You know what the world doesn't need? More uncertainty about what you can and can't do during pregnancy and beyond. So Mindr is on the case, separating fiction from fact when it comes to pregnancy and parenting do's and don'ts. First up: Bump Bestie's Molly Pross has the dish on whether that mani-pedi that your sanity needs even more than your nails gets a manicured thumbs up or a toxic thumbs down.
MYTH: You must forego your mani-pedi from the moment you become pregnant until the day your children can vote, because of the harmful toxins in the polish.
FACT: While it would take massive and long-term exposure to the chemical products in your nail polish for there to be a problem, many pregnant people and new parents (and anyone, really!) may feel better going to “healthier” nail salons that use non-toxic products.
Know the facts
It’s true that there can be some nasty chemicals lurking behind your fave shade of millennial pink.
There are three chemical culprits in particular that you probably want to avoid: formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate (DBP), are known as the “Toxic Trio.” They help stop your polish from chipping and cracking, but they’ve been linked to all sorts of problems, from reproductive issues to cancer.
So what is a girl to do who enjoys the luxury of a mani-pedi? Thankfully, in the last few years, watchdogs in the cosmetic industry have blown the whistle on toxic chemical exposure in nail salons. Detoxing your mani-pedi routine is now much easier, thanks to non-toxic nail polish options and new salons and studios that have gone a step further to keep their products and services chemical-free.
Nail polish manufacturers have caught on and health-conscious brands now boast what they lack. Most polishes on the market forego the Toxic Trio, making them “three-free,” but there are a number of newer companies creating 5-free, 8-free and even 10-free polishes that address other potentially harmful ingredients like camphor and zylene.
Non-toxic or health-conscious nail salons are popping up in major cities across the U.S. to provide a safer pampering experience. Whether or not you're headed to a "green salon," pick one with good ventilation or request a chair closest to the front door. If you’re on a budget (green salons are typically 2-3x more expensive), creating your own kit is a great option to minimize exposure. Some products you might want to consider putting in your kit include:
- An organic hand and body lotion like @avalonorganics
- An oil-based nail polish remover like one from @karmaorganicspa
- A non-toxic base coat, polish and topcoat - you can click to check out some of the brands I like below
- A salt scrub like @calilylife
Here's a little roundup of my fave non-toxic polishes currently on the market:
What about gels?
Ideally, skip them unless you have access to healthier gels like Bio Seaweed Gel or NCLA. The compounds in gel formulas can be potentially toxic to you and Baby. Gel polishes can be absorbed through your nail bed and unlike regular nail polish; gel nails have to be in contact with acetone for an extended period of time to remove the gel. There is very little information about how safe this is during pregnancy, so when in doubt, you may want to just skip it.
Keep those cuticles.
One last thing - try and avoid getting your cuticles cut. Reducing the risk of bleeding means reducing the risk of getting a nasty infection. While you might get side-eye from someone next to you or get some pushback from your technician - you’ll feel better knowing you’ve limited your exposure to germs and chemicals!
Passionate about supporting families after having her son, Britton, #MINDRMAMA Molly Pross founded Bump Bestie, an LA-based baby planning, gear consulting and maternity concierge service to help expecting and new families navigate the overwhelming world of all things baby. With the many decisions that come with starting a family, Molly’s made it her mission to inspire a community around safety, eco/green parenting and health and wellness so that families experience a more connected, calm and satisfying journey to parenthood.