OK courageous woman, now that you have a minute to spend some time on you (thank you for allowing this post to serve as your reading pastime) let’s have girl talk.  When that daunting moment comes in which your nail tech tells you to “pick a color,” do you know if you have selected 10-Free nail polish when standing in front of “the wall of too many choices without labels?”

Fortunately, we here at DKT have done the dirty work for you so you can simply focus on choosing that one color that makes you feel your best at that board meeting or makes you feel sassy on date night.

For starters, 10-Free nail polish is any polish that does not include Dibutyl Phthalate, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Xylene, Parabens, Ethyl Tosylamide, Acetone, Fragrance, and Camphor. What are those, you ask? Well, here is a breakdown:

Dibutyl Phthalate

Dibutyl Phthalate can be thought of as a “plasticizer.” Meaning, it is added to harden liquids with a certain formula.  This culprit has been used in adhesives and printing inks. It has also been banned in the European Union.


Toluene is typically used as a solvent and added to gasoline and paint thinners.  The list of side effects from exposure to this unpleasant toxin is extensive so we’ll spare you the drag and allow you to read for yourself.


Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde Resin is the worst of the bunch (is that possible?). It’s a colorless, flammable gas that is typically used in construction materials and househould products.  Now, girlfriend, please explain how construction materials and our porous nail beds warrant the use of the same ingredients?


Camphor has its place in medicinal health but not necessarily within health and beauty. It used to be derived from tree bark and sap in the pre-historic time but has since been chemically manufactured from turpentine oil. This oil in itself is highly toxic which means Camphor being the derivative has increased toxicity levels if it gets into the blood stream. 


Acetone is a known irritant, mostly affecteing our throats and noses. In the highest of doses, it has been known to negatively affect our nervous system.


Xylene is another “plasticizer” that keeps your polish from getting too goopy. Although it isn’t technically classified as a carcinogenic yet, it has been known to cause some serious side effects and reactions. Some of which include: headache, dizziness, and even nausea.

Ethyl Tosylamide

Ethyl Tosylamide is another plasticizer, whose primary role is to help our nails go from wet to dry in no time. However, it has antibiotic-like properties. This is a huge issue as the scientific and medical worlds are hard at work battling antibiotic resistance.


Parabens is a blanket term for various types of preservatives. What makes them so dangerous is their ability to mimic estrogen in our bodies, causing harmful hormonal imbalances. When left unchecked, parabens can lead to cancer.


As an added bonus, DKT Polishes is formulated without fragrances. This limits the possibility of an allergic reaction to our products.

While our nail beds stand to take a good filing and drilling from time-to-time, it is important that we think about the polishes that glaze them since they are porous and link directly to our internal health[1] .

So, the next time you are asked to “pick a color,” what are you really picking up?

Shirlynn Brownell