Thursday, 29 March 2012

DBP, Toluene & Formaldehyde Free- What's in your favorite Nail Lacquer?

     Spring for me invokes images of new life, joy, activity and great energy, it embodies beautiful colours and though those four seasons are not experienced on our little tropical island. The colours you see showing up in the latest fashion gear, clothes and accessories are a full reminder of the sun and outdoor fun.
     I am not to picky about my brand of nail polishes, once its affordable, has beautiful or unusual colours, don't apply too streaky, then I'm all good game to try it out. Although now I do have a greater appreciation for faster drying formula that do not require to many application and are chip to resistant, I'm good.
      So while passing through Time Plaza in Port of Spain, I happened to glance at the nicely stacked nail lacquers and I was quite impressed with the Jordana polishes on display priced at $10 TT, which resulted in some repeat visits on my part.  So here's a look at the colours that caught my eyes...
978 Boy Oh Boy
954 Pink Party

Upon reaching home while applying the colour, what really caught my attention were the words DBP, Toluene and Formaldehyde free...?!!

 Dibutyl Phtalate (DBP) - phtalates are used to soften plastic and are called plasticisers, they are usually added to nail polishes to prevent chipping, when tested on lab animals they are shown to affect the endocrine system causing hormonal disruptions which in pregnant women can cause under developed reproductive organs in male foetus, sperm damage, and infertility to both sexes so mothers to be please be aware.

Toluene is a solvent, meaning it is used to dissolve the other ingredient to give a smooth and uniform finish, because it is an alcohol based product it does evaporate and gives of fumes which when in high concentration or from chronic exposure it has been reported to affect the central nervous system, lungs, throat and eyes, causing dizziness and headaches in some and has been reported to cause spontaneous abortion in some pregnant women,

Rich Green
Formaldehyde otherwise known as formalin is known to cause allergic reactions according to the American Food and Drug association and can trigger asthmatic attacks in some people, it is also a known carcinogen. This substance exist in the nail lacquer in the form of a resin(tosylamide formaldehyde), yet it may still have the unfortunate ability to cause irritation in some people.

As of 2006, a lot of US manufacturers have started to phase out the use of the above chemical in their nail lacquers,  but unfortunately these items can be easily found in other everyday items so we all need to be aware.
As for the European Union these formulation has been banned approximately 30 years earlier, so the ingredients of your favourite brands when bought there may differ.
943 Orangesicle this is what stated my search for bright matte colours in this line.
A few of the nail lacquers that I know of that have removed the three potential hazards from their ingredient list are  Avon, Jordana, Sally Hansen, Revlon, Zoya, Milani there are many more safe brands that have been added to the list , but its all a matter of reading your labels before purchase, this is something I have slowly been training myself to do.

So now I sit looking quite forlorn at some of my other favourite brands of nail polishes weighing the pros and cons of still wearing them... what a life?!!

n.b. a great site to check out is


  1. Oh my! I never read the ingredients since i get lost in the colours! I'm hoping my precious China glaze is all good! Lovely shades of the Jordana btw. I saw the same green one in wonderful word but i think it is more expensive there.

  2. Hi Naomi,even with the affordable items I'm always happy to find a deal!As for the China Glaze, the ones with the black label are supposed to be 3free