Ok, so I don’t really mean real Scotch…I’m talking about an American nail polish brand that happens to be called Scotch Naturals… a new discovery I had to share.
Mani’s Pedi’s and Health: Everyone can appreciate the value of a good manicure. It can transform your mood, give you a touch of elegance, put you in the mood for a party but at what cost to our health? Recent studies have raised cause for concern and its effect on our health has been pondered. Previously, we have questioned the safely of salon manicures and pedicures….without strict sanitation guidelines, we found they increase the risk of nail infections and fungus contamination. Most recently, however, the spotlight of our concerns has been focused on the nail polishes themselves.
What is it we are so worried about? It has been proven that conventional nail polishes contain harmful metals and other toxins. These substances are now known to cause health concerns if absorbed in small qualities overtime. The most concerning are the chemicals toluene, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate (DBP). The “toxic trio” have been studied and found to be associated with serious health concerns ranging from birth defects to cancer. They are included in lacquers because companies claim they contribute unmatched qualities to their products in terms of shine, quick-drying ability, durability and flexibility. They also are prime culprits in causing allergic reactions of the skin that can appear on the hands or in other areas of the body seemingly unassociated creating difficult diagnosis. The ingredients formaldehyde resin and camphor packing have also been linked to health problems if inhaled or ingested (concern for fingernail biters)…this brings our list of worries to 5!!
So…Should we forgo our cultures fun but unhealthy nail dressing ritual and settle on celebrating the homely, but possibly under-stated, naked nail? Apparently, not…thanks to companies such as Scotch Naturals, an organic beauty line which specializes in giving you healthy manicures and pedicures! Despite growing concerns, it’s quite shocking that only a handful of companies have gone out of their way to help us enjoy quality “5 free” lacquers without these toxic ingredients.. Scotch Naturals, has graciously decided to embark on this clearly necessary philosophy! After 4 years of sparsely painting my nails, (mostly due to fact I was pregnant twice within these 4 years), I have now been inspired to do so once again! I became a fan just recently when an eco-chic nail/wax boutique, Sundara, opened close to my home in Barcelona. I immediately researched the products and ran to do some firsthand exploration. I love the posh color selection and the fact even the darkest red comes off easily without staining my fingers or discoloring my nails.
This leads me to further elaborate on another important reason to avoid toxin containing polish….. to avoid the horrific “nail polish hangover”!! This condition I describe is none other than the dry, brittle and yellow nail which we suffer after our seemingly simple attempt to liven up our lives with a boost of a berry, citrus or red polish. After a mere week of upbeat finger tips, we many times suffer, what I have referred to above as, the nail polish hangover. The worst of it is, if we resist what many red polish addicts commonly cannot, a vicious cycle of reapplication which ultimately makes nails just angrier and yellower, we are stuck with this unattractive yellow hue for up to a month! The use of nontoxic nail polishes can help you enjoy the excitement of a happy nail polish, without suffering from a its respective sequele in 2 ways: Firstly, it uses a pigment which is suspended and NOT dissolved in the color, and secondly, it avoids the use of a caustic, volatile remover for its complete removal. By using a suspended pigment, we get much less absorption through the keratin nail cells and, therefore, less staining. Furthermore, by using the soy-based, or similar gentle polish removers, we are avoiding making nails more susceptible to discoloration. Specifically, we avoid stripping them of their natural oils and protectants. It is true that all nail polishes, could theoretically, serve to help maintain hydration of nail beds and protect them from irritative soaps and chemicals. The problem is since traditional polishes require aggressive removers, we negate these potential benefits. Therefore, by choosing nontoxic polishes we can reap the benefits of a nail protectant without disturbing the integrity of the natural nail oils which attribute to its shine and smoothness.
I am happy to say that I now am enjoying the seasons trendiest nail color sans gulit. I can rest assure that the cost of my pampering doesn’t go beyond my economic effort! For me the safety of these products is a priceless assurance I wish for everyone to have access to!
More tips when considering nail related health:
- For some alternative brands of the best non-toxic nail polishes check out Acquarella , Honey Bee Gardens, Spa Ritual, Kure Bazaar and Zoya.
- On the road and want an eco-chic experience? Try salons Handmade Madrid, Evolution Green Room Spa Brooklyn, Polished Beauty Bar NYC, Bellamani La Jolla California, Zen Zen Organic Salon Miami, Nova Nail Spas San Francisco, or check out Ecovian for more recommendations for Green Salons.
- If you want to check up on the safety of your favorite polish check the Skin Deep Online Safety Data Base. Products ranked 2 or less on a 10 point scale are considered safe. For some more mainstream polish brands who are “3 free” try OPI, Nars and Butter London or better “5 free” try Chanel.
- Beware of UV driers commonly used to quicken nail drying or in permanent nail polish applications such as Shellac. This practice is raising increasing concern because of intense absorption of UV radiation. Cumulative radiation means increase risk of skin cancer in the future. Think twice about the value of a few extra minutes under a hand ventilator or consider skipping certain nail treatments.
- Non-toxic lacquers are much safer for use on little girls delicate nails (Scotch Naturals actually has a special line for children, check out Hopscotch Kids).
When using a water based polish such as Scotch:
- Be prepared to not shower, bath or swim for 2 hours after application
- Make sure you use their top coat, otherwise you might be disappointed with its lack of luster.
- After getting out of the bath or shower, rub with a soft towel to restore shine.
- Soak in warm water a few minutes prior to removing with the non-toxic remover.