Tuesday, 20 March 2012

DANGER Look For Nail Polish Free Of The Big 3

The Big 3 refers to the 3 toxic chemicals that you should be avoiding in nail polish:  Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde and Toulene.
Health and safety was a major area for study when I was learning about nails and products for my gel nail exam. I was shocked to learn that some ingredients still used in products and polish is in fact really harmful to us and out customers, for example such chemicals are linked to cancer, developmental and reproductive abnormalities and allergies.

This information made me research the lines that I was using far more thoroughly, and am pleased to report that OPI no longer use The Big 3 although like many professional brands, they once did.

It did also get me thinking about the Primark nail polish that I purchased and featured the other day, so I quickly checked the ingredients label. I was thrilled to not see any of these toxic chemicals included in this line, which proves that you are not necessarily compromising your health by purchasing bargain brands every now and then, but you should always check the label on your polish before you part with your hard-earned cash.

Here is a little information on each of the Big 3, as well as other names that they could be labelled under:

Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP)

Used to prevent cracks and chips, and acts as a plasticiser. Found in printing inks, adhesives, sealants and grouting!


Sounds scary, especially as it has been known to cause deformities in feotuses. Not actually used in nail polish, but is used as a nail hardener in gel/acrylic nail products.

Toulene (aka methylbenzene, toluol, phenylmethane)

Used as a thinner which typically makes polish easier to apply and is a solvent which is often used in paint, petrol, shoe polish, industrial adhesive etc. Is also a volatile agent.

I don't know about you but I really don't fancy applying chemicals like that to my body, and it worried me to realise that I probably had done in the past, but late is certainly better than never, and I feel a little bit better knowing that I'm helping to spread the word to maybe just one person who wasn't aware of these dangers.

You can check the risk rating an ingredients on around 69,000 cosmetic/beauty items on the amazing EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database website http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/. It really is worth a look; a real eye opener!

If you have any questions or further information to add then please feel free to comment below. Please also send this link on to other nail polish lovers or Tweet!


  1. Thanks for this :)

    Would love it if you could check out my blog - new and having a hard time getting people to subscribe!


    Merci! x

  2. Love OPI! & lovely blog! New follower :D


  3. I know about these chemicals but I never knew there was a site:)