The Best Non-Toxic Nail Polish for an Eco-Friendly Manicure
You already know it’s important to use natural makeup and safe and effective natural deodorant to prevent harmful chemicals from getting into your body. But did you know you should also make the switch to non-toxic nail polish for the same reason?
That’s right! Even though your nails are harder than your skin, your body can still absorb the harsh chemicals in nail polish.
Plus, we have the added problem of breathing in those chemicals every time we use nail polish (as well as the nail polish remover, top coat, base coat, and any other treatments).
Learn more about the harmful ingredients lurking inside those bright bottles of nail polish. Then discover the best non-toxic nail polish so you can ensure every manicure and pedicure is better for your health!
Is Nail Polish Toxic?
Toxic chemicals are hiding in all types of ordinary household products we commonly use, including nail polish. If you take a look at the ingredients in nail polish, you’ll see some pretty crazy chemicals.
Even though most of these chemicals are hard to pronounce, they’re typically harmless. However, there are three very toxic chemicals you should avoid at all costs: dibutyl phthalate, toluene, and formaldehyde.
Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) is a plasticizer that makes plastics more flexible. Short-term exposure to DBP has been linked to nausea and irritated eyes, skin, nose, mouth, and throat. Long-term exposure could have damaging effects on the reproductive system — especially in men.
Additionally, like other phthalates, DBP has been linked to other concerns, including hormone changes, diabetes, and thyroid irregularities.
Toluene is a paint thinner. It has been associated with numbness, dizziness, kidney and nervous system damage, dry skin, and irritated nose, eyes, and throat.
Even though formaldehyde is frequently used in a variety of products, this known carcinogen can pose a significant danger to our health. Refusing to purchase products that contain formaldehyde is obviously the best way to avoid it.
These hard-to-kill houseplants that are great for beginners and these pet-friendly houseplants can also help absorb and remove formaldehyde that might be floating in the air inside your home.
Other Health Concerns With