There could be more than just a pretty color in that bottle of nail polish. It turns out that many conventional nail polishes contain toxic chemicals. In fact, you're not even supposed to throw polishes with these ingredients into the trash!
When the glass container degrades, the "big three" chemicals - formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP - can leech into the soil and groundwater. It's recommended that you dispose of nail polish that contains the big three by contacting your city's hazardous-waste collection department, just like when disposing of house paints.
Luckily, there are some very accessible brands of nail polish that are "three-free." Check out our top five picks!
1. American Apparel: $6
Like all of American Apparel's products, this polish is made here in the U.S. It comes in 18 colors. You may have read that they recently issued a recall of their polishes, but don't fret! It had nothing to do with the polish itself. The glass bottles were defective. If you did purchase AA polish before January 31st of this year, they'll replace your bottle for you.
Butter London's selection of three-free nail lacquers comes in 45 different colors and finishes. Of course, I am in love with the glittery teal Henley Regatta. When choosing from this company, make sure you stick to the Three Free line. Their other polishes don't specify what's in them.
Between all of the different OPI lines that are three-free, you've got tons of color options. This is another one where you'll want to choose carefully. Their Brights, Hong Kong, South Beach and Coleccion de Espana don't specify that they're formaldehye, toluene, and DBP-free.
4. Zoya: $8
Zoya nail polish gained popularity last year when they did an Earth day promotion allowing customers to exchange their toxic polish for a bottle of the company's three-free variety. They also properly disposed of the old polishes that customers sent in. That promotion is over, but they still offer over 300 colors for a very reasonable price.
5. Hard Candy: $5
You can find Hard Candy polish in many drugstores, and it's definitely the least expensive of the bunch. The Just Nails line is three-free, and it comes in 16 different colors.
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by melloveschallah