The 3 main culprits in nail paints are the Big 3 - dibutyl phthalate (DBP), formaldehyde, and toluene. They've been linked to problems ranging from skin irritation in people to birth defects in animals. Nail polish that contains these 3 is considered a hazardous waste by some regulatory bodies (e.g. Los Angeles Department of Public Works).
- DBP is a plasticiser to prevent chips and cracks in nail paints. This helps the paint last longer.
- A resin, tosylamide/formaldehyde resin, makes the polish tough and resilient.
- Toluene (methylbenzene, toluol, phenylmethane) is a solvent that makes the polish easy to apply
But there are certain disadvantages to using these Big 3 free paints
1. First of all, they are not as "glassy" as the normal paints. Not to say they are matt, but they aren't glassy enough too.
2. Tend to peel off. The staying power is good, but not as good as regular nail paints. These in a funny way tend to peel off the nail after 3-4 days. That is good in a funny way as I can take these off without nail polish remover :-P
3. They are a little expensive, Jordana costs some 150 bucks for 15 ml bottle.
But there are advantages too, besides being the big 3 free, I have noticed considerably less yellowing & staining of my nails when I use these. I have been using these for around 6 months now, and my nails also seem to have become slightly stronger. I have very weak nails that break very easily, but they seem to getting better now.
Do you know of any Big 3 free nail paint brands?