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Long before I ever started cleaning up my beauty products, I wondered about non toxic nail polish.
I love getting pedicures, but I hate going into nail salons because of the fumes. I just knew that something that smelled so awful couldn’t be good for my health.
I think the last time I went to a nail salon was more than two years ago. And because I’m awful at painting my own nails, they usually remain bare.
So non toxic nail polish wasn’t high on my list of clean beauty products to research simply because I didn’t use it.
But my seven-year-old daughter loves painting her nails, and I knew I had to find some cleaner options. (Correction: She loves having me paint her nails. Her little brother likes it, too.)
Is there really such a thing as “non toxic” nail polish?
Some people may not consider any nail polish to be “non toxic.” For them, their safest option is not to use it at all, which is me most of the time. But sometimes my kids and I want to paint our nails, and I want to use cleaner options.
As with anything in life, you must weigh the pros and cons based on your own personal needs and circumstances. This blog post will help you!
What does “free” mean in non toxic nail polish? (5-free, 8-free, etc.)
When you see bottles with terms like 5-free or 8-free, it means that the product does not contain five or eight (or whatever number) of the most common toxic ingredients in nail polishes.
When I reviewed the “free” lists of different brands, most of them excluded the same ingredients up to 7-free but they started to differ at 8-free.
Many nail polishes these days are at least 3-free, but there are so many nail polishes available that exclude even more ingredients so it’s easy to find cleaner options. I was in my local Target the other day and there were A LOT of non toxic nail polish options.
Here’s a list of the most common ingredients to avoid:
3. Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
|5-free||4. Formaldehyde resin|
|7-free||6. Ethyl tosylamide|
|8-free||8. Triphenyl Phosphate (TPHP)|
You should also avoid parabens, sulfates, and added fragrance.
Also, be aware of the really high “free” numbers like 17-free that are mostly marketing ploys. Some of these brands include ingredients in these lists that haven’t been used in nail polish for years. They also often lump terms like vegan, cruelty-free and gluten-free into their “free” list, when those are lifestyle choices rather than harmful ingredients (unless you’re allergic to gluten). But if those things are important to you, then make sure you look for non toxic nail polish that falls into those categories.
Three reasons to have a waterless mani/pedi
When I first heard about waterless nail services, my first thought was “thanks but no thanks.” But after reading why waterless is better than a traditional soak, I’m sold on the idea.
First, a waterless pedicure is more sanitary. Have you ever thought about what germs and bacteria might be lurking in those foot bowls? Eww.
Second, the nail polish will last longer. Soaking in water causes the nails to expand. When they dry, the nails contract and cause the polish to chip and lift. It’s also probably why water-based nail polishes don’t last long.
Third, the chemicals in nail polish are less likely to absorb into the body because the nail pores haven’t expanded.
And, of course, it’s always more eco-friendly to use less water.
Non toxic nail polish brands
Below are 20 (!!) safer nail polish brands to try. I’ve only listed ones that are at least 7-free based on the chart I listed above. I did not do in-depth research into the ingredients past looking at each brand’s “free” claims. And this is not an exhaustive list, either; there are probably many more brands that I haven’t listed below.
- AILA Cosmetics (available on Amazon)
- Tenoverten (also available at Target and Amazon)
- Ella + Mila (also available at Target and Amazon)
- Sundays (available on Amazon)
- Zoya (available on Amazon)
- Orosa (available on company website)
- Jinsoon (available on Amazon)
- Côte (available on Amazon)
- Sally Hansen good. kind. pure. (available at Target and Amazon)
- Butter LONDON (available on Amazon)
- Smith and Cult (available on Amazon)
- Flora 1761 (available on company website)
- Lakur by Londontown (available on Amazon)
- Habit (available on Amazon)
- Expressie by essie (available at Target and Amazon)
- 10+ Free Chemistry (available on company website)
- Spela (available on company website)
- Base Coat (available on company website)
- Veque (available on company website)
- Nailtopia (available at Ulta)