The Effect Of The Toxic-Trio

What Is Nail Polish Made Of?

Big fan of nail polish? Love getting your nails all dressed up? Well, you are at the right place (and at the right time we would say) because we are about to let you know, what the contents of your regular nail polish do to you (and to your nail spa workers), besides beautifying your nails of course.

AND don’t worry, EcoQueen will also provide you with safer alternatives, simply because we care!

Firstly, a good nail polish has to be strong, flexible, and resist chipping and peeling. Hence, a number of chemicals are required to produce the quality we seek. However, NO CHEMICALS will ever bring for our health (or the environment) long-term goodness. It is safe to say though, that most of the chemicals found in nail polishes are not that harmful but these are the three substances, the infamous toxic-trio, that you need to watch out for!

1. Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP)

A widely used plasticizer – used to make plastics softer and more flexible. According to studies, this chemical appears to have relatively low acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) toxicity. Though no human studies have been published, experiments have been conducted on rodents (we do not condone this!) and the findings are quite daunting.  It is found that short term exposure has been linked to nausea and irritated eyes, skin, nose, mouth, and throat. Furthermore, when rodents were orally exposed to DBP, it was proven that this substance leads to developmental and reproductive issues as there were birth defects in the rodents, decreased number of viable litters and reduced fetal birth weight.

2. Toluene

A paint thinner, is a clear, water-insoluble liquid obtained from crude oil and is widely used in glue. This is the substance sniffed as a recreational inhalant in “glue sniffing”. Toluene toxicity has been linked with dizziness, numbness, dry skin, and irritated nose, eyes, and throat. Long-term exposure may also affect your nervous system. What is more alarming is that toluene in a liquid form is more malignant than its vapours! Research shows that inhaling significant amount of the substance during pregnancy can cause birth defects, slow growth and retard mental abilities of the offspring.

3. Formaldehyde

A form of carcinogen, is commonly used in many products although it imposes significant danger on human health. In nail polishes, this substance is used as a hardening agent. Research shows that it can lead to cancer. Plus, this chemical has the ability to irritate the eyes, skin and throat, inducing cough, allergic reactions, asthma-like attacks or difficulty breathing. Furthermore, even at low concentrations, this substance has been linked to a decrease in short-term memory.


Did you know? 

These chemicals are present in most of your regular nail polishes, hence, avoiding them completely is not going to be an easy task, especially when you are someone who loves to decorate your nail with art and colours but, fret not! We will offer you (safer) alternatives ????

What Makes A Nail Polish Non-Toxic?

Still freaked out after processing that last piece of information? Calm down guys, it is not all that bad when you are mindfully shopping yeah! 


Non-toxic nail polishes are 3 free, which basically means that they do not contain the toxic-trio…


More good news! Nail polish brands these days have gone beyond than just getting rid of the three vicious chemicals and has generously extended to excluding 5, 7, 9 and even 10 other harmful substances! 

Here is what it means if you find these signs on the label of your nail polish.


3 Free Formaldehyde 



5 Free Formaldehyde 



Formaldehyde resin


7 Free Formaldehyde 



Formaldehyde resin


Ethyl tosylamide


9 Free Formaldehyde



Formaldehyde resin


Ethyl tosylamide




10 Free Formaldehyde



Formaldehyde resin


Ethyl tosylamide








Bonus Points To Take Away: Avoid Using Your Nail Polished In Poorly Ventilated Areas

Remember, water-based formulas incorporate non-synthetic pigments and aqueous acrylic polymers, plus they are also odourless. However, though easy to apply, they are often not as long-lasting. After all, everything good does come with a price.

Here Are 9 Best Natural Nail Polish Brands For You To Look Out For

Decided to completely ditch your regular nail polishes and look for something that is totally free from chemicals? Well, here are the safer and healthier alternatives (EcoQueen promised you) you guys could try – natural nail polish brands

That’s right, no chemicals, no harmful substances, vegan, organic, cruelty-free, nothing but pure goodness!

1. Orosa (@orosabeauty)

Inspired by their incredible travels together, the Coastal Craze 14-free, vegan, cruelty-free collection by Charli and Dixie D’Amelio captures the colors and moods of their favorite memories, through their own unique perspectives. Get creative with #OROSAxCOASTALCRAZE!

2. Aila (@ailacosmetics)

Inspired by a desire to provide beautifully curated nail colors without compromising function or nail health, this brand’s system offers luxe colors while addressing common nail issues. Their comprehensive approach to nail care was developed by Board Certified Podiatric Surgeon Dr. Cary Gannon. 

