Tips On Using Nail Polish While Breastfeeding

GUIDE For Breastfeeding Mothers

Breastfeeding can be tiresome and delicate, especially for a first-time mother.

A Must-Read: How to Cut Toenails if You Can’t Reach Them

Additionally, the whole process of nursing a newborn child can be time-consuming, and this can be challenging for breastfeeding mothers.

Being mindful of the beauty products they use is vital for ensuring the health of their newborns. This begs the question, is painting your nails bad for breastfeeding?

The answer to this question is no. Painting nails with nail polish does not pose dangers to the newborn. However, you should know that there is such a thing as too much nail painting.

Nail polish contains the two most common chemicals, formaldehyde, and toluene.

If left on for too long, they can pose irritation dangers to the eyes, lungs, and the whole breathing system of the user. Realistically speaking, the body can absorb only a tiny percentage of chemicals through breathing.

That means that even if you paint your nails with nail polish while at the same time breastfeeding, you are safe. Still, take precautionary measures to avoid compromising your health.

Choosing nail polish free from these chemicals is one way to do it. Additionally, nail polish removers are safe to use while breastfeeding and make sure to look for acetone-free polish removers. Practice hygiene by washing your hands after using the nail remover.

This chemical has its primary function in nail polish as a hardener. And to minimize chemicals you might inhale, paint your nails in a well-ventilated room, which allows fresh air to free flow, diluting the number of chemicals traveling the air. Chemicals in the nail polish are as follows:



If this happens, irritation can occur on your eyes, nose, or even through your lungs. When it comes to breastfeeding mothers, there is a high chance for the mother to suffer the side effects than the likelihood of suffering any adverse effects. The reason?

Once you inhale the chemical, it breaks down inside your body, so the newborn stays safe. Some developed countries are regulating formaldehyde in products to minimize cancer risk.

During the production process, these developed countries have managed to minimize the use of formaldehyde to 0.2%, which is a small amount. 


Toluene is a chemical that gives nail polish a smooth texture for easy application. The consequences of breathing the toluene chemical are similar to formaldehyde.

Extended exposure to toluene chemicals can alter your nervous system as well as pose dangers to your unborn children.

How to Reduce your Exposure to Toluene and Formaldehyde

Choose a nail polish that is free from formaldehyde and toluene chemicals. Reduce the number of times you use nail polish, preferably once a week.

Apply the nail polish in a well-ventilated room to allow the free flow of fresh air. Let the nail polish dry when stretching your nails away from your face to avoid inhaling the nail polish.

How to Take Care of Painted Nails

To get a deep color pigmentation, apply three nail polish strokes. Start from the base of the nail striking, then apply up to and down to get even nail polish application.

But first, apply the base coat. The base coat is an essential layer, and it forms a protective coat to prevent polish from spreading away from the nail bed. Additionally, the base coat acts as a hardener and increases your polish’s staying power without chipping. 

Apply Thin Layers of Nail Polish

Thin layers of nail polish dry faster compared to thick layers. Additionally, thick layers of nail polish tend to peel out quickly, making the nail polish last for a short period. Applying a thin layer also saves you time on top of that.

Use the non-acetone nail polish remover. Acetone formula contains chemicals that are harmful to your nails. Always apply thin layers of nail polish, maintaining the three strokes per nail.

To avoid this, use acetone-free nail polish removers, and they will help you strengthen your nails successfully. Keep your hands moisturized at all times by applying healthy oils like coconut oil. Keeping your cuticles moisturized helps prevent the buildup of hangnails.

Beauty Products to Avoid While Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is a necessary process that every mother goes through in the quest to feed or nurse her newborn baby. For this reason, the whole process should be handled with care so that the baby does not get any infections.

Some beauty products are safe to use during the breastfeeding period, and conversely, there are other products that a breastfeeding mom should keep away from.

This section will focus on the beauty products a breastfeeding mom should refrain from using. Some of these beauty products include:

Acne Medications

Most of the acne medications contain chemicals that are not as safe as they can cost contamination to the mother’s milk.

Sometimes, it can be challenging to check which over-the-counter products are safe to use while breastfeeding because almost all products contain chemicals.

Before using these types of medications, seek medical advice to find out which other options are available for use and the best directions to apply the medication safely.

Nail Care

As much as most nail care products get regarded as safe for use, there is a need to learn about the chemical contents in the products.

To stay safe and protect your newborn, use nail polish products free from chemicals like camphor and formaldehyde.

Additionally, minimize the exposure of using acrylics and nail gels as there is no substantial research showing these nail polishes’ full effects.  

Hair Treatment Methods

Many breastfeeding moms get worried that dyeing the hair or even perming the hair affects the breastfeeding process negatively. Well, if you are in this category, you can relax.

The truth is that there is no need to worry about such cases. As much as hair products involve chemicals, minimal amounts of the chemicals get absorbed by the skin.

Scientists say that as long as a nursing mother has no wounds on the scalp, the skin tends to absorb fewer quantities of the chemicals that do not have any power to affect the breastfeeding baby.


Most of the skin bleaching agents used contain hydroquinone ingredients, which can affect the milk of a nursing mother.

When nursing a child, the mother needs to seek individual attention from a skin therapist to get advice on the types of bleaching agents to continue using while breastfeeding and the ones to do away with.

Do not assume that all the bleaching agents will whiten your skin and leave all other organs safe, seek advice early enough.

Doing Tattoos

Tattoos look good on the skin, especially if they convey a particular message. But while adding beauty to individuals, tattoos also heighten the chances of individuals getting infections. 

Many people end up contracting diseases like HIV and hepatitis B because the tools used to draw tattoos are not well-sterilized. Additionally, many bacterial infections get transmitted through the pigment used when making tattoos.

When a breastfeeding mother contracts infections after drawing a tattoo, the internal system also gets contaminated, which poses a health risk to the newborn breastfed. Avoid getting tattoos when breastfeeding to keep you and your new safe to be on the safer side. 

Lotions and Body Creams

Body creams and lotions get considered safe to use even when breastfeeding. Most lotions and creams contain alpha hydroxyl acids that do not pose any health dangers to users.  

The best practice to observe when using these beauty products is to ensure that you do not apply them near the nipple area. You should avoid products that contain ingredients like retinoid, which mostly get used when removing wrinkles.

They have undergone thorough testing and shown to contaminate a breastfeeding mother’s milk and cause severe congenital disabilities during pregnancy. 


Parabens are found in many beauty products as one of the components. It would help if you refrained from purchasing these ingredients because they get easily absorbed into the body.

After a long time of using such products, the chemicals build up. Once this type of ingredient gets absorbed into the internal system of a breastfeeding mother, the endocrine system gets distorted.

The newborn baby will end up ingesting the chemicals, which will end up ruining her health system.


It is the joy of every mother to see her newborn in good health and smiling. At the same time, becoming a mother does not mean that one neglects her wellbeing.

For this reason, the breastfeeding mother should take time to know which beauty products are safe to use while breastfeeding and which she should avoid.

For instance, nail polish application is one exercise that aims to give ladies unique looks, but breastfeeding mothers should watch out for the types of nail polish they use. Never compromise health for beauty’s sake.

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