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How toxic is your manicure? Healthy, safe products are a big deal. We all start somewhere. It might be our lotions, shampoo or laundry soap. At some point you realize there are a ton of nasty chemicals in your nail polish. Now you are thinking, “Stop, you can’t take away my mani-pedi!” Don’t worry we have some ideas for safe and healthy nails. Stick with us. Remember, it’s crunchy but polished!

You might have put off upgrading your nail polish because it goes on top of your hard nail. The thing is nails are porous, made more porous by chemicals in nail polish, and a lot of those chemicals leach in through the nail bed. One of those chemicals is TPHP. TPHP is a common nail polish additive that is also a known endocrine disruptor. A study done by Duke University found that women had levels of TPHP an average of 7 times higher, 10-14 hours post manicure. (1) So, what’s a girl to do if she wants to be crunchy and polished? For safe and healthy nails, choose safer polish and keep your nails healthy so you don’t always need the polish.

Nail polish is actually classified as a hazardous waste by the Environmental Protection Agency. You have to be careful of how you dispose of it but it’s totally cool to put on your body. Wait… What? That doesn’t make sense. There are a whole bunch of ingredients in conventional nail polishes that you don’t want on (or in) your body.

Harmful Ingredients in Nail Polish:

  • Formaldehyde – a known carcinogen
  • Toluene – linked to developmental problems and birth defects
  • Phthalates- endocrine disrupters and linked to developmental delays
  • Camphor – poison linked to liver failure and organ damage
  • TPHP – another endocrine disruptor and can cause metabolism problems
  • Xylene – allergen and potential carcinogen
  • Parabens – endocrine disruptors that have been linked to breast cancer

We knew by the smell of nail polish that it wasn’t safe but when you lay out the list, it’s pretty convincing that it’s time to upgrade. We have you covered with some suggestions of safer polish from some of The Wellness Way ladies.

What You Find in our Bathroom Cabinets for Safe and Healthy Nails:


“I love Zoya nail polish! Lots of colors and free of the top 10 toxic nail polish ingredients!” says Christy Flynn, The Wellness Way – Green Bay, WI. This polish is a popular brand that’s easy to find and they have over 400 colors.

Karma Organic Nail Polish

“Karma Organic Natural Nail Polish is awesome! You can get it on Amazon or at our local health foods store, Natural Grocers. There are lots of fun colors to choose from, it has safe ingredients, and it is durable,” says Dr. Jaqueline Berens – EnVitality Wellness Center- A Wellness Way Affiliate- Englewood ,CO

Ella + Mila

“Ella + Mila nail polish is one of my favorites. It’s a 7+ Free nail polish. They have lots of cute colors!” says Danni Stoyanova, The Wellness Way- Green Bay. This company promises to be as safe as possible. Their modern colors are vegan and chip resistant.

Piggy Paint

Piggy paint is super fun for kids, though it doesn’t last long, which I don’t mind! For myself I like the brand KL polish,” says Erin Stutzman, The Wellness Way- Green Bay. The Environmental Working Group rates these fun color formulas all in the 1-2 range, which will make every mama feel safer.

Mineral Fusion

“Mineral Fusion is my favorite nail polish! It seems like it lasts a long time on my toes which means fewer polish changes!” says Brianna Simoens, The Wellness Way – Green Bay. This vegan, clean beauty brand has lots of fun colors and the polish goes on thick.

Tips for Beautiful, Healthy Nails Without the Polish

No matter how clean your nail polish is, there are going to be ingredients that aren’t the heathiest. That’s why it’s a great idea to space out your manicures. It also saves time because let’s face it, not all of us have time for a regular polish. The best way to look and feel polished, without the nail polish, is to have healthy nails. We have a few tips for that too!

Add Bone Broth to Your Diet

Get lots of protein, especially bone broth. Our modern diets don’t provide all the nutrients and collagen for healthy nails. Bone broth has many benefits and that includes the building blocks for healthy nails. If you have brittle or peeling nails, it could be a sign your body isn’t getting what it needs. Bone broth is a great place to start.

Don’t Cut Fats

Your body needs good fats for so many reasons, and for healthy nails. So, don’t cut out those healthy fats! Enjoy fats like nuts, fish, avocados, olive oil, and grape seed oil as part of a healthy diet.

Keep Your Gut Healthy

To properly absorb nutrients for healthy nails, you need a healthy gut. How do you know if your gut is healthy? Make sure you are having regular bowel movements every day. Want to know more? Check out our article, Poop Check. Support a healthy gut by removing inflammatory foods and food allergies. Taking shots of apple cider vinegar before every meal is a great way to help with digestion and support a healthy gut.

Stay Hydrated

It’s important to stay hydrated inside and out. Drink plenty of water and moisturize your skin on the outside. Check out Dr. Patrick Flynn’s video below about keeping your skin (and also your nails) healthy.

Wear rubber gloves and avoid harsh chemicals

Upgrading your cleaning products will have great benefits for your nails too. Wear gloves for those tough jobs that might damage nails or when using products that will be drying to your nails.

Polished with Safe and Healthy Nails is Possible

Trust us, we like the pampering of a nail treatment just as much as anyone else. You don’t have to give up your mani-pedi, but you do have to think differently about the products that you put on your body. Remember you don’t always need the polish and it will be a lot easier to look polished with a healthy lifestyle. Treat your body and it will treat you.

Dr. Patrick Flynn talks about how to have healthy skin:



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Disclaimer: This content is for educational purposes only. It’s not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your Wellness Way clinic or personal physician, especially if currently taking prescription or over-the-counter medications. Pregnant women, in particular, should seek the advice of a physician before trying any herb or supplement listed on this website. Always speak with your individual clinic before adding any medication, herb, or nutritional supplement to your health protocol. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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