Why go 10-free? Part 2

November 5, 2020 0 By CLC

In previous part we learned about nail anatomy, its composition and reasons why it is important to consider carefully what we expose our nails to. Now let us have a closer look of first 5 chemicals that our 10-free nail polish does not contain and reasons why these chemicals are dangerous for us.

  • Toluene

Toluene is clear colorless liquid with aromatic smell. It is used in products for nails in order to create smooth application and finish. Its fumes are toxic. Studies show that exposure to toluene causes damage to central nervous system, nausea,  burns in skin, oral cavity, throat and nose, decrease in intellect, memory outages, speech disorders and also death. It it is breathed in by pregnant women too often, it can cause impaired fetal developlment. Studies on animals show also connection with disorders of reproduction, immune system and blood cancer.

In European union toluene is allowed to use in products for nails in maximum concentration of 25%, and the product has to be designated for adults only.

Look for TOLUENE in product labels to identify it.

  • Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is colorless, volatile, flammable gas with characteristic smell. In manufature of nail products it is used for hardening their structure and it serves as preservative against bacterial growth. In extremely small quantities it is produced by human body, and in that volume it is not harmfull for you. Formaldehyde is extremely toxic, no matter the way of exposure – inhaling, ingestion, through the skin. It is carcinogenic and mutagenic, and can cause heriditary genetic damage. Formaldehyde is very damaging for mucuos membranes, upper respiratory trackt, eyes and skin, can damage kidneys. Recent studies have shown a link between exposure to formaldehyde and development of asthma in childhood. Formaldehyde also damages female reproductive system.

In European Union, usage of formaldehyde is completely forbiden. On the other hand, it is allowed to use preservatives that may release formaldehyde. Such products must contain a label „contains formaldehyde“, if concentration of formadehyde in final product exceeds 0,05%.

Look for FORMALDEHYDE in product labels to identify it.

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  • Formaldehyde resin

Formaldehyde resin is byproduct of formaldehyde, which is added to nail polish to increase adhesion of nail polish to nail plate. It was subject to human testing to a lesser extent, but preliminary studies prove that it causes intensive skin irritation and allergic reactions, loss of skin pigment and nervous sensations. When it comes to materials containing formadelhyde, the main fear is that the formaldehyde may be slowly released from the material.

Look for TOSYLAMIDE/FORMALDEHYDE RESIN in product labels to identify it.

  • Camphor

Camphor can be obtained from bark of tree, but synthetic one is being used which is made of turpentine oil. It gives a shiny appearance to nail polish and is used also as softener. Camphor has many positive effects when applied topically, but it can not be applied to damaged or wounded skin, because after entering a blood stream it reaches toxic levels very quickly. For this reason it is not considered safe in products for nails. Also, after inhaling it for longer period of time it can cause nausea, dizziness and head aches. Also applied topically can cause allergic reactions and skin irritation. Some studies also link camphor with organ damage.

Look for CAMPHOR in product labels to identify it.

  • Xylene

Xylene is solvent and its job is to prevent thickening and lumping of nail polish. It is also know allergen and possible carcinogen according to International Agency for Research of Cancer (IARC). Fumes can irritate your eyes, skin, cause head aches and dizziness. Longterm exposure can cause kindey damage and respiratory problems.


What do you say? Do you want your cosmetics and nail polish to contain these chemicals? We certainly don´t, therefore we read product labels and use only our 10-free nail polish.

Your Colour Lover Cosmetics team