My first foray into the non-toxic polish realm I would consider a success. I was perusing the natural health/beauty aisles in Wholefoods on High Street Kensington around Christmas time looking for an impulse purchase that would make me feel better (read: retail therapy). What I discovered there was the incredible Butter London range of nail polishes full of vibrant colors but noticeably lacking the three evil toxins found in most nail polishes: formaldehyde, toluene, DBP.
I’ve told you before about the dangers of formaldehyde when the Brazilian Blowout controversy broke last year but let me remind you. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, Formaldehyde is a human carcinogen. It can cause immune-system toxicity, liver problems, and can be an irritant and allergen. Moving on to the next toxic ingredient – toluene. A derivative of toluene called benzene is a bone marrow poison which has been linked in some studies to leukemia. It is also a toxin that can make you feel high/nauseous/lightheaded from inhaling it. Finally DBP is a phthalate which is banned in Europe. It has been shown in some studies to be an endocrine disrupter which may not sound like such a big deal but it is if your baby boy is born with underdeveloped baby boy bits. (Seriously, it’s bad news).
The first thing that struck me when I opened the bottle is that there is still a strong smell of chemicals. However, with the knowledge that Butter London is “3 free” I pulled out the brush without hesitation. Despite the lack of DBP, the polish goes on very smoothly. I used 2 coats of polish without a base coat or top coat. What really impressed me was how quickly the polish dried. It was rock hard within 5 minutes (like hard enough to bash your nail against the corner of a hard object and not dent it at all!) For 2 whole days I didn’t have a single chip. By days 3 and 4 I had acquired some chips but not so many that it looked really bad. By day 5 it was time to remove the polish.
I would have liked to have bought a natural nail polish remover at the same time but unfortunately Whole Foods was out. I removed the polish with a “normal” high-toxic remover and the polish came off so much more easily than nail polish containing the 3 baddies.
All in all, I loved this polish. My only wee tiny niggle was that the color is a little thinner so that in certain light you can see through it near the ends of your nails. This could have also been because of the color I selected. I can’t wait to try more colors!
Side note- Butter London is headquartered in Seattle, Washington. Not only does it not have any official ties to the UK, it doesn’t even have a shop in the UK despite its quintessential British branding! However, they do have a hilarious Butter London Dictionary full of all kinds of British slang with North American translations. Half of the phrases I’ve never heard of after 8 years of living in London but there are some real gems which I think you will enjoy.