We had a question from a part-time esthetician who would go to client’s homes to give manicures and pedicures. No artificials are used, so the fumes are straight from the regular nail polish bottles. Now that she is trying to get pregnant, she was wondering if she should stop doing house calls until all is said and done, or if it is ok to continue doing manis and pedis throughout her pregnancy.

We checked with Dr. Linda Ducholke, physician and a mother of two, and she responded that there is no reason why our reader can not continue to do both manicures and pedicures through your pregnancy.  You can be a little more sensitive to smells during pregnancy so you might want to ensure you are in a well-ventilated space while working, (ie. with a window or door open). The smell and fumes will not hurt the baby but they may make you feel unwell, especially in the first three months.

Our own research indicates that to be prudent, choose your polish wisely. Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) is a chemical used in many cheaper nail-polish brands and the fumes can be pretty harsh. However, there is no clear evidence of this and stressing too much while pregnant is not good for you or your baby.

More often than not, polishes also contain other chemicals like formaldehyde and toluene. Formaldehyde is used as a nail hardener and can irritate eyes, noses, throats and lungs. Toluene makes the consistency of the polish smooth. If you want to be on the safe side, choose polishes that don’t contain either of these chemicals.

Nail polish Without Harmful Toxins

There are an increasing number of polishes on the market that are more and toxin-free and environmentally friendly. We have used the folowing:

  • Zoya
  • Suncoat
  • Piggy Paint (with cute bottles for the kids too!)
  • Sundays
  • Cote
  • Butter London
  • Smith & Cult
  • Essie
  • Aila
  • Deborah Lippman
  • Tenoverton
  • JinSOON
  • Honeybee Gardens
  • RGB
  • Sheswai
  • LVX