I first heard about Zoya from my friend and nail enthusiast extraordinaire, Becky. Before she came across Zoya on Instagram, Becky was a die-hard Essie girl. She has accumulated 40 bottles of Essie polish, but it only took one bottle of Zoya to convert her. So when she told me it was the best polish she’s ever used AND they’re made without harmful chemicals, I knew I had to see for myself if this was too good to be true.
Zoya began in 1986 and revolutionized the nail industry by creating polishes that were free of toxin ingredients. All of their polishes are “five free”, which means that are made without: toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and DBP. So what’s so bad about these chemicals? I’ll give you the rundown.
Toluene: When breathed in, this chemical can be harmful to your nervous system and can cause light-headedness and nausea. I already struggle to paint with my left hand so I don’t need any light-headedness to make it that much harder.
Camphor: In high doses this chemical can cause seizures. It also acts as a seal on your nails that deprives them of nutrients and can cause yellow staining. Definitely not something you want in your nail polish.
Formaldehyde- This is the stuff that’s used to preserve and embalm dead animals and humans. If that hasn’t turned you off, formaldehyde is also a carcinogen.
Formaldehyde Resin- This is derived from formaldehyde, and although it isn’t as toxic, it can trigger skin allergies and irritation.
DBP (Dibutyl Phthalate)- In 2006, companies began eliminating DBP from nail polishes because it is a suspected teratogen (causes birth defects). It is banned from children’s toys and should probably be left out of nail polish too!
So after doing some research about Zoya, I bought a few (ok a lot of) bottles to try out. A couple weeks ago there was a buy one get one free sale and I took FULL advantage of it. They have a huge color selection so picking out a few favorites was definitely a challenge. A tip Becky taught me for buying nail polish online is to do an image search of the polish to see what it looks like painted on someone’s nails. When my products arrived, the first color I tried out is called Pinta and it is a so-dark-it’s-almost-black-purple. I love it. The color is super pigmented and the consistency thick enough to keep it from being runny and thin enough to make applying it manageable. I’ve mentioned in other posts that I’m trying really hard to avoid harmful chemicals that can linger in beauty products. So I’m definitely trying to incorporate “five free” polishes into my arsenal. Of all the “five free” nail polished I’ve tried, I really think Zoya is my favorite. Other “five free” polishes I’ve used chip easily or never fully dry. That’s not the case with these. Zoya is definitely proof that you don’t need these chemicals to make a good polish.