Natural nail polish has completely changed the nail industry.
From someone who was getting UV gel manicures for over 10 years, I can honestly say everyone should make the switch to natural nail polish! Before we dive into the chemical composition of nail polish, I first want to take a look at the historical and psychological background on nail polish and manicures.
Women have been indulging in these so called “luxuries” for decades. But, what is it about having beautifully manicured nails that can completely change our mood? When did this trend become so popular, that women make it a staple to hit their local nail salon weekly? And, when did at home manicures become so easy to attain?
First, let’s dive into some history of nail salons and polish!
The History Of Nail Polish
The history of nail polish is as “colorful” as you might think. Beauty has been important to so many women since the beginning of time. However, something so simple like painting your nails wasn’t just about looking good, it was also about your social class. Take a look at this amazing timeline that shows how nail polish and nail trends has changed since the beginning of time.
- “Nail polish” can be dated all the way back to India in the Bronze Age. Henna is extremely popular in India, and they would extend Henna tattoos onto the nails.
- Around 3000 BCE the trend made its way to China. The Royal Classes in China were the only ones to color their nails. They would use a combination of egg whites, beeswax, gelatin, gum Arabic (sap from the acacia tree) and alum, then colored that with flower petals, or gold or silver dust.
- Around the same time (3000 BCE) Babylonians were also seen to paint their nails. However, a bit of a twist, the warriors were the ones who were painting their nails! Before a battle, the higher class warriors would paint their nails black, and the lower class would paint them green. They would use powdered sulfide to pigment their nails.
- When the trend made its way to Africa and Asia, henna was used, but so was bright red shades. Just like in China, and among the Babylonian warriors, nail color also signified class in Egypt. The redder the nails, the more power that person had. (How cool is that!). Queen Nefertiti, and Cleopatra wore shades of red. Some say that Queen Nefertiti’s nail concoction had blood in it! The lower class women were only allowed to wear pastel shades on their nails.
- 18th century women started to rock major jewels on their nails.
- In 1916 Cutex created their first clear polish so women didn’t have to continuously buff their nails for a shine.
- In 1932 Revlon was founded and the first colored nail polish was introduced (thanks to the automotive industry with their colorful paint)!
Why Is Regular Nail Polish So Bad?
We now know that nail polish has always been a way to set trends, and signified some type of importance among society. Today we know when you look good, you feel good. So many women make it a trend to hit up their local nail salons weekly. The first nail salon is dated back to New York City in 1878 by Mrs Cobbs Manicure Parlors. You could get a manicure back then for only $1.25!
With weekly manicures becoming a trend for so many, it’s hard to not think about what we are exposing ourselves to so frequently. What is actually in nail polish today, and why is it so bad? Take a look at these ingredients below.
- Dibutyl phthalate (DBP): Endocrine disrupters
- Toluene: Neurological damage and serious birth defects
- Camphor: Severe allergic reaction and liver dysfunction
- Xylene: Respiratory, kidney, and gastrointestinal toxicity
- Formaldehyde: Allergic reactions, asthma, nausea, and even miscarriages
- Triphenylphosphate (TPHP): Endocrine impacts, reproductive, and development irregularities
- Colophonium: Acute allergic problems
- Organic Halides (AOX): Nerve damage
Did you know that a simple manicure is not safe for pregnancy, or for women looking to get pregnant? Toulene and Formaldehyde also stay in your body for long periods of time and have links to cancer and internal toxicity. SCARY!
Take a look at this amazing description on how nail polish is created.
Natural Options For Beautiful Nails
After doing my research, I can tell you I will never ever use regular nail polish again. Why take that risk and expose ourselves to such harmful and toxic ingredients. The risk is just not worth the reward. However, like most women dating back to the beginning of time, I believe nail polish and manicures are a form of self care. If such powerful women (and warriors) were painting their nails as a form of self expression (and a sign of high class and royalty), well then I would like to find a way to partake! Lucky for you, I found some amazing natural options for beautiful nails!
- Coconut Oil: Helps promote nail growth, moisturize your cuticles, and fights bacteria. This is a staple for your organic nail routine. If you do use polish, you should go polish free for a week and apply coconut oil every night to help restore your nails.
- Argan Oil: Similar to coconut oil, you can use argan oil to moisturize and strengthen your nails. You can combine lemon juice and argan oil and soak for 15 minutes for healthy and shiny nails.
- Natural c Nail Polish: Lastly, if you want the look and feel of beautiful polish without the toxicity (who doesn’t?), surprisingly their are lots of natural nail polish options like Karma Organic Nail Polish.
What Is Natural Nail Polish?
Natural nail polish runs in various classes like 5, 7, 9, and 10 free. These numbers are important because it shows you how many harmful chemicals these natural nail polishes are removing.
There are many products to choose from, but you want to choose the cleanest product possible. You also want to look for things like long lasting, and ones that don’t leave your nails brittle or yellow. Many “natural nail polishes” are not long lasting, and your nails will be chipped within a day of painting your nails. That’s not fun for anyone!
Our favorite has to be Karma Organic Nail Polish for just those reasons. Not only do they have amazing colors to choose from (most natural nail polishes are limited in their color selection), but they also have nail strengtheners and hardeners which is what I was specifically looking for (I unfortunately had UV gel nails for over 10 years). My nails needed serious help.
Besides being completely non-toxic, this natural nail polish also has special ingredients that will bring out natural shine and strengthen your nails (some of the secret ingredients include calcium and coffee extract).The result: no yellowing or chipping of your precious nails.
History Of Karma Organic Nail Polish
After trying this amazing natural nail polish, I wanted to do a bit more research on the company. I wanted to learn about the motivation behind this company, and see if this was indeed the real deal!
Interesting enough, the founder Nausil Zaheer was working as a waiter, and was constantly on his feet. After his long shifts he would treat himself to pedicures. He noticed he wasn’t feeling the best after being in the salon for over an hour at a time. A friend of his suggested he stop getting pedicures, and sure enough he started feeling better! He felt there must be natural and safe alternatives to everyday nail polishes. Nausil was truly concerned about the chemicals people are exposed to constantly at home and nail salons.
He set out to make a difference, and looked to create products that are safe for everyone! Especially pregnant Mamas!
Nausil trained at the Lia Schorr Institute in New York, and quickly became a celebrity manicurist working on various types of photo shoots and commercial print advertisements. Shortly after his immediate success, Nausil decided to take his work to the next level, and created his own line of non-toxic polishes. All of his polishes are free from toluene, formaldehyde, and DBP. He even has a completely organic nail polish remover, derived from soy!
Today, there are over 100 traditional, neon, and glow-in-the-dark polish colors as well as lavender, tea tree oil, and unscented nail polish remover.
You have to check out some of our favorite products like the lavender nail polish remover (it smells amazing!), the 7 in 1 nail treatment to strengthen your nails (coming from someone with seriously damaged nails), and the endless array of color choices (but this one is my favorite)!