Ever take off your nail polish and find a thin, discolored white spot that makes your wonder if your nail is damaged? You're not alone. Most drugstore and professional-quality polishes contain a toxic substance called toluene.

Toluene is a common ingredient that helps lacquer adhere to nails and creates an even finish. However, it weakens nails and strips them of their protective coating. When inhaled, its fumes can also cause serious damage to your reproductive and central nervous systems and to your skin. Be aware that toluene may appear on labels as benzene, methyl-methylbenzene, or toluol.

Short of never painting your nails again, what can you do? Fortunately, a few companies have caught onto this hand hazard. Poshe' makes a toluene-free base and top coat. This way you can still use your favorite polishes in between these layers, but your paws will remain protected. And even Maybelline's new polish is toluene-free. Since it's so easy to stay safe, why not use these, I say.