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Can I Use Nail Polish While Pregnant?

I've heard something about the dangers of using nail polish during pregnancy -- is this true?


I've heard something about the dangers of using nail polish during pregnancy -- is this true?

The Bump Expert

There’s been a lot of talk lately about nail polishes that are 3-free, meaning they don’t contain the three toxic chemicals DBP (dibutyl phthalate), toluene and formaldehyde. DBP may cause hormone-production problems in a fetus; toluene may cause reproductive issues, headaches, itchy eyes and more; and formaldehyde can cause breathing problems and even cancer. Who knew a pretty mani could be so scary!

While some experts think exposure to nail polish could be harmful to your fetus, there’s no clear evidence that the occasional manicure or pedicure is unsafe.

The good news is nail polishes by popular brands OPI, Sally Hansen and Essie are 3-free. The bad news is that some other companies’ nail products that were labeled 3-free have been found to contain some of these nasty chemicals. (See a list of those products here.) If that makes you nervous, you may want to avoid nail polish completely (au naturel nails can look pretty too!). But we think it’s okay to choose a 3-free polish by a brand you trust.

If you’re heading to the nail salon for your manicures and pedicures, make sure there’s proper ventilation and that the instruments being used have been sterilized. Ask the nail technician not to cut your cuticles, since you’re more prone to infections while you’re pregnant and cutting that delicate skin could let in bacteria and germs.

watch: more on beauty safety during pregnancy

Plus, more from The Bump:

How to Makeover Your Beauty Routine for Pregnancy

Is it Safe to Get Acrylic Nails During Pregnancy?

Is Nail Polish Remover Safe?

*article updated July 12, 2012

belli beautiful book cover Melissa Schweiger and Annette Rubin, coauthors of Belli Beautiful: The Essential Guide to the Safest Health and Beauty Products for Pregnancy, Mom and Baby

re: Q: Nail Polish OK?

I've been reading a lot about the chemicals in all skin care/hair care products. How crazy should I be about avoiding these things? I'm worried that I'll rush out to buy organic and it is all a little silly.

Melis11 |

re: Q: Nail Polish OK?

My OB said the Revlon nail polish that is formaldehyde,DBP and toluene free is fine.

Shamrock2003 |

re: Q: Nail polish okay?

Really? I can't paint my nails either? Gah! I never read the bottle. I guess it's good to start... jeeze.

xenarena1022 |

re: Q: Nail polish okay?

There are also phthalates in nail polish and other beauty products like perfume. It's probably best to stay away from nail polish first trimester at least. I also cut back on perfume and highly scented products. It's just for a few months, could be worth it in the long run for your baby!-Leilawww.peainthepodcast.com

peainthepodcast |

re: Q: Nail polish okay?

I just went to OPI's website and all nailpolishes have eliminated DBP and Toluene. Some hardeners contain Formaldehyde but it is at levels lower than the guidelines state it should be. Some are made without it, so be sure to check the list.

sblme19 |

what about solar or acrylic nails? is that safe?

I have solar nails, should I get them removed or is it safe to continue to have them filled? And if I get them removed, what about the fumes/chemicals to remove the stubborn things?

tiff515@gmail.com |

Q&A: Can I use nail polish while pregnant?

I am definitely not an expert, but I have done some research. As far as keeping your nails... I read that if you wear a mask, sit by the door or window and have a fan on you then it is pretty safe to have acrylics. Personally, I didn't want to take the risk so I had them taken off and set an appointment for eight months from now!! :) Hope this helps you make a decision!

mrs.peden55 |

Q&A: Can I use nail polish while pregnant?

ii had my arcylic's for like 6 months nd den took them off but ii took them off my self. my baby came out healthy nd was healthy in my tummy. ii heard the same but my bf's sister in law had them done to while she was pregnant nd her baby came out fine to so itsz up to you

MiszJennii_13 |

Q&A: Can I use nail polish while pregnant?

Its your decision anyway... I get a pedicure every month; my doctor hasnt yet to tell not to....

kelseydanielandbaby |

Q&A: Can I use nail polish while pregnant?

