The invention of longer-lasting polish processes has revolutionized the nail polish market in recent years. We dermatologists are frequently questioned about how these various products affect nails. Here, we go over the various polish categories and weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each with an eye toward nail health and safety. Traditional nail polish is applied to the nail plate, typically in several coats, and allowed to air dry. A polymer is dissolved in a solvent to create traditional nail polish. The solvent leaves the polymer as it dries, and the polymer hardens. Similar to conventional polish, “hybrid” polish is applied and removed in the same manner but is meant to last longer. The phrase “non-toxic” can be confusing when it comes to cosmetics. The term “five-free” is frequently used to describe nail polishes that don’t include the following five substances: formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde resin, and camphor. There are also companies that advertise themselves as being free of seven or ten chemicals, respectively. The National Cancer Institute has identified the preservative formaldehyde as having the potential to cause cancer. It is also one of the compounds that causes allergic contact dermatitis the most frequently. Toluene, dibutyl phthalate, and formaldehyde resin can also result in allergic contact dermatitis. Long utilized as a topical treatment for a number of ailments, camphor oil is deadly if taken internally.
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