Painting nails while pregnant

March 11, 2017
painting nails while pregnant

Painting nails while pregnant

Throughout pregnancy a pedicure is luxurious and pampering, especially when you can’t reach your toes over your baby bump to paint your own nails!  You may already be aware of toxins having the ability to be absorbed through your skin, but as more scientific study is carried out, we are learning that nail polish may also find its way into your body. Painting nails while pregnant may impact the type of chemicals that are showing up in close studies of umbilical cords from newborn babies.


In a particular study closely related to the direct effects of painting nails while pregnant, some chemicals showed up the body after just 14 hours of women painting their nails! But before you back off on your moment of pampering, just know that there are a few chemicals that conscious cosmetic companies are refusing to use in their mix and they are…


Bisphenol A (or BPA)

The use of BPA in nail polish helps to keep the quality of the polish, but is actually a chemical detected in the umbilical cord studies. BPA has been found to be an endocrine disruptor. You’ve probably heard about BPA-free plastic water bottles? Well this came about after the findings that long term exposure to BPA may interfere with the body’s natural processing of hormones. This includes the reproductive system, thyroid function and breast development.



Ever felt light headed or dizzy when applying nail polish? Well toluene is most likely the chemical to blame. It is a liquid derived from petroleum and has been found to cause alarming side effects with long term exposure. We would consider if you painted your nails every week since you were a young girl, that this counts as long term exposure. Toluene can stay where it belongs in the gas station thanks!


Formaldehyde (FA)

So why does nail polish not flake away in the bottle? Probably because of the use of formaldehyde, which is used to keep your nail polish “hard”. In a study as to the toxic effects of FA on the nervous system it was found “It is hypothesized that inhalation of FA, during the early postnatal period, is linked to some neurological diseases that occur in adults”.


Knowledge is power

One of the greatest aspects about pregnancy is just how much knowledge you take on about all things birth-related and the best practices for bringing a happy, healthy baby into the world. The use of safe cosmetics during pregnancy is entirely possible, so long as you continue to make conscious decisions about what you will or will not use on your body.


So is it really worth painting nails while pregnant? Absolutely! Just remember to check in on the safe cosmetics list.  Finding a brand that makes a stand by only using safe ingredients and excludes the above chemicals is a great start. Those brands may cost a bit more, but how much are you willing to spend on your health?


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