Ethics

Benzophenone -1. Why we don’t use it. Among other things…

three nude pink nail polish in glass bottle with timber cap by sienna

Long gone are the days of bottled car paint so ladies could match their nails to the duco… (and long gone are the days of Benzophenone -1)

It’s impossible to be 100% chemical-free and 100% organic when developing nail polish. In fact, no matter how hard we try, it just isn’t possible… yet! But we do believe in being as healthy and safe as possible.

Our nail polish has always been free from Formaldehyde, DBP, Toluene, Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin, Synthetic Camphor, Xylene and Benzophenone -1.

Dusty rose mauve nude nail polish hand swatch on medium skin tone by sienna

Brief overview

 

If it’s a brief overview you want, here it is: All of those chemicals we just mentioned are toxic. Some are carcinogenic and linked to causing cancer, others have been attributed to birth defects, and others can cause various other symptoms including dizziness and respiratory problems. While using nail polishes containing these chemicals in small doses and well-ventilated areas may not pose a major health risk, it can be a big concern for those working in nail salons, manufacturing it or those who are exposed to them continuously over the a long period. The thing is, some of the worst offenders are not even necessary to create a great nail polish formula. So rather than take risks with our collective health, we left them out of our formula completely – no compromises for health.

This is what we mean when we say ‘no nasties’

 

We take our commitment to providing a clean nail polish formula seriously. We know that most people want transparency when they are looking at beauty products, that’s why we list every ingredient of our all our products on our website. So when we say ‘no nasties’, these are the chemicals we are talking about. Read on for a fully referenced breakdown of all the ingredients Sienna has never used, and never will.

The chemicals we will never use


Benzophenone -1

This one is the source of much controversy. Many 7-free, 10-free and ‘non-toxic’ nail polish brands still use Benzophenone-1 in their formulas. Benzophenone -1 is a UV blocker that is used in sunscreens as well as cosmetics to stop discolouration of products. Just to be clear, there are some studies that show it is relatively harmless in small quantities, however it has also been linked to breast cancer9, ovarian cancer10, prostate cancer11, and has been found in human placental tissue12. We have never used Benzophenone-1 and never will. Even though exposure in small quantities may be deemed harmless, the research speaks for itself.

Formaldehyde

A known human carcinogenic. The long-term effects of formaldehyde exposure have been evaluated in epidemiological studies, and have been found to link with leukaemia, brain and other cancers.1 Formaldehyde was listed as a Schedule 6 poison by the Australian Government in the 2012 Poison Standard, which means it is a substance with a moderate potential for causing harm, the extent of which can be reduced with distinctive packaging with strong warnings for safety. However, Appendix C of the Poison Standard notes formaldehyde concentrations of 5% or more in nail hardener and of 0.05% or more in any other cosmetic preparations should be prohibited because of their known dangerous properties. We’re going to stick to our formaldehyde-free polish.

Dibutyl Phthlate

Otherwise known as DBP. Typically used as a plasticiser in nail polishes, DBP poses major health risks, particularly for pregnant women and unborn children. In a 2012 report by the FDA, Guidance to the Industry Limiting the Use of Certain Phalates, it is stated “the Agency has determined that there is evidence that exposure to DBP and DEHP from pharmaceuticals presents a potential risk of developmental and reproductive toxicity”3. The European Commission has identified DBP as a reproductive toxicant and the European Union prohibits the use of DBP in all cosmetics. You can see why we stay away from it.

Toluene

Toluene is a commonly used solvent that creates a smooth finish across the nail and keeps the pigment from separating in the bottle. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)4 states: Toluene can cause headaches, dizziness, cracked skin, irritated eyes, nose and throat. It also states over time, exposure to high concentrations, day after day, may lead to female reproductive system damage and pregnancy loss. If swallowed, toluene can cause liver and kidney damage.

Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin:

This is a polymer used in nail enamels to form a tough, shiny and durable film on the nails. Although it’s considered much safer than formaldehyde, there is strong evidence of tosylamide/formaldehyde resin being a human toxicant or allergen5. There are cases of nail polish dermatitis of allergen origin, attributed to tosylamide/formaldehyde resin6.

Synthetic Camphor

Synthetic Camphor functions as a fragrance, denaturant and plasticizer in nail products. Synthetic Camphor poisoning in humans can occur from swallowing, breathing or dermal contact with preparations containing camphor. It can result in nervous system and kidney effects, or other symptoms including colic, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, anxiety, delirium, convulsions and seizures7.

Xylene

Xylene is a solvent used to keep nail polishes smooth and liquid consistency. Xylene has carcinogenic properties with exposure leading to cancer potential. It is an endocrine disrupter, can have reproductive effects, birth and developmental effects and is toxic to specific organs such as the liver, lungs, heart and gut8.

When in doubt, leave it out

 

We’ve forgone all these dodgy chemicals from the get-go and have created a nail polish that is as healthy as possible while still giving you a durable manicure. But don’t just take our word for it. We are certified by Made Safe who have analysed every single ingredient and deemed us the best.

The ingredients we do use

 

We believe in transparency and you can find a full list of the ingredients we use on our website. None of the ingredients we use are linked to negative or long-term health effects. A safe option for you, your family and your health: Ethyl Acetate, Butyl Acetate, Nitrocellulose, Isopropyl Alcohol, Acetyl Tributyl Citrate, Adipic Acid/Neopentyl Glycol/Trimellitic Anhydride Copolymer, Polyethylmethacrylate, Stearalkonium Bentonite, Sucrose Acetate Isobutyrate, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Etocrylene, Silica, Diacetone Alcohol, N-Butyl Alcohol, Trimethylpentanediyl Dibenzoate, Phosphoric Acid, Dimethicone, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, Polyethylene Terephthalate, Calcium Aluminium Borosilicate, Mica.

 

May Contain +/-:
Ci 15850 Red 7 Lake, Ci 15850 Red 6 Lake, Ci 77499 Black Iron Oxide, Ci 77891 Titanium Dioxide, Ci 15880 Red 34 Lake, Ci 77163 Bismuth Oxychloride, Ci 77491 Iron Oxide, Ci 77510 Ferric Ferrocyanide, Ci 19140 Yellow 5 Lake, Ci 77000 Aluminium Powder, Ci 60725 Violet 2, Ci 47005 Yellow 10, Ci 77007 Ultramarine Blue

Sources:

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