Hold Up: Is Your Nail Polish Making You Gain Weight?

Victoria Hoff

Who could have possibly guessed that our nail lacquer of choice can have an impact on our waistline?  A new study from Duke University shows that many polishes contain a toxic chemical that can wreak havoc on hormones—in turn, causing weight fluxuation, among other side effects.

The culprit is triphenyl phosphate, or TPHP, which is used to make lacquers more durable and flexible. Other studies show that TPHP is an endocrine disruptor, meaning that it tends to make our hormones go haywire, even causing reproductive problems in some cases. Of 3,000 nail polishes tested by the scientists on this study, 49% contained the chemical.

Levels of TPHP tend to be higher in women than in men, which leads scientists to believe that it's due to women's higher use of chemical-laden cosmetic products. This study confirmed this in the case of the nail polish: Every single one 26 participants had elevated levels of TPHP—up to seven times the norm, to be exact—10 to 14 hours after painting their nails with a polish that contained 1% of the chemical. 

The solution is simple: Do your research, and pick a polish that you know doesn't contain TPHP. (We love Butter London.) And for what it's worth, the researchers also found that when applying the TPHP polish to synthetic nails while wearing gloves, the participants' levels weren't raised at all.

What do you think of this slightly terrifying news? Sound off in the comments below?

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