Last Friday, I went over to my favorite nail salon by work. Liz – who is ah-mazing – has been keeping my hands looking great all winter long. The next day dawned sunny and warm – a beautiful summer day in the middle of winter.
Since we were going to be outside all day, I didn’t even think twice about slathering sunscreen all over myself and the kiddo! Then – moments later – I knew that I had made a tragic mistake and my manicure was ruined!
Last summer, I did a little research and found a website that discussed how sunscreens can soften or dissolve nail polish and acrylic nails.
According to thebeautybrains.com – a website where a group of cosmetic scientists, who understand what the chemicals used in cosmetics really do, answer consumer questions -- they write that some of the ingredients used to dissolve the sunscreen agents also dissolve kinds of acrylic chemicals used in nail polishes and fake nails. In fact, thebeautybrains.com, also states that some of these dissolving agents are used in acetone free nail polish removers.
They continue, “For example, if you look at Cutex’ Acetone Free polish remover, you’ll see that it contains dimethyl adipate which is very similar to ‘dibutyl adipate,’ a common emulsifier used in sunscreens. So it is not surprising that you’re seeing a problem with your sunscreen making your nail polish sticky. And, this problem is only likely to get worse because as new high SPF, broad spectrum sunscreens become increasingly popular, cosmetic formulators will have to add more dissolving agents to the product to keep the active ingredients dispersed.”
Unfortunately, these chemists can’t tell you which sunscreens will cause this problem; however, they offer a tip for testing your own sunscreens.
They suggest smearing a little of your favorite nail polish on a piece of glass or use an empty nail polish bottle or mirror. Then squeeze or spray a little of the sunscreen product onto your polish smear to see if it softens the film.
Well, without conducting this home test, I can tell you that pretty much all of my sunscreens cause this to happen. The biggest culprit is my Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock – which contains the new high SPF. I use it under my make-up every day because it has a Dry Touch technology to provide an ultra-light, non-shiny finish and it also protects me from the sun.
Hawaiian Tropics Sheer Touch Sunblock Lotion, which I love because it is a lotion with sunscreen and smells like a tropical vacation, but the “Sheer Touch” technology, is my arch nemesis here too.
Lastly, my son’s Coppertone Kids – both spray and lotion – mess me up every time.
I had to have an action plan so, last summer, I started picking up latex gloves from the Dollar Tree to apply these lotions but what a pain in the you know what! But I was resigned to my fate that this would be my destiny.
But my friend Eliza recently gave me hope.
She told me about her organic nail salon -- Color Me Green -- which is an eco-friendly and organic nail boutique – located in Manhattan Beach. Eliza gets gel tips – the non-toxic alternative to acrylics – and hasn’t had any problems with her manicure after putting sunscreen on her two little ones.
I gave Color Me Green a call and asked them about this dilemma. The owner told me to bring my sunscreen and they will let me conduct my test with their organic nail polish; however, they said no customer has ever complained or just simply let them know that this has happened.
Realistically, I think the lesson to be learned here is that I need to go organic -- with not just my mani and pedi’s -- but my sunscreen too. If all these chemicals are causing reactions topically, I wonder how else it could be affecting my body and the rest of the fam.
I am going to head over to Color Me Green for my next mani/pedi and I’m hoping that I will say so long to my sticky fingers.
Color Me Green located at 2001 Sepulveda Blvd., Unit C, Manhattan Beach, CA (310) 545-7474