Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Questions About Nail Treatments

As I grow the brand, another consideration is nail treatments. One thing I am noticing is that getting nail treatments specially made without Camphor is extremely difficult. Nail polish without Camphor - no problem, just the treatments. When I get the treatment I ask for with Camphor it out performs the same version made without Camphor. I'm not a chemist nor am I a scientist, so I am unsure as to why this is the case.

With that being said I have been working on adding some nail treatments to the Cult Nails line and have THE perfect top coat, when it has Camphor in it.  Without it, forget it! You have no idea how good this top coat is! It is ridiculous good! I am not kidding you! I asked the lab to explain why this is, and basically it is a Plasticizer used in the treatment or top coat that helps those treatments soak into your nail bed or interacts with the polish to help it dry faster.

Here is some information on Camphor:
  • It is a plasticizer used in polish.
  • It is readily absorbed, so it assists the nail treatments to be absorbed into the nail bed thus helping repair or maintain the natural nail. 
  • It is found in commonly used products due to its antimicrobial and anesthetic properties.
  • Some products that contain Camphor (besides lots of nail polish brands) are Aveeno Anti Itch Concentrated Lotion with Oatmeal, Vicks Vaprub, Johnson & Johnson Band Aid Anti Itch Gel, Benadryl Skin Allergy Relief Cream.
  • The FDA has banned products from using more than 11% Camphor in consumer products
  • In large quantities (Higher than 20%) it is considered poisonous when ingested and can cause seizures, confusion and irritability.
When looking to start my line, I knew that having a polish with Camphor in it would not be a be all end all. If If I started the line with a polish with Camphor in it, I don't think the impact of that would have been that large since many many polishes that we use have it as one of the ingredients. But none the less, I thought with the amount of time I change my polish and the amount of polish I use, it would be safer to just not have it in there. At the time I did not think about it not being able to not be used in quality nail treatments.

I am still working on Camphor free nail treatments, but I sometimes feel like I am getting no where fast. My desires outpace technology on this one I guess. Recently there was a well used top coat that changed formulas and everyone was up in arms. (myself included). They went back to the old formula as a result. I wonder if they were trying the same thing I am trying?

So as I think out loud with all of you guys, I am waging the war with another decision. Put out a quality treatment line that contains Camphor and make sure that everyone understands while the lacquers are Camphor free the nail treatments may not be. And continue working on a Camphor free option and then have both that everyone can choose from. Or continue working on the Camphor free option and wait until I can have that before introducing it. The only reason I am thinking of even putting it out there with Camphor is because this is what I have been using for about 6 months now my take on base and top coats and my nails are so strong and doing so well. In the past no matter what I used, I would eventually end up with splits, tears or breaks somewhere along the way. Now I am able to grow my nails in a shape that supposedly breaks easily and they do better than just fine.

It is what has allowed me to go from this:

To this:

To this:

To this in just weeks:

I am just left wondering which option I should choose. I don't want to give this product up. But the lab won't make it just for me and my personal use. It would also make me a hypocrite if I used one thing and sold another. In order for me to be able to keep using it I have to buy a lot of it, which means I would have to sell it. And we all know how we are once we find that perfect base coat or top coat for ourselves! We just can't give it up! I guess I am just venting since I put myself in this "bed" and you know what they say, you made the bed, now lay in it! But since I have given you guys a lot of other decisions to make, why not this one too. Nail Lacquers stay Camphor free but that rule doesn't necessarily apply to treatments? Or keep working on treatments until I can make them Camphor free? 


  1. I never knew what the big deal was about Camphor anyway. Included or free of it makes no difference to me! Go for it! If it's as fantastic as you're saying, then it'll be a big hit and completely worth any little bit of grief you get over it.

  2. I say go for it, and keep going for your camphor-free treatment goal as well. I'd definitely use what you have now. I've tried different options as well and true enough, anything that is good has camphor in it.

    I used Seche Vite for so long as well as Out the Door. I'm on a CND Air Dry kick right now. I love that it doesn't get gooey quickly like Seche Vite and my polishes don't really chip either. Again, I'd love to try out your treatments, so go for it!

  3. dude...i think people are up in arms because they hear something is "bad" not because they actually know why it's suposedly bad y'know? from what you've explained, it doesn't sound like camphor is anything that i would mind using in moderation and is something that i'm sure most, if not all of us, has used and is probably using already.

    i would MOST DEFINITELY love to try/buy/gobble up your nail treatments if it's giving you those gorgeous nails you've been sporting no matter what the ingredients. srsly, seche vite has a label on it that says it causes cancer and folks still buy it up by the pound!! camphor is not that bad y'all.

  4. Go with Camphor in treatments. It is not nearly as bad as Toluene which is used in most treatments, and performance is key. Good luck!

  5. I say go for the camphor! If it works, it works!

  6. I say "go with what works"..camphor it is!

  7. Go for the camphor!! I'd lovelovelove to try it out:]

  8. My personal test questions are: Does it work? Would I use it myself? Would I recommend it to friends and family? If it's really harmful, that's a no for the last two questions, so it's out. But if I believe something is safe and it works well, that's really the most important thing to me. Personally, camphor doesn't scare me as long as it's in limited amounts. It's the active ingredient in several products I use, love and won't give up. As far as I'm concerned, it's up to manufacturers to make sure they're using same amounts and making us aware it's in there, and it's up to me to make sure I don't go crazy with them and use them in safe and appropriate ways. There are enough bad things out there that deserve real worry from us and I think that many of us focus too much on the small things, maybe because we feel we have more control over things like what we use on our nails than some of the other more dangerous things out there.

    I just received and swatched four colors from your Memorial Day sale and I was extremely impressed with the formula and quality of all 4. When it comes to nail products, I feel like you've proven that you know your stuff and I trust you to sell a product that's both safe and high-quality, camphor or no. Do what feels right to you and I'll support you.

  9. I'd say just go for it, and keep going for your camphor free option as well. It definitely doesn't seem as bad as toluene. If your treatments are awesome (sounds like they will be) people will buy it -camphor or no. Seche vite has toluene in it and hoards of people still use it (personally
    I don').

    I guess I can put this more briefly... I'd buy it for sure!

  10. I vote with all the ladies who've said yes to camphor above. As long as you're clear which products contain it, those who want to avoid it can, and the those who don't can try and see if it works as well for us as it does for you.

  11. I would definitely be okay with nail treatments that have camphor in them! As long as it works, I'm all over it. :)

  12. You all seem to agree go with the good treatment. I did find out some GREAT news yesterday! I screwed up my base coat ingredients, my base coat IS Camphor free! Only the top coat isn't! I confirmed with the lab yesterday! We exchanged many many emails! I am so excited!