The Deadly Truth About Nail Polish!

Hands up, who loves that feeling when you look down at your nails and see them looking back up at you, glossy and beautiful, with a fresh coat of your favorite color polish painted on them? I know my hand is raised right now!

Having your nails manicured can make you feel a million bucks, but what if that polish is actually causing damage to both your nails and your overall health? It might seem a little odd, but the polish that is going onto your fingertips is seeping through your nails, into your body and could be affecting you in quite the negative way. And...even if we ignore the chemical element of nail polish, constantly coating and removing varnish from your nails can damage the layers of non-living keratin (your nails) and cause long-lasting, unsightly blemishes!

For some of us, having a manicure is a monthly, self-care occasion…for others, we paint our nails when we think about it. We grab the basket or pot full of multicolored polishes, pick one out and quickly brush the content onto our fingertips. Whichever one you are, that polish spread over your nails is a cocktail of powerful, deadly chemicals that you need to be aware of!

The Toxic Three

There are three chemicals found in nail polish that in large quantities are extremely toxic…which is worrying when you think you’re voluntary coating your nails in them, right? It is easy to take things for granted when you use them regularly, but unfortunately, most nail polishes contain these three harmful chemicals…

TIP: Double check the label of your polish before you use it again. It will inform you if your favorite color or brand is full of these chemicals. Chances are, they will be, so just make yourself aware of the risks.


Formaldehyde - most commonly known for the preserving of dead bodies, is a chemical used in nail varnish as a hardening agent. It can also be found within our own bodies (a very small amount). In your standard nail polish, formaldehyde is used in very small quantities, which won’t be dangerous if used rarely. However, when exposed to large amounts of this chemical, it can result in a lot of complications. The effects include; a build-up of fluid on the lungs, abnormalities to fetal development if pregnant, or throat, nose or blood cancer. Of course, if you’re painting your nails every now and then, this will not affect you to these extremes, but when exposed to this chemical often, your chances of these complications will rise significantly.

FACT: Formaldehyde has been removed from products in both Sweden and Japan due to the serious harm it can cause. In America, 14 states have taken action when it comes to the chemical. [1]


Toluene is a colorless liquid normally found in glue, correction fluid, and paint thinners and is essential in making the flammable explosive compound TNT! Sounds crazy, right? A chemical used in explosives is in your nail polish - not good! Toluene has a strong, pungent smell that is related to most paint thinners that you may have used before. If used in excess, toluene can affect your body in extremely negative ways, such as; neurological damage [2], dizziness, numbness of limbs, dry skin and can irritate the nose, eyes, and throat. Its main purpose in nail polish is to create a smooth finish after application.

FACT: Similarly to Formaldehyde, Toluene has been reduced and restricted in a lot of personal use products in many of the countries in the European Union and is in the process of being banned from all products in California within the next 4 years due to its negative effects on human health [3].

Dibutyl Phthalate

This one is the big one! Commonly known as DBP, this chemical is used in nail polish to help prevent chipping. Unfortunately, this particular chemical is classified as an endocrine disruptor (a chemical that interferes with the hormones in our bodies) and is known to mimic the female sex hormone, estrogen. In doing this, it could cause long term damaging effects of the reproductive system! These effects are more likely to happen if you’re constantly exposing yourself to the chemical…so try to reduce your exposure to it by keeping to polishing to a low.

FACT: In the United States, California and other states have classified dibutyl phthalate as a toxic chemical for both reproduction [4] and hormone health. The EU has completely banned the use of DBP in all cosmetic products used for personal care.   

Ditch the Polish!

There are lots of ways you can make your nails look great without a coat of chemically-laden polish. And, as said before…the chemicals aren’t the only problem when you’re regularly applying layers of polish to your nails. When you remove nail polish, either by picking or with nail polish remover, you’re actually stripping and ripping layers of your nails off! This will leave them feeling rough, flaky and brittle.

Here at Organica, we know how important nail health and appearance can be! So, if you’re insecure about your nails and can be someone who uses polish as a way of covering up the issues, now is the time to change that habit. Why not ditch the polish and use our best-selling Nail Guardian, instead.

Experts in nail care have formulated this product to help revive damaged, weak nails that need a little TLC. Made from 100% completely ethically sourced ingredients, Nail Guardian is simple to use and will improve the look and health of your nails in as little as 4 weeks! 

Final Thoughts

Of course, it is okay to paint your nails every now and then, but constantly having them covered in varnish isn’t great for your nails and may have a negative effect on your overall health, too. There are lots of ways you can keep your fingertips looking neat and beautiful without covering them in harmful chemicals every other week! Although the effects of short-term exposure to the chemicals in nail polish still aren’t clear, it is our advice that you try to keep the trips to the salon to a minimum. Remember, there are things that you can do, that won’t take up hours of your time, to keep your nails looking gorgeous and harm free!

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