3. Sundays (@sundays_studio)

Committed to taking care of your mind and body with their non-toxic products, they turn nail care into self-care, bringing you 100% toxic-free nail care. Their motive – You should never have to sacrifice health for beauty.

4. Jinsoon (@jinsoon)

Jin believes that the nail polish should be as healthful and eco-friendly yet enduring as possible, therefore all of the shades in the collection are formulated with high-tech polymers and resins that ensure long wear and a shiny finish.  Nearly all the shades in the ever- growing collection employ a quick dry formula made specifically with busy women in mind.

5. Cote (@coteshop)

Founders Mary Lennon and Leah Yari created côte to provide a safe, transparent, quality product and an elegant nail care experience that could be shared with their families and friends without worry. All of côte’s polishes are created free of the major toxins and allergens that are often associated with nail polish.

6. Smith And Cult (@smithandcult)

Smith & Cult believes they are the antidote to beauty sameness, because they represent duality — from triumph to tears, elegance to absurdity, bliss to heartbreak and everything in b

etween. They believe the pursuit of perfection leads to sameness and find sameness to pretty boring. They find beauty in the real because there’s nothing made up about being real. So, they’re a little rough around the edges and think that’s a beautiful thing. Welcome to the beauty revolution.

7. Pacifica (@ultabeauty)

Their 7-free nail polish is long lasting and void of many chemicals that one would find in traditional nail polish. Amazing vibrant colours that go on smooth and stay put. Plus, they have added a custom wide 100% vegan brush for easier application!

8.Piggy Paint (@piggypaint)

For the past 10 years, Piggy Paint’s mission has been to create non-toxic, premium products. With an ethical, eco-minded vision, the company strives to offer the safest polish on the planet. Piggy Paint is non-toxic, virtually odorless, and free of ALL harsh chemicals. Their water-based nail polish dries to a hard finish that doesn’t wash or peel off – and comes in a rainbow of fun colors! Cruelty-free, & Vegan!

9.ZOYA (@zoyanailpolish)

Through Zoya’s hard work, and a demand for quality and healthy, natural ingredients for her clients, it became evident that there was a need for the perfect products. Responding to his wife’s requests, Michael, an advanced chemist, developed and patented unique products. He also created the first working fast drying topcoat and the longest wearing, toxin free natural nail polish, revolutionizing the nail industry!

Wonder How Nail Polish Remover Works..And How To Remove Nail Polish Naturally 

Now that we are done with nail polishes, let us now look at nail polish removers. So, we all use them nail polish removers as frequently as the nail polishes, right? Do you know how they work?

Okay, here is how. Nail polish removers usually have acetone, ethyl acetate, and the likes. When you apply it on your polished nails, the molecules of these substances get in between the chains of the polymer in your nail polish and break them down by pushing apart. This converts the hardened polish into a solution that can easily be wiped off with a cotton ball or tissue. Finally, the solution evaporates from it while leaving a hardened residue behind.

Yes, acetone and the chemicals does help to remove the polish fast, with one wipe even, but have you ever wondered its effect on your skin and health? 

According to health experts, coming into contact with acetone often is hazardous to health. Studies revealed that when a person inhales acetone, or if it is absorbed in the skin, it can bring serious consequences. This particular substance negatively impacts various body systems. Plus, acetone-based nail remover also contains certain poisonous ingredients such as dimethyl ketone and dimethyl formaldehyde, which without doubt, damages your body.

To avoid these complications, you can always try DIY nail polish removers at home! EcoQueen now shares with you 4 cheaper, safer and fun ways to naturally remove your nail polish at home!

1. Lemon

Soak your nails in warm water for about 3 to 5 minutes and rub a slice of lemon on your nails and remove the nail polish – easy peasy lemon squeezy!

2. Lemon + vinegar

Soak your nails in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes. Mix equal amount of vinegar and lemon solutions, soak a cotton ball in the mixture and press it on your nail for 10 to 20 seconds before wiping it away. Moisturize your nail or use a nail oil afterwards.

3. Alcohol

If you are suffering from nail infections, using alcohol might be beneficial for you, as they have anti-bacterial properties. Simply soak your nails in warm water for a bit, use a cotton ball to apply alcohol on your nails and wipe it off. Complete the process by moisturizing your nail or applying cuticle oil.

4. Toothpaste

All you need is a dollop of toothpaste. Scrub it on your nails with an old toothbrush or a paper towel to remove all that nail polish. 

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