What does 3 Free or 5 Free mean in the world of nail polish, and why does this matter?
Let’s start with the basics:
3 Free = NO formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, toluene
5 Free = NO formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde resin, and camphor
(there are also vanishes on the market now that are 7 and 8 Free!)
And what do these top 3 chemicals do? (according to WebMD)
1. Formaldehyde – a carcinogen
2. Dibutyl phthalate – has been linked to birth defects in studies involving lab animals
3. Toluene – a toxin that may cause birth defects and developmental problems in children of pregnant women who have had extended exposure
When I was selecting which product ranges to use at Nautilus Dublin, I wanted products that were as natural and organic as possible. It’s what I choose to use at home, and I like being able to provide my clients with some “greener”, “cleaner” options. I also thought about what the impact of exposure to extra, unnecessary chemicals could be long-term to my own health. Now, I’m not a soapbox preaching eco-fanatic, but I do believe there are simple choices we can make that are better for us but without sacrificing quality or results.
I’m of the mindset, “better safe than sorry” and that’s why I selected the Soil Association certified Neal’s Yard Remedies range for our facials. For our professional spray tans, I selected EcoCert certified TanOrganic. Natural, chemical-free, and organic products have become more widely available and are as effective as their potentially less safe counterparts.
Why does being free-from matter? Well, nail products are trickier. By their very nature it takes chemicals to create those glossy, long lasting, colours that are flexible enough to adhere to the nail. But, with these nasty chemicals no one really knows the full effect that long term exposure to the fumes or to the chemicals being absorbed through the nail plate or surrounding skin may have. Thankfully, there are some amazing free-from options available!
At Nautilus Dublin, we use 5 Free Zoya nail varnishes, which are “safe for those with sensitive skin or skin allergies or if you’re pregnant”.
We also use 3 free CND Vinylux. For our gel polishes we use SmartPolish, which is a long lasting gel that does not require a base coat or a top coat. There is no sticky layer to remove. All of this means less chemical exposure to you and less time under the UV lamp!
Probably WAY more information than you were bargaining for, but sure, knowledge is power 🙂