If you're like most polish lovers, you may lean towards purchasing 3-free and 5-free polishes. The 3-free polishes are free of dibutyl phthalate (DBP), tolulene and formaldehyde. 5-free polishes also include formaldehyde resin and camphor to their "free of" list. Polishes that are safer and free of these, and other, harmful chemicals make us polish enthusiasts very happy, but are we still using chemicals that may cause us harm?
A new study found that a common ingredient called triphenyl phosphate (TPHP) is used in many polishes, possibly to make them more flexible and durable. This is so common an ingredient in many polishes and other beauty products that many manufacturers do not always disclose it on labels. As a matter of fact, it's so common that chances are, you may be wearing one of those polishes on your nails right now, scary.
TPHP is used as a plasticizer and a fire retardant in furniture and has been linked to hormone and reproductive irregularities and weight gain, among other issues.
A partial list of some nail polish manufacturers who use TPHP in some of their polishes are:
Wet 'n Wild
Beauty Without Cruelty
I stopped there because the list was simply too long to go through. Note that not all polishes by these brands contain TPHP, so don't go boycotting brands altogether, but if you have concerns about your polish, I would recommend that you take a look on the Environmental Working Group (EWG) website which lists over a thousand polishes from brands that disclose the use of the chemical TPHP. I scanned the list and found a few polishes that I have, or have used at some point.
Be careful. Even those polishes that boast 7-free and 9-free vegan-friendly ingredients may include TPHP. In addition to the 5 "free-of" ingredients, 9- free polishes included paraben, xylene, ethyl tosylamide and lead to their "free-of" list. Lead and xylene are not commonly used in nail polishes and haven't been for some time.
Likewise, if your polish is not on the list, that doesn't mean that TPHP isn't an ingredient since some brands omit the chemical from the label.
Some say that TPHP isn't so big a deal to have in nail polishes. Some believe the whole 3-free, 5-free thing is a gimmick to get customers to change their polish purchasing habits. Do your research and choose for yourself. Let me know what you determine is best for you. I'm interested to know your thoughts, opinions or research findings.
Ciao for now.