How to Detox Your Mani/Pedi

If painted and pampered nails make you happy, here’s what you need to know to ensure your next manicure or pedicure is both nourishing and safe.

Nail polish has to withstand a lot of abuse—dishwashing, running shoes and sandy beaches—just to name a few. Unfortunately, when inhaled or handled, the same chemicals that give some polishes their staying power can also cause headaches, dermatitis and burning eyes, and a few have even been linked to more serious health consequences like endocrine disruption and cancer. Luckily, over the years a number of cleaner products have hit the market, both in stores and at salons.

Harmless Hues

When your nails call for a pro touch, or you’re just craving a little pampering, take time to research local salons before booking your next manicure or pedicure appointment. Many now stock nontoxic polish options, and certain salons offer an exclusively nontoxic nail-care experience. If you can’t find a “clean” nail salon in your area, you can always bring your own toxin-free polish.

If you’re more of a DIY type, look for polish brands formulated with mineral pigments and without the top toxic offenders. Most of these brands label their products with a claim of “3-free,” “5-free,” or even “10-free,” which refers to the number of potentially toxic chemicals that have been left out.

Despite being made from healthier ingredients, some toxin-free brands can really stand up against conventional polishes for lasting performance, such as Zoya, RGB, Aila and Kure Bazaar. Suncoat also offers a toxin-free, water-based formula that peels off without nail-polish remover, which comes in a fun line of colors for young girls too.

Most of these brands offer eco-friendly, plant-based nail-polish removers as well. These gentle removers are free of the drying, harsh chemicals acetone and acetate and are typically formulated with natural oils and conditioners that also moisturize and nourish your cuticles and nails.

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