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February 9th, 2012 | By Alicia Silverstone

A while back I went to a raw food convention in Jamaica. Raw chef Juliano Brotman was giving a lecture, and during this lecture he mentioned the importance of clean, not toxic-nail-painted hands in the kitchen, as we were using our hands for much of the preparing. He also talked about how he likes to nibble on women’s hands and feet and how it’s gross for them to be wearing polish. I was like “I want my fingers and toes nibbled on!”. For some reason, that really stuck with me and I stopped wearing polish after that.

I used to wear nail polish religiously when I was younger, like from ten on. But it’s been years since I’ve worn it regularly. Every once in a while I have a role where it is important for the character to wear polish. And for Time Stands Still, I wore red polish by Zoya everyday, because it made sense for my character Mandy.
Sometimes, very rarely, I just get the urge to wear it too, and I go for the most eco/healthy/friendly polish I can find. Even though I don’t often go for polish, I still love a manicure. I usually go once a month, sometimes more if I’m lucky.
It’s really important to not cut your cuticles! It has become common practice among manicurists to do this. It’s ok if they gently push them back, but your cuticles are there for a reason. They keep dirt and other gross stuff from getting into your nails and causing infection. Cutting them also makes them grow back more quickly and uglier, forcing you to get another manicure sooner. It’s just lazy nail work. It looks great that day, sure, but not for long. Have them cut your hang-nails if you want to, but leave the cuticles. I have a strong dislike for hang nails, cause I can’t stop picking at them.
In New York, I like to go to Sweet Lily Natural Nail Spa in Tribeca for eco-friendly nail treatment!
Some nail salons use disposable supplies that you can take with you at the end of your mani/pedi. Just ask them to give you the supplies at the end, instead of throwing them out. And then you can bring them back each week. I do this, and I use mine for ages.
Both of these salons use Zoya vegan polishes. Zoya polishes work just as well as the toxic stuff. I avoid nail polish that contains dibutyl phthalate/DBP (a substance that was banned from most nail polishes in the US in 1996), formaldehyde (a carcinogen), and toluene (a liquid that smells like paint thinner, and can cause neurological harm if inhaled) not good for you!! These are all toxins that could affect your nervous system, and cause serious health problems. They are known to cause headaches, dizziness, infertility, liver damage, skin irritation, and kidney damage. Toxic nail polish is basically a regular acrylic paint (paint that is made with synthetic materials). It is harmful to the environment, to the consumer and to the workers that produce it. Workers are around all those toxins that go into the polish day in and day out, then we put it on our nails and it seeps into our bodies and then harmful chemicals are used to remove it and it all goes into the Earth. Read more at Suite101 – Toxic Nail Polish: Nail Enamel Ingredients That Harm the Environment and Your Health.
Do you have a favorite green, all natural nail place like Sweet Lily?
If you want to check toxicity levels of the nail products (or any product) you are currently using, you can visit the Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database. They’ve compiled a list of 53,332 products!
Here is a list that I’ve been compiling of non-toxic polishes and removers. I haven’t tried all of these polishes so I don’t really have a favorite, but I do like using Zoya, and this polish remover that my part-time roommate (while I was in NY) and supermodel, Lonneke, just introduced me to called Priti. Some Earth-friendly polish removers take a long time to get the polish off, but this one works really well! You just have to be patient and hold the organic cotton swab with the remover on there for like 10-20 seconds and then take it off. It works great!!
Nail Polish



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