My naturopath said it's not great to use the standard nailpolishes while pregnant, or after! I found a brand i like called "no Miss" that they sell at Whole Foods, and they have nice colors and are cruelty and toxin free. Also, there's a company called Hopscotch that makes nail polish in like 20 fun colors and they design their product for kids specifically. They are totally non-toxic and can be applied to kids nails safely, ya know for Halloween or whatever :)

trobird |

Q&A: Can I use nail polish while pregnant?

Does anyone know if getting a mani/pedi is ok?

allimarie79 |

Q&A: Can I use nail polish while pregnant?

Check out Zoya, Priti, Butter London or SpaRitual Nail Polish. All of these brands are committed to producing healthier nail polish that does not contain DBP, formaldehyde or toluene. All of the colors are fantastic and have great lasting power.

jenmbriggs |

Q&A: Can I use nail polish while pregnant?

I took my arcylic nails off right before getting pregnant. I still get a mani & pedi but I bring my own purchased organic polish and take my own foot scrubs, hand lotion and foot lotion (they Arbonne which are all vegan - www.tammyjohogan.myarbonne.com) - we have baby products too.

HoganPartyOf5 |

Q&A: Can I use nail polish while pregnant?

There's also a product called piggy paint that is natural, and pregnancy safe.

airmansgirlamy |

Q&A: Can I use nail polish while pregnant?

The books say nail polish is completely safe while pregnant, though you should paint them in a well-ventilated room, or I'd even suggest painting them outside if you can. Going to the nail salon is up for debate...you can usually smell those chemicals from a mile away and breathing those in are definitely harmful. Those acrylic and solar nails have not been proven to be harmful to the baby themselves, but the risk of infection with those are pretty high considering the tools are rarely cleaned properly and used on several customers daily. It is best to get those fake nails off if you can!

RachyD |

Q&A: Can I use nail polish while pregnant?

OPI nail polish is safe to use during prgnancy. Since 2006, OPI has reformulated its entire line of Nail Lacquers, Nail Treatments, and Nail Hardeners to eliminate DBP (dibutyl phthalate) and Toluene.Formaldehyde has never been an ingredient in OPI Nail Lacquers or Nail Treatments.

destinylynch |

Q&A: Can I use nail polish while pregnant?

Does anyone know about the OPI axxium gel polish. I think the polish is ok but what about getting it off. You have to soak your nails in acetone. Is that ok?

sareduf |

Q&A: Can I use nail polish while pregnant?

What about using nail polish remover??

emmie_02_99 |

Q&A: Can I use nail polish while pregnant?

The other thing you may want to worry about if you go to a nail salon is a lot of places put their own cheap clear nail polish in the bottles to fill them up once the bottle is half gone. Who knows what this clear nail polish is made up of so even is you pick OPI you may not be getting what you think.

MelissaNY05 |

Q&A: Can I use nail polish while pregnant?

my nail hardner doesnt give the ingredients....does anyone know about L.A Colors having any bad chemicals in it? and my SinfulColors and ORLY nailpolish brands say that they are free of any of the harmful chemicals everyone has listed...someone gave them to me so im not sure if they are reasonably priced...but they are awsome!

djkatieandbaby |

Q&A: Can I use nail polish while pregnant?

Here's a website for nail polish & remover that's safe during pregnancy. I just painted mine "Date Night" There's no scent to the polish at all! http://polishedmama.com/products.htm

stephaniefalon |

Q&A: Can I use nail polish while pregnant?

Due to my job I'm not allowed to paint my finger nails but my toe nails are painted every week. I've always done this and my 3 previous babies were just fine :)

punkchick |

Q&A: Can I use nail polish while pregnant?

I would try to avoid as much as possible during pregnancy.. btw artificial nails contain a lot of hazardous chemicals. if you must paint your nails i would make sure its done in a well ventilated area.

bianca102883 |

Q&A: Can I use nail polish while pregnant?

I guess nail polish is not so healthy for you.I recommend fantasy perfumes because these things don't have anything which can harm you.You better wait until you bring your child safe on this world and after that you can think about nail polish.

NotterMan |

Q&A: Can I use nail polish while pregnant?

I always painted my toes while I was pregnant with my son and I also got my nails done. My ob told me it was ok to paint them and have them done as long the room was vented really well.

LoriAnn78 |