Bad Nail Polishes!

I've recently came across a bad news regarding a few nail polishes. Last month, the Consumer Council found high levels of toxins in some brands of nail polishes and base coat products.

Council's Chairman of Publicity Ambrose Ho said that they found some nail polish samples that contain toxic chemicals and cancer-causing substances. He added that these compounds seek its way to the body through the nails, skin contact, or through inhalation.

In the council's review, it found Benzene in polishes by South Korean brand Skin Food, Flower and BNC manicure as well as in a polish by Volili.

There are 3 common toxic ingredients found in nail polishes that we have to watch out for: (source: Healthy Nails Blog)


Toluene is a human reproductive and developmental toxin. It may affect the nervous system with symptoms like tiredness, confusion, weakness, drunken-type actions, and memory loss. It is thought to cause liver damage and skin irritation. In high levels it may affect the kidneys. Toluene has been linked to birth defects in laboratory animals.


Formaldehyde is a carcinogen and a common indoor air pollutant because its resins are used in many construction materials. Formaldehyde has caused cancer in the nose and throats of lab animals. Inhaling the fumes can result in watery eyes, headache, burning in the throat, and labored breathing.

Dibutyl Phthalate

Phthalates are used to soften plastic, and are known to affect hormone function. Studies have linked phthalates to early puberty in girls and low sperm counts in men. Environmental groups claim phthalate exposure may contribute to the rising number of uterine problems in women and testicular cancer in men. It could also be one of the contributing factors to a rise in infertility in both sexes. Repeated and heavy exposure to dibutyl phthalate may cause nausea and/or vomiting, tearing of the eyes, dizziness, and headache. Long-term exposures may cause damage to kidneys and the liver. Pregnant women must consider that dibutyl phthalate may harm the developing fetus and the male testes.

After reading about this bad news, I immediately went to my stash and gathered all my BNC and Skin Food nail polishes.

Nail Polish 01
My BNC and Skin Food polishes.

I've recently just purchased the BNC polishes from Market! Market! They're were being sold rather cheap so I grabbed a few colors. It's a Korean brand and it didn't have any ingredient information on the bottle. These specific polishes were not listed in the chart (see first photo) provided by the council. But I really don't want to take a risk. No more BNC polishes for me!

I've been using Skin Food nail polishes for quite some time now. I have put them aside also, together with the BNC polishes.

I admit that nails is my weakness. But this news serves as a lesson that I have to be responsible in choosing my polishes. I've scrutinized my stash again and looked at the bottles to see if ingredients were indicated.

Nail Polish 02
Here are a few samples of nail polish brands that have proper
ingredients information in their bottles.

I was very much happy with my Orly stash because of this:

Nail Polish 03

Health shouldn't suffer for the price of beauty. Let us now be careful with our polish purchases.


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  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. great post... since u posted some korean polish that has a toxic ingredients do u think our local polish is also a BIG 3 FREE??well, i dont think so..XD bobbie is the only polish i've seen that says its non-toxic..i hope u will make a post for our local polish brand...
    ohh my I have some bnc and i only have 1 skin food polish...

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