A few months back my nails were practically deceased from using gel nail polish off and on for the past year or so. My nails were literally the strength of cooked noodles. Shocking fact because my nails have always been super strong, which is why I secretly thought they were invincible. Surprise! Jokes on me…Hi, my name is Amber and gel manicures ruined my nails. I’m a recovering pretty poison user. How’d I get here? Gel nails are almost ever-lasting, ridiculously glossy, full of overflowing color options, and all the rage in the nail world. But, even more so, the real beauty and most addicting feature of gel nails is not having to wait for them to dry once your appointment has concluded. We women feel so helpless with wet nails. And since we truly run the world, everything basically stops until we can effectively use our hands again. Gel nails… save lives. So, that’s the backstory on how I became a loyal customer.
However, this is what I unknowingly signed up for with gel: butylated hydroxyanisol (BHA), a known cancer-causing agent. The National Toxicology Program lists it as “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.” And, the so-called “Toxic Trio”: dibutyl phthalate, toluene and formaldehyde. Something tells me you already had an inkling there were harsh chemicals in gel polish because literally everything we touch and/or consume, minus water (I think), causes harm to our bodies. Here are a few more fun facts: 1. It’s very difficult to file off the hard gel without touching the nail plate. This means the removal process can significantly thin the natural nail. 2. Soaking the natural nail in acetone temporarily softens the surface making it more susceptible to damage from any implements that separate, push or force the remaining residual UV coating (gel) from the nail plate. 3. Not only does the nail polish absorb into your skin but think of all the ways your fingers come in contact with your mouth (eating, whistling, nail biting, etc). Toxins are damaging, period. So, if I want healthy painted nails, what’s a girl to do?!
After pumping my body with vitamins to bring my nails back to life, I recently stumbled upon the holy grail for me and maybe you too. I quote my recent IG post when I say, I’m so hyped about this nail polish! Now that I’m not up against your monster swiping thumb on Instagram, I have a little more time to elaborate. MiniLux is a California based nail franchise with three locations (West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and Brentwood…the OG storefront). Their quest is clean self-care. “We stand for self-care and beauty with a clean conscience. It doesn’t take much to give yourself a little love, hit reset, and show up just for you. Together, we celebrate craft, creativity, and self-expression through mini moments that make you feel good.” Whoever wrote that…I respect your word craft!
MiniLuxe offers two nourishing nail polish options. Pure Polish is free of the eight most toxic elements present in nail color. These stylish bottles with rose gold tops also contain strong pigmented colors. All made in the USofA. However, I tried and fell in love with their Performance Polish (aka Dazzle Dry). It’s vegan, cruelty-free, full of vitamins, strengthens, dries complete in 5 minutes flat, and removes like basic polish. Did you catch that? I’m basically saying it wears like gel, but removes like regular nail polish. No LED lights required, and it stays put for up to two weeks. Not.even.kidding!
If you suspect your nail relationship is toxic to your health, make an appointment at your local MiniLuxe or shop Dazzle Dry. Thank you gel polish for all the memories, but next.