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Are You Toe-tally Detoxed?

February 28, 2018


Spring is upon us!!!  If you're like me, the first hint of a 80+ degree day, even if its just a tease, makes me immediately want to pull out the flip flops.  But wait......the bears aren't the only thing that's been hibernating all winter.  My toes are about the come out of hiding after a winter of slumber and a pedicure is in serious order! 


If you love a pretty painted toe like I do and are accustomed to engaging in the spa treatment as a self-care practice, you probably think of nail polish as being perfectly harmless, right? After all, it’s marketed to us as safe and fun. But the truth is, most nail polish is an unhealthy cocktail of chemicals and toxins.  In fact, researchers from Duke University and the Environmental Working Group recently uncovered one particularly dangerous toxin lurking in some popular nail polishes.


Studies show this toxin can lead to hormone imbalance, weight gain, and even reproductive disorders. Worst of all, many of the nail polishes that include this toxin don’t even mention it on the label! 


So what is this toxin? It’s TPHP (triphenyl phosphate). TPHP is primarily used as a flame retardant in furniture. But it’s showing up more and more as an ingredient in nail polish. That’s why researchers decided to conduct a study to investigate the risks of TPHP in nail polish.


First, these researchers bought nail polish from common department stores and pharmacies and assigned each polish to a woman in their study. Next, each woman supplied a urine sample before painting her nails. (This sample was used to establish a baseline amount of TPHP in each woman’s body.) The next day, each woman painted her nails with her assigned nail polish. After 10 -- 14 hours of painting her nails, each woman provided a second urine sample. And that’s when the study’s disturbing results were revealed…



… after just a single application of nail polish, these women had a terrifying seven-fold increase of TPHP in their bodies!


Now, if you’re anything like I was when I first heard these results, you may be wondering if the brands you use contain TPHP. Well, here are some of the most popular nail polish brands that DO contain TPHP:

  • Sallie Hansen

  • Revlon

  • OPI

  • Wet N Wild

  • Maybelline

  • SpaRitual


Fortunately, there are nail polishes that DO NOT include TPHP (and that are also cruelty-free and vegan). A few of these TPHP-free nail polishes:


If detoxing your body of toxins is a priority, I recommend you avoid all nail polishes that use TPHP as an ingredient. With all the science pointing towards the plethora of health risks associated with toxin exposure, pretty painted toes without precautions just aren’t worth it. 



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