Friday, October 5, 2007

Day Eighty-Nine - A Polished Look

Skipping the Manicure and Going Au Naturale

You've heard me bitch about my pasty-white, rosacea-covered skin and my 1980's Kristie McNichol hairdo. I'm sure I've also complained about my nearly-invisible eyebrow & eyelash set and the extra 20 pounds I carry around. But one thing you'll never hear me whine about are my nails. They are one of the few parts of my body that I actually like.

They are strong, nicely shaped and feminine. Everything I wish the rest of me was. And one of my favorite treats in the world is to get a manicure. And now that the kids are in preschool and I have four hours all to myself each week, I'd love nothing more than to go get pampered with a french manicure ever other week. I thought about this long and hard the other day while waiting to pick up the kids and enviously ogling all the other moms' pretty little pink digits. *sigh* But I've decided I won't.

According to an article published by Earth Talk, "Conventional nail polishes dispensed at most drugstores and nail salons contain a veritable witch's brew of chemicals, including toluene, which has been linked to a wide range of health issues from simple headaches and eye, ear, nose and throat irritation to nervous system disorders and damage to the liver and kidneys.

Another common yet toxic ingredient in conventional nail polish is a chemical plasticizer known as dibutyl phthalate (DBP). According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit research and advocacy organization that campaigns to educate consumers about the health risks of cosmetics, studies have linked DBP to underdeveloped genitals and other reproductive system problems in newborn boys.

As such, DBP is banned from cosmetics in the European Union but the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States has taken no such action, even though a recent study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found DBP and other toxic phthalates in the bloodstreams of every person they tested. Further, five percent of women tested who were of childbearing age (ages 20-40) had up to 45 times more of the chemicals in their bodies than researchers had expected to find."

And so, as with my makeup quandry, I am left wondering what awful, detrimental effects the production of nail polish and polish remover have on the environment. After all, what is bad for the body is generally bad for the Earth (and vice versa). And so, I will be skipping the salon manicure in favor of a more natural look.


At one polish change every other week, I'd easily go through a bottle of the toxic cocktail in a year... and a bottle of acetate remover as well. Imagine if I had pedicures too! I'm also saving all that money I would have otherwise spent at the salon!

Difficulty Level 1 out of 5

Not difficult, just a small bummer. Oh well, maybe I'll take that saved money and get a REAL haircut... something to at least bring me into this millenium.


vera said...

Great blog! I love that you included a difficulty level! :-)

June Cutoff Cash said...

Kristie McNichol haircut. Teeee...

I am with you on wanting to go to the nail shop, though. I have had two pedicures (gifts) all year, and they were both bought for me within one week of each other. So in May, I had great feet. Now I look like a rhino.

I did not know about the chemicals. Yeesh! We can't win.

Brigid said...

You might try buffing your nails, which will make them look nice and shiny, although it won't change the color.

Aunt Shanny said...

There are buffing 'blocks' out there that have different sides that smooth ridges, and do other things to make your nails look nice and shiny - they actually look like they've been polished.

Burbanmom said...

OK, ladies, what other natural beauty secrets have you all been keeping from me??!?! No wonder I look like hell compared to the rest of you! :-)

I'll be looking for a buffing block this week! Thanks for the tip!

leslie said...

I hang out with artists and gardeners. None of us has a manicure. Heck, there's not a fingernail on a one of us!
We have artsy, gardeny, worn happy hands. You're just hanging with the wrong peeps.

Anonymous said...

Vegan nail polish is an excellent product. Suncoat makes a water based product, and No Miss is another brand.