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Non-Toxic Nail Polish 101

Nail Polish 101

So it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know, nail polish has a high potential to be really toxic.  The ingredient list on nail polishes is a mile long!  The good news is, there are 3-5 ingredients that should be avoided and there are many amazing brands that are free of these ingredients!  I believe that while navigating through the skin care and beauty world, choosing natural products is an absolute must.  Luckily, it’s getting easier and easier to find more natural beauty products!

Let me help you find the nail polish that is right for you-without the harmful side-effects!

First lets identify those 5 ingredients you should be avoiding when choosing a polish.

  1. Formaldehyde-used to preserve or embalm-remember those frogs in science class??  Yeah, that smell was formaldehyde-GAG!
  2. Toluene-acts as a polish thinner.  It is derived from petroleum and very toxic.  It is the ingredient that helps your nail polish look smooth.  Oh and it’s banned in Europe-Seriously?!
  3. Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP)-This is the ingredient that stains your finger nails yellow-also plasticizers and prevents your nails from “breathing” and receiving nutrients.  It is used to prevent cracking and chipping.  Also banned in Europe.
  4. Camphor-plasticizes and used as a rust repellent.  It is totally poisonous and should not be used on the nails!  (this is different from the essential oil, btw!)
  5. Parabens-A popular preservative.  Many studies are link parabens to hormone issues and breast cancer.

There are many nail polish brands that are under the category of “3-Free”.  These brands keep out the first 3 ingredients mentioned in my above list.  One fabulously cheap brand that is 3-free is Sinful Colors.  These babies are $1.99 each and come in some fun colors!  You can find them at Target and Walgreens!  Luckily, many nail polish companies have become wise and started omitting many of these harmful toxins.

More “3-free” polish brands are: Butter London, CND, Deborah Lippmann, Essie, Estee Lauder (+ no formaldehyde resin) Hard Candy, Lancome (+ no formaldehyde resin), Le Metier, M.A.C. (+ no formaldehyde resin), Nars (+ no formaldehyde resin), Nicole, OPI, Priti NYC (+ no camphor), Spa Ritual (+ no formaldehyde resin), Wet ‘n’ Wild.

“5-free” is even better and there are a few brands out there that are even more safe.  They are: Chanel, Dashing Diva, Dior, Givenchy, Hopscotch Kids, L’Oreal, Nubar, RGB, Scotch Naturals, and Zoya.

Check out my picks for fall/winter colors!

It’s good to know there are so many brands that do not contain harmful chemicals.  Now that you know which brands are safer, it’s easier to make a better choice.  I had no idea Loreal was “5-free”!  They have the most amazing colors this season and best of all, I can pick a bottle up while grocery shopping-always good to multi-task!

xx, Jenni

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  1. Michelle Drosdik says:

    Great article! Have you ever heard of or tried jamberry nails?? Such a great way to get a long lasting look with out the chemical/toxic bath!
    (I’m not personally affiliated with this company, I just use the product, it is a mlm co though)

  2. Very informative! I have been wearing polish on my toes since age 12. I LOVE polished toes. I’ll definitely be purchasing some Sinful polish to take to the nail shop with me. Thank you.

  3. Hey Jenni!
    I love polish but it never stays on for me.. But I found Jamberry Nail wraps and they are 5 free like you talked about and they last for up to 2 week on your fingers and 6 weeks on your toes! And they really do! I’ve never had anything stay on my nails this long, and as a DIYer I’m rough on my nails 🙂
    Check them out if you want to!

  4. Great post! I consider nail polish to be my “toxic indulgence.” That and waterproof mascara. Otherwise everything I put on my face and body is very clean. It’s nice to see which brands omit the Big 3 and Big 5. Even so, I’m sure it’s healthier to let my nails go bare, but I just love the way nail polish looks:)

  5. I see your “5 Free” and raise you a “7 Free” I’ve only tried the Unicorn Horn, but we pretty impressed with how well it stayed on without chipping.

  6. What about piggy paint?!

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