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Pregnancy is a time to glow and look beautiful with a bump. It’s unfortunate that some women ignore this aspect and look shaggy all through the pregnancy period. For those who love to glam up and show up looking great, a manicure is vital to complete the look. But, which nail polish is safe for pregnancy?
Pregnancy-safe nail polish does not contain harsh chemicals like Toluene, Dibutyl Phthalate, and Formaldehyde, which may harm both the mother and the baby. There’s a wide selection of such nail polishes in the market today.
Pregnancy should not be a reason why you stop doing your nails so as to protect your baby. You can do your nails and boost your confidence while staying clear of nail polishes that may be harmful to you. In this article, I review some of the available non-toxic and pregnancy-safe nail polish brands that you can use to do your manicure in all stages of pregnancy.
Table of Contents
Can You Paint Your Nails While Pregnant?
It’s okay to paint your nails during pregnancy. However, I’d recommend you use pregnancy-safe nail polishes. If you have no access to one, you can use regular nail polish but with precaution.
Nail polishes contain chemicals that may be harmful, mainly if you use them in the long term or use them in stuffy rooms. You can get poisoning from the nail polish chemical through inhalation or absorption through the skin.
When you breathe in the nail polish fumes for a prolonged time, the chemicals get to the lungs and may cause illness. If absorbed in the blood, they may cause harm to your baby.
These harmful chemicals are Toluene, Dibutyl Phthalate, and Formaldehyde.
Toluene is added to nail polish to increase its consistency and give it a smooth feeling. It makes it easy to apply nail polish as it can easily glide over the nail. It’s the chemical responsible for the eye and throat irritation you feel when you breathe in nail polish fumes.
If you are exposed to toluene in large amounts during pregnancy, your baby faces the risk of having congenital disabilities as toluene may affect their nervous system. This happens only when you are continuously exposed to toluene. Once in a while, exposure in small amounts may not have a significant effect.
For example, a manicurist working in an insufficiently ventilated space while pregnant. The effect may be huge on both the mother and the unborn baby. To prevent any impact on both parties, the manicurist must ensure the room is well ventilated or otherwise paint the nails outside.
Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) is commonly used in nail polishes to make the polish more flexible not to chip easily. The UK and the European Union banned its use in cosmetics to protect their people from possible harm by the chemical.
Exposure to DBP may disrupt the endocrine system, and thus risking a miscarriage or congenital disabilities to your baby. This also depends on the amount of exposure to the chemical, as small amounts may not cause too much effect.
When buying these nail polish products online, you should be careful and check if the chemical is included. In countries where the law is much relaxed, manufacturers tend to include it in among the ingredients.
Formaldehyde is used in a special type of nail polish called Hardener. It’s used to harden and strengthen weak nails. Formaldehyde is a hardener, so it is used in this polish.
During pregnancy, you may notice that your nails are weak and may need a boost. Using formaldehyde may expose you to its harmful nature and may harm you and your baby. The body breaks down formaldehyde fast and may cause cancer.
Do you see that shine on the nail polish? Camphor helps manufacturers achieve that in nail polishes. The shine is important because nails glow and make the ones wearing it feel good about their nails, thus boosting their confidence.
Camphor is not as dangerous as the first three discussed toxins. Therefore it may not have any effects if the exposure is minimal. However, over-exposure may cause allergic reactions to your body. Inhaling too much of it may cause dizziness.
For pregnant women, over-exposure to camphor is not good as the dizziness may cause them to fall and potentially harm the baby.
How to Reduce Risk of Exposure
There are other products in the market you can use to achieve the same results in a safer and risk-free way. You can also reduce the risk of exposure in these ways.
- Use UK or EU nail polish products. In these regions, the rules are stricter on the chemicals used in nail polishes. Find those labeled as 10-free or 13-free because these brands have fewer chemicals.
- If you’re a manicurist always exposed to nail polish chemicals, it’s important to talk to a health practitioner to know what to avoid and what to do. Be keen to make your workplace friendly and risk-free.
- Keep your room as ventilated as possible when you’re applying nail polish. Proper ventilation will allow the fumes to flow away with the air and allow you to breathe in the fresh air.
