Formaldahyde and toluene


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Well-Known Member
Dec 28, 2003
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West Sussex
:confused: Can anyone tell me...
1.What function these ingredients perform in nail polishes etc
2.Which brands are free from these ingredients
3.What the pros and cons of these particular ingriedients?

Many thanks for any help in advance
Most professional enamels contain something called Toluene Solfonamide Formaldehyde resin (TSF resin)

Toluene went through a hullabalou about 10 years ago when some dimwit in California tried to get a law passed to prevent the use of Toluene in enamels. It is my understanding that the retail manufacturers signed a declaration never to use it again because of this whilst the pro companies waited for more research to be done.
Well, the research found that the amount of Toluene in a salon is more than 200 times below the safety limits. That meant that you are far more likely to be taking in more toxicity sitting in traffic than in a salon so it was thrown out of court.
Well, that still left the retail makers in a bit of a tight spot as they said they would never use it again.
As a consequence, they have to used other resins that mean their enamels are far less durable and long lasting while pro companies can continue to use a provenly safe and excellent resin.

The only time that a non TSF resin based enamel would come in handy is if the client was allergice to formaldehyde. Even saying that; many who are allergic to formaldehyde are not allergic to TSF resin.

Hope this helps
Being more of a holistic-y person, i do deal with a number of people with allergies, and am looking to make my treatments as hypoallergenic as is practical. It's a very useful mention that not all formaldahyde allergics are allergic to TSF.
I'd still like to be able to look at TSF-free versions and i'm not too sure where to start, other than reading all the lists of ingredients!
I did think i remembered reading somewhere that formaldahyde can cause yellowing of the natural nails - is this true?
I am also aware that (rightly or wrongly) there are people who wish to avoid these particular ingredients. Is there anything else about them it might be useful to know? Or is there a good source of information on this subject anywhere at all (internet, book, etc)?
Thanks for the help :thumbsup:
Look for enamels that are labeled as hypoallergenic or TSF free or toluene or formaldehyde free (or check labels). I can guarantee virtually all pro enamels I know of use TSF resin.
Formaldehyde can cause yellowing, but usually only in larger amounts (ie natural nail strengthener amounts).

Try Doug Schoons book, he talks about TSF resin in it.

Hope this helps ;)
Just to let you know all "Nubar" varnishes are completely free of all of them.
Thank you both for your help and suggestions - a small apology from me as well, as i have realised that some of what you've told me was discussed on some previous threads - so, sorry for making you go over old ground.
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