In recent years, safety organizations focusing on consumer products have been observing cosmetics for potentially toxic ingredients. One of the most shocking discoveries was that traditional nail polish generally contains three toxins: formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate (DBP), which have all been linked to health problems. Here are some facts about these ingredients, and how to choose safer manicure products:

Formaldehyde: This ingredient is used as a preservative and is typically found in nail hardeners and treatments. It’s been linked to cancer, skin problems, nervous system disorders and can even cause damage to the liver and kidneys. Formaldehyde is found in other products such as air fresheners, and even secondhand smoke.

Toulene: Toluene is a solvent that helps give nail polish its smoothness. It can damage the throat, lungs, and eyes, as well as cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, or short term memory loss.

Dibutyl phthalate: DBP helps prevent nail lacquer from becoming brittle and chipping. However, it can cause reproductive problems, birth defects and disrupt hormones. DBP can also be found in perfumes and skin creams.

You can limit your exposure to these toxins by replacing your traditional nail polish with safer products. Polston & Co.’s non-toxic top coat is formulated without eight of the most dangerous ingredients found in typical lacquers, including the three mentioned above.