Formaldehyde is a common mineral compound found in many substances, including cleaners and floor polishes, paper, and paint. It is naturally-occurring in human tissue as an ingredient of cell membranes. This chemical compound is used as an additive in the application of nails, which prevent scratches and abrasion from growing in to a protective layer over nail platelets.
By creating a protective layer between nail platelets, nail polish inhibits the growth of fungi and bacteria that cause chipping and cracking to your manicure. No, it does not. Of course, they are only chemicals, that is one of the disadvantages of the cosmetics industry. Unfortunately, it seems to me that Formaldehyde is needed to function properly. It creates the vinyl film, the shell, the sheen, and thereby allow the polish to 'exhibit' the definition of 'look' (otherwise it would be completely washed out!). For my wife's nails, I used one coat of Old Spice Orange Cream, and the final coat of pure light blue nail polish to achieve the final.