What does 5-Free Polish Mean?

I recently attended an event where I had the amazing opportunity to get my nails done by CND nail experts. Before I attended the event, I did a lot of research on the Vinylux line of polishes that was being offered at the event, to make sure it was free of common toxic chemicals. I was happy to learn that CND Vinylux is 5-free, although the company does not note this on their website or make any claims.

What does five free mean? It means that the polish is free from the top 5 major potentially toxic ingredients that are linked to major health concerns.

  • Formaldehyde – This is a preservative and well-documented carcinogen you want to avoid at all costs, as it can trigger it can trigger allergic reactions, abnormal fetal development and respiratory issues.
  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) – Disrupts reproductive hormones and is also an endocrine disruptor.
  • Toluene – Linked to reproductive damage and respiratory complications. Additionally, according to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, “Studies of occupationally exposed workers indicate that chronic exposure to concentrations of toluene ranging from 30-150 ppm can result in hearing and color vision damage.”
  • Formaldehyde Resin – Can cause allergic reactions and skin irritation.
  • Camphor – Used in cold remedies such as vapor rubs, the concentration of camphor is limited in the U.S. and Europe. It can cause nausea and dizziness and has been linked to seizures if ingested.

If a nail polish is 5-free, does that mean that it’s safe? Not really. The nail polish industry isn’t heavily regulated, so even if a brand is free of these top five chemicals, they may contain other potentially harmful ones. Some brands, boasts as much as 8-free and 10-free, but you still need to do your homework. Often, as a marketing ploy, a brand will say it’s 8 or more free, but among those 8 ingredients could be a chemical that isn’t even used in any nail polish nowadays.

When in doubt, Google is your friend.

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