|It’s nothing new to learn that nail polishes contain chemicals. Over the last couple of years, most big brands have gone “3-free” – meaning they are free of Dibutyl Phthalate (DBT), toluene and formaldehyde, 3 of the most toxic ingredients often found in nail polish.
But chemicals aside, what happens to our nails when we’re constantly rotating through a rainbow of our favourite polishes? Our nails may appear solid but they are actually relatively permeable and soak up substances that are applied to them. Applying a base coat beforehand can prevent polish from soaking into your nails and help keep nails from yellowing, staining or drying up.
What may actually be worse than the nail polish itself, is the acetone used in nail polish remover. Acetone is very dehydrating to the nail plate, causing flaking and weakness. Picking off chipped polish might seem like a safer alternative but by doing this you’re also removing the top layer of your nail, weakening them further. So when it comes time to remove your polish, be sure you’re using a non-acetone remover or a natural alternative.
Though it may seem like good value when a pedicure lasts all summer, it’s important to take a break from nail polish every few weeks and let our nails breathe for at least a week. With our nails constantly covered, not only are they more susceptible to cracking and breakage, but we can’t see any problems that may have arisen. With any nail damage, bacteria and fungus can develop under the nail plate, conditions that can be treated successfully when recognised early.
Toenails can take 9 months to grow so it can take a long time to recover from any significant damage. Try using polishes and basecoats with natural oils and vitamins and moisturize daily to keep nails hydrated.
If you notice anything unusual with your toenails, always check with your Chiropodist to assess and treat any issues as soon as possible.