvents, polyurethane, polyurethane film-formers, parabens, mercury, lead, FD & C, coal tar, gluten, wheat by-products, and aromatic hydrocarbons.
- Apply nail polish in a well-ventilated room or, if it is possible, in an open space so that there will be a lesser probability of exposing yourself and your baby to the toxic chemicals in the nail polish product that you may be using.
- Apply nail polish one coat at a time as this will allow the pigment to dry quicker thus, decreasing the time your skin gets exposed to the chemicals in them.
- Be cautious when using your hands once nail polish is already applied on your nails. Don’t bite or nibble on your nails.
- Use an acetone-free nail polish remover when removing the nail polish on your nails. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after applying the nail polish remover as well.