- As you apply the nail polish, ensure that you apply it only on the nails and not on the skin. The skin easily absorbs the chemicals into the body, making it easy to be poisoned. If the nail polish falls on your skin, use a nail remover to clear it immediately.
- Don’t blow your nails to dry them because that increases your chances of inhaling the polish fumes. Instead, stretch your hands and let them dry far from you.
- In the case of over-exposure and poisoning, it’s important to seek medical attention as fast as possible. Some toxins can be eliminated from the body before they get to affect the baby.
After painting your nails, you may want to use a nail polish remover to remove them. Nail polish removers are safe during pregnancy as acetone is a naturally occurring chemical and may not harm the baby. It may only irritate your skin and nothing serious.
Besides, the FDA approves acetone for nail polish removers, as it is not carcinogenic nor harmful to the body. It may weaken your nails if you use them for a long time. After removing the nail polish, it’s important that you wash your hands with warm water and soap to get rid of the remover on your hands.
However, nail polish removers in the market are marked as safe for pregnant women and therefore do not contain any harsh chemicals like acetone. These pregnancy-safe removers have the following characteristics:
- Their formulation is acetone-free yet remains very effective.
- They are made with a non-drying formula that removes the nail polish without over-drying or stripping the nails.
- They are made with ingredients that moisturize and nourish both your nails and your skin.
- Some are made from natural ingredients like soy, which is important for softening the nail cuticles and strengthening the nails.
10 Safe Nail Polishes For Pregnant Women
Nail polish manufacturing companies consider pregnant women and prepare nail polish that is suitable for them. These brands are available in the market today, both online and in physical beauty stores. Here are some of these brands.
- ILNP Juliette Holographic Nail Polish
This nail polish product from ILNP Cosmetics adorns the nails with a beautiful rose gold shade that glitters such that it is noticeable from afar. The sparkle that comes with this nail polish makes you glow through pregnancy and boosts your confidence greatly.
It’s vegan friendly, meaning that most people can use it without any effects, even those who are selective on the food they eat. This is important because the pregnancy period is sensitive to different chemicals, especially nail polish.
The polish is labeled 7-free, meaning that its formulation is free of 7 toxic chemicals commonly used in nail polish. Therefore, it’s safe for pregnant women.
To achieve the best shine on the nails, apply two layers of the polish on a basecoat and then top it off with the brand’s topcoat. The polish is designed to last long on your nails without chipping. Since it has no glitters, the removal process will be easy and fast.
The company offers a 100% guarantee of satisfaction. But, if you are not satisfied with the performance of the nail polish, you can return it or exchange it with another product of the same brand. Let your nails shine with the Juliette nail polish.
- Cote Nail Polish No.6
The Cote Nail Polish is made with a unique signature formula that is less harsh, vegan-friendly, and toxin-free. Some of the major nail polish toxins absent in the Cote Nail Polish formulation include DBP, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Triphenyl phosphate, camphor, and formaldehyde resin.
Its formulation makes the polish durable and chip-resistant, so you can be sure it will last you long. You won’t need to paint your nails over and over to hide chips.
The nail polish comes in neutral shades, which are excellent for any kind of wear on your everyday activities. During pregnancy, moods vary on different days and so you may want to wear just casual. Whatever you wear shouldn’t worry because the Cote Nail Polish will be suitable for any wear.
Even though the Cote nail polish is excellent, it comes at a premium price. This is understandable because of its high quality. If you can afford it, do not hesitate to go for it and make your pregnancy colorful. You’ll love its classy packaging in a sleek design bottle.
- Sally Hansen Color Therapy
Sally Hansen’s nail polish formulations in all categories are designed to take care of your nail and strengthen them. The Color Therapy nail polish is no exception. From the many reviews of women who have used this nail polish, it’s evident that their experience is great, and their nails end up better than they were before using them.
You can choose your favorite color from over 40 shades and shine your way through pregnancy. My personal favorite is the deep maroon shade. I love how it commands an authoritative presence.
The Color Therapy nail polish has natural ingredients like argan oil which effectively strengthens your nails. For a perfect shine, apply two layers of nail polish and let it dry. Then apply two layers of the topcoat. The extra topcoat layer strengthens the polish more and prevents chipping.
Sally Hansen includes a wide brush in the nail polish, which makes the application easier and quicker. You won’t need to apply in portions as the brush can cover the whole nail at once for a smooth thin layer.
After using the Color Therapy nail polish for some time, you’ll notice that your nails will become stronger. This is a plus, especially because of the pregnancy, as your nails may become weaker as nutrients are drawn more to the baby. Get the Color Therapy nail polish from Sally Hansen and enjoy stronger, healthier nails.
- Cirque Colors Metallic Nail Polish
Cirque Colors’ formulation for nail polish is free from over ten toxic chemicals mostly used in nail polishes. This means that it’s very safe for a mom-to-be as both the mother and the unborn baby are not exposed to any of these chemicals.
The metallic nail polish line has two shades: Golden hue and Silver. The metallic theme spells out a celebration mood. Therefore, it’s perfect for holiday parties, Christmas, or even a baby shower. You can glam up in one of the colors, and your nails will be shouting a celebration vibe.
The colors are ultra-reflective, so your nails will be noticeable from afar. A color like Silver will require you to paint about two layers so that it can be bold enough. Top it up with a shiny topcoat to prevent chipping and increase your nail’s glow.
- Piggy Paint Nail Polish
This nail polish by Piggy Paint is a 100% non-toxic water-based nail polish. It’s chemical-free and eco-friendly, making it safe to use on children, pregnant and nursing women, and even toddlers and small babies. It’s often referred to as the kid’s nail polish.
The only downside about this nail polish is that it doesn’t last long on the nails. As a kid’s polish, the manufacturer must have designed that way to favor a child’s environment. However, it’s an excellent choice for a pregnant woman who doesn’t involve in doing house chores or any activity that may cause the polish to come off.
As a water-based nail polish, it does not have any irritating odors like most nail polishes. It comes in different shades of purple and pink, mostly what children love. You can get one and paint with your elder daughters as you bond and talk about the unborn baby.
- ZOYA All Snuggled Up Quad
These chemicals include xylene, parabens, and ethyl tosylamide, among others. The absence of these chemicals makes it suitable for pregnant women any day and anytime.
This ZOYA lineup is an excellent choice for a mom-to-be who loves her nails all done. The brand started with the 3-free formulation that excluded common toxic chemicals present in nail polish. Right now, the brand has nail polish labeled as 10-free, with ten toxic chemicals removed from the nail polish.
It comes as a package of four polishes so that you can use a different color every time you paint. The polish will shine better if you apply a double layer on a base coat and then seal it with a shiny topcoat to prevent chipping.
- OPI Infinite Shine Long-Wear Lacquer
OPI brand offers quality chemical-free products. Their Infinite Shine nail polish comes with a wide range of metallic shades, which lets you glow with your bump. Most metallic shades bring a celebration mood and put you in good spirits.
You can choose your favorite shade of this pregnancy-safe polish and have it glow on your nails for more than a week. The polish formulation is designed to make the nail polish durable, flexible, and chip-resistant so that it can serve you longer.
During pregnancy, you may not be in a mood for a constant nail polish change, and this is where this OPI Infinite Shine nail polish comes in. Once you apply it to your nails, you can have it for a whole week before it chips or needs a replacement.
For better results with the nail polish, apply the primer from OPI first and then apply two Infinite Shine nail polish layers. To complete the glow, apply the Infinite Shine Gloss topcoat and let it dry. With a complete manicure done, you can expect it to last for about a week or more.
The metallic shades will blend in well with almost all outfits; you can wear your most comfortable pregnancy wear and get your day going. Your nails will shine through the day and keep you looking gorgeous. Choose a shade that works for you and enjoy the long-lasting OPI Infinite Shine Long-Wear Lacquer.
- Sundays Glossy Shine Finish Cherry Red
Sunday’s brand is known for the rich color on all its nail polishes. This is a nail polish of choice that works well on all occasions. Its shiny finish makes you stand out and has a unique color that is visible from a distance.
It’s safe for pregnant women because it’s toxin-free, with about ten toxins removed from the formulation making the nail polish. These toxins are the most common chemicals added in nail polishes and may be harmful to your health and that of your baby.
The Glossy Shine Cherry Red nail polish is designed to last for a long, thanks to its high durability and a formulation that makes it flexible and chip-resistant. Once you apply it to your nails, you’ll enjoy timeless colors that go well with all outfits.
Even though the nail polish has a glowing finish, it’s important to apply a layer of shiny top coat. It acts as a sealant for the nail polish to prevent chipping and amplify the nail polish’s shine. The cherry color will boost your confidence and make you stand out, no matter your outfit.
As an expectant mom, you want to keep all your cosmetics clean so that you’re sure that you and your baby are safe. This brand from the Sundays is a great choice, considering that it’s labeled 10-free. You can pick your polish and look good in your pregnancy.
- Heroine.NYC Pastel Pink Crème
This beautiful nail polish from Heroine.NYC is highly shiny – a quality that makes you stand out. It comes in bright colors like pink and mint green, so their glow will be unavoidable.
Its 9-free formulation is free from 9 toxins common in nail polishes that are harmful to nail polish users. If you’re pregnant, you want to stay away from those chemicals as much as possible—the Heroine.NYC nail polish is safe, even for use with children.
The polishes are also vegan-friendly and not harsh, so they are safe for use on your nails. The wide brushes that come with it ease the process of application and give a smooth layer at the end. For a beautiful final result, you can try applying two layers of polish and then seal it with a shiny topcoat.
For a pregnant woman who loves bright and shiny colors, this nail polish is an excellent choice as you’ll be enjoying your favorite color on your nails while still protecting yourself from harmful chemicals. You only need to pick your personal favorite, apply it and start glowing.
- Karma Organic Nail Polish
As the name suggests, this nail polish is made of clean and organic ingredients that play a massive role in keeping the nails healthy. It’s free of any chemicals like Toluene that are commonly used in nail polishes even today.
This nail polish from Karma Organic comes in many shades so that you can choose one that is best for you. Its formulation is designed to make it last for long on the nails before it starts chipping.
The company makes sure that its products do not carry very intense scents as they can be irritating, especially to pregnant women. That means that you can use the nail polish comfortably without stimulating any feelings of nausea because of strong odors.
You’ll love the excellent packaging that the product comes in because other than being environmentally friendly, you can recycle the bottle once you finish the nail polish. Karma Organic is conscious of the environment, and that’s a good reason to trust them.
Can You Go To The Salon While Pregnant?
A salon is a public place where you can connect with people and friends as you have your nails done. If you’re the kind of person who loves being in the company of others, going to the salon can provide you an excellent place for you to relax and unwind.
However, you must exercise self-care when visiting the salon, especially because you’re pregnant and your baby is your priority. Ensure that you go to a salon that is properly ventilated and air flows in and out freely.
Proper ventilation is essential in a salon where many people come in for a manicure as the nail polish fumes are blown away. Remember, some of these polishes contain harmful chemicals that may have an unpleasant effect on you and your baby.
Consider using non-toxic nail polishes and other products to ensure that you pose no health risk to yourself and your unborn baby. You can ask the attendant if they have such products or if you can come in with your non-toxic nail polish on your next salon visit.
A simple nail polish manicure may not have effects on you, but if you’re considering a complete manicure like gel polish or acrylic nails, you may need to be more careful. They may not be directly harmful to you but the fumes released as you apply them can be very harmful.
If you can do your manicure at home, there’s no need to go to the salon. You can ask a manicurist to come and help you fix your nails at home. You may also want to try many colors during pregnancy, so a nail polish manicure will provide a good avenue to try different colors every time because it doesn’t last too long on the nails.
Pregnancy doesn’t have to stop you if you’re a lover of colorful nails. You only have to do it cautiously, using the right products. Many companies have embraced the culture of making toxin-free nail polish so you can glam your nails with some of them. I have discussed with you some of these products available in the market to ease your search.
If you want to read more of what nail polish to have with kids read this post: Are Nail Polish Fumes Harmful To Babies? (Find Out Here)
- Findyourmumtrice.com: 18 Best Pregnancy Safe Nail Polishes Of 2021 (+ Removers)
- Baby centre: Is it safe to use nail polish and nail polish remover during pregnancy?
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