Over the last few months we’ve seen a huge boom in nail polish sales and trends. Painting your nails with a new, eye-catching color seems harmless enough. You could, however, potentially be hurting yourself if your nail polish contains one or more of the alarming chemicals listed below. Make sure to check the label the next time you’re thinking of buying a bottle just because you fell in love with the shade.
1. Formaldehyde. If this chemical sounds familiar, it’s because it’s what is used to enbalm and preserve dead bodies. This is mostly used in nail hardeners, not necessarily polishes, so make sure you’re on the lookout.
2. Toluene. In case you didn’t know, this is used in gasoline and as a building block of TNT explosives. What can one of the ingredients of explosives do to you? Affect your nervous system causing dizziness, eye irritation, birth defects and more.
3. Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP). This chemical is possibly the scariest of all. Not just because it’s nearly impossible to pronounce, but also because it can cause reproductive complications in mothers who are exposed to it while pregnant.
Flip through the slideshow above for some of the nail polish brands that made the safe list.