Have a Healthy Mani/Pedi (With Less Toxins)
You know that smell you get when you walk into a nail salon? That overwhelming scent will inevitably cause most people a headache soon after sitting down for a "relaxing" spa experience. That smell is caused by the toxic chemicals being used in the salon and on your hands, feet, arms and legs.
These toxins are linked to numerous health concerns like cancer, asthma, endocrine (hormone) disruption, organ toxicity, eczema and more.
I used to work at a nail salon as a receptionist. Add that to the list of things I've done over the years to screw up my health!
I am lucky enough to have the only Whole Foods Nail Salon just a few miles from my home, which offers amazing non-toxic nail services. They won't even use any toxic products customers bring from home.
[Update: As of July 3rd, 2015, this salon will close it's doors due to a worker's comp design issue]
If you aren't fortunate enough to have a chemical-free salon near you, you can still make your mani/pedi experience far less toxic by bringing your own products to your appointment. I'll provide a handy list for you below, but first let's talk polishes!
Several nail polish brands on the market have removed some of more concerning chemicals from their products and are referred to as "5-Free" or "10-free".
"5-Free" - Polishes Without:
"10-Free" - Polishes without the five ingredients above plus:
- Animal ingredients
It is important to note that no nail polish is 100% "natural" but you can do yourself a great service by avoiding the chemicals listed above. I use the 5-free and 10-free nail polishes interchangeably without issue.
These are a few of the 5 or 10 Free brands I have tried:
- Zoya (5-Free) Buy here or here
- LVX (5-Free) Buy here or here
- 100% Pure (10-Free) Buy here or here
- Scotch (5-Free) (I would skip this one as it chips immediately)
I rarely paint my finger nails anymore, toxic or non-toxic, they never last me more than a few days without chipping. My toes go as long as 2 weeks without chipping using the recommended brands above. Using a cuticle cream at night could help keep them intact.
What to Bring To Your Mani/Pedi Appointment
Optional according to your preferences
- Hand/Foot Soak for water
- Try something simple but effective like Magnesium flakes
- Sugar Scrub
- Lotion or Oil
- Bring your own from home but make sure they're non-toxic or it'll defeat the purpose!
- 5-Free or 10-Free Nail Polish
- Nail Polish Remover, I use Karma
- Ensure the remover you choose does not contain Benzophenone, Acetone, Fragrance, Parfum/Perfume, DMDM Hydantoin, Formaldehyde, D&C Red No. 17, CI 17200/Red33, CI 2610/Red17, etc. the list could go on.
- Flip flops. Do we really need more foam? I keep a spare pair in my car just in case I have the wrong shoes on when I arrive at my appointment.
Advise the nail technicians ahead of time, and don't let anyone bully you into using their products out of convenience!
When searching for products to bring, I can't recommend the ThinkDirty App more. You simply scan the bar code of the product in question and it will pull up the rating from 1-10 and list all the ingredients and what the concerns are for each.
If the app doesn't have the item listed yet, you can simply type the ingredient name along with "EWG" ("Benzophenone EWG") into a search to get more details.
How about you? Do you bring your own ingredients? Have a tip for another brand to bring? Let us know!