Do you have an old container in your cosmetic arsenal with nail polishes from God knows when? Yeah, I did too. And I cleaned it out recently to replace them with new nail polishes that are known to have fewer chemicals. Let’s face it … during this unprecedented time, we might all be having to do our own nails for a bit!

Did you know: besides the strong dangerous aroma of traditional nail polishes, the chemicals can enter our bloodstream through our thin nail beds, much like chemicals can through our pores when we use skin products?

A study at Duke University showed that a chemical called TPHP was in the blood of every tester who wore nail polish. Even worse, the study showed that two of the eight products did not even disclose that on their labels! Where is truth in labeling?

Many companies, thankfully, have now eliminated the ingredients that are big no-no’s. They’ve reformulated into new “free” versions. You may have read “3 free,” “5 free,” or even “10 free” on labels. That’s good news! But what does it mean?

Most non-toxic polishes are 3 free which means they contain no formaldehyde, toluene, or dibutyl phthalate. As a comparison, a 10 free formula has no formaldehyde or resin, toluene, DBP, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, parabens, acetone, TPHP, TBHP, or gluten.

So get tossing! Ditch those old polishes and start your new collection with safer formulas. Popular brands include Zoya, Cote, Ella Mila, Pacifica, Orosa and Orly Breathable Treatment and Color. These new formulas paying staying power and nourish nails without damaging them.

If you have a daughter who loves her nails painted, try Piggy Paint. This is a kid-friendly polish that is hypoallergenic and cruelty-free, with barely any odor. With names like Dragon Tears, Tickled Pink, and Wild Child, what girl wouldn’t want a collection? Honestly, I may grab some for myself. It will make painting nails more fun- and definitely a safer- experience.

Nail polishes aren’t the only cosmetics that are bad for you. It’s a good idea to educate yourself about potentially hazardous chemicals and ingredients in everyday products. You can learn more ingredient info at the California Prop 65 website or at the EWG’s Skindeep website. EWG has articles and specific ingredient listings and ratings to learn what to avoid so you can make safer choices.