I believe many people now approach traditional nail polishes — which may contain toluene, formaldehyde, and DPB — a bit cautiously. That’s not to say that they’re dangerous, we don’t yet have the scientific data to make the claim that in the proportions found in nail polishes, these ingredients are dangerous. Many cosmetics contain ingredients that are safe in small amounts that are irritating in large amounts.
That said, I understand why organic nail polishes are appealing to those who feel somewhat wary of brands with toluene, formaldehyde, and DPB. And if you can find a brand that works well without chemicals, why not use it?
I was excited to try the “Most Wanted” color that Ginger+Liz sent over.
Butyl Acetate is an organic solvent that’s used for coating, both on nails and industrially, because it levels well and has a great gloss factor (Dow).
At exposures ranging from 300 ppm to 10,000 ppm, it has been shown to cause irritation to the nose and throat. The Center for Disease Control decided on 1,700 ppm as the point at which it is Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health, which is “based strictly on safety considerations” (CDC, OSHA).
That’s not to say Butyl Acetate is dangerous. Rather, it’s to express how most things in high concentrations, even while safe in small amounts, can be irritating.
Ethyl Acetate is also an organic solvent that is primarily used for coating in products like nail polish (Chemical Weekly). It has been found to be dangerous to humans over a short period at 8,000 to 20,000 ppm. The CDC decided 2,000 ppm is the point at which it is Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health, which is once again “based strictly on safety considerations” (CDC).
Personal Use and Opinion
Ginger+Liz nail polish “Most Wanted” is a gorgeous mustard yellow that has a retro feel that’s just perfect for the autumnal hues of fall. The polish itself has a tendency to go on a bit thick and dry quickly, so be sure not to have too much on the brush when you’re painting your nails (better more coats than a bad nail job). But it tends to level well — as one might predict from Butyl Acetate.
Overall, it dries pretty quickly and has a really nice gloss to it. I didn’t feel that this nail polish lacked anything for being made with organic materials instead of the usual chemicals.
There’s isn’t reason to panic about nail polish’s potentially toxic issues until there are more tests on the amounts in the quantities in which they’re found. But if you’re still staying away from traditional nail polish for any reason, Ginger+Liz’s lines in a great vegan and organic alternative.
Product Rating: 9/10
Butyl acetate, ethyl acetate, nitrocellulose, acetyl tributyl citrate, phthalic anhydride/trimellitic, anhydride/glycols copolymer, isopropyl alcohol, stearalkonium hectorite, adipic acid/fumaric acid/phthalic acid/tricyclodecane dimethanol copolymer, citric acid.
May contain: Titanium dioxide, D&C red #6 barium lake, D&C red, #7 calcium lake, D&C red #34 calcium lake, FD&C yellow #5 aluminum lake, D&C yellow #10 aluminum lake, FD&C blue #1 aluminum lake, ferric ammonium, ferrocyanide, red iron oxide, black iron oxide, guanine, bismuth oxychloride, mica, D&C violet #2, D&C red #17, D&C red #33, D&C yellow #11, FD&C blue #1, FD&C green #3, D&C green #6, D&C yellow #10, polyethylene, terephthalate, calcium sodium borosilicate (and) titanium dioxide (and) tin oxides silica (and) aluminum powder (and)iron oxides, aluminum powder, fragrance