Thursday, March 26, 2009

Yogini Toes!

I went to Karma Class tonight and it was fabulous.... except for my toes. I know it seems silly, but yoga is a lot of looking down at your toes/feet. Especially while you are trying to ground and feel that connection between your body and the beautiful Earth. Tonight my toes were a little, shall we say, trashy. It was time for a new polish to make them all sparkly and pretty again! This way, while I'm thinking things like- "OMG, two more breaths, is she NUTS??", I can at least admire my pretty, shiny toes. 
(ps- this is a picture of me and the fiancé doing yoga at the Global Mala at Ogilvie Park in September! Awwww!).

Nail polish and remover are traditionally extremely "anti-eco". Most nail polishes contain four major scary ingredients: 
1. Formaldehyde, 2. Toluene 3. Phtalates; linked to cancer, developmental/reproductive toxicity, allergies, organ systems toxicity, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, persistent bioaccumulation and skin/eye irritation. Skin Deep rates them both as a level 10- high hazard. NASTY.
4. Camphor (ketone derived from a camphor tree): cancer, neurotoxicity and organ system toxicity (non-reproductive). Skin Deep gives this one a 3: moderate hazard.

Eww. No wonder our toe nails turn yellow!! That nail polish smell you get? That's the beautiful neurotoxins (toluene and phtalates) entering your lungs and blood stream. Yum. The nail polish remover is even worse, containing acetone or ethyl acetate both carcinogens and neurotoxins. Really, you just have to smell the VOC's when you open a bottle. 

So obviously I was going to get something else to pretty up my toes. Being cheap, I decided to use up the rest of my remover before buying a new one... until the fiancé got a migraine from the smell. Great. Here are my alternatives that I have found to be migraine and cellular-friendly:

1. Suncoat Nail Polish Remover: As soon as you open the bottle, the smell tells you the difference. Although still containing a scent, Suncoat uses corn and soy-based ingredients. Actually, here they are: ethyl lactate (from corn fermentation), methyl soyate (from soya oil), vegetable glycerin, D-limonene (from orange)
That's it! The website claims that it is readily biodegradable (ummm, I'm not sure if the "readily" is a disclosure to indicate "where facilities exist" or a typo) and it obviously does not contain petroleum based products. With this remover, be prepared to use a bit more elbow grease than the chemical soup you're used to. I have found that a Q-tip dipped in and scrubbed on the nail works best.

2. Zoya nail polish: Zoya is free of the top four no-no's listed above and comes in cool funky colours! I bought mine at an Aveda Salon in 
Kelowna (pre-Aveda break-up). Unfortunately the Aveda Salon in Halifax looked at me like I was some crazy "eco" warrior when I asked why they carry OPI... Ok, so it still contains some sketchy chemicals (as it's not water-based) but it's a step above OPI (who rates a moderate hazard rating on Skin Deep btw). This nail polish looks great and lasts long enough for my toes to be happy. I am going to check out Suncoat's nail polish that contains around 70% water as ingredients... although I'm not sure how well they hold-up.

A little bit of painting... and VOILÀ! I have cutesy yogini eco-toes! Now just a little pre-cinnamon scrub (simple DIY recipe here) and they will be perfect. Although I admit it's weird to have a picture of my toes on the internet, but this is my view while hanging in ragdoll...


  1. I also really like Essie nail polish--and I believe it's eco-friendly...


  2. I'm glad I'm not the only yogini that likes to have polished toes! :)

    Unfortunately I checked out Essie... and they appear to only have one line of "healthy" products but do not list the ingredients. Also on Skin Deep all the Essie Nail Polish are listed as 6- moderate hazard.

    Here are the ingredients to Pinkedelic:

    Butyl Acetate, Toluene, Nitrocellulose, Ethyl Acetate, Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin, Dibutyl Phthalate, Isopropyl Alcohol, Camphor, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Benzophenone 1, May Contain: Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), D&C Red 6 Barium Lake (CI 15850), FD&C Yellow 5 Aluminum Lake (CI 19140), D&C Red 7 Calcium Lake (CI 15850:1), Ferric Ammonium Ferrocyanide (CI 77510), Red Iron Oxide (CI 77491), Black Iron Oxide (CI 77499), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163), D&C Red 34 Calcium Lake (CI 15880:1), Violet 2 (CI 75150), Aluminum Powder (CI 77000), Guanine (CI 75150), Blue 1 (CI 422090), Red 33 (CI 17200), Red 30 (CI 73360), Ultramarines (CI 77007), Polyethylene Teraphthalate, Mica

    Do you have their "naturally Clean" polish? I would just check the ingredients on the back. Greenwashing seems to be at play here, but I would love to find out if they truly are lacking the major four chemicals :)

    I'm sorry to be a downer... I just get so frustrated myself with greenwashing out there.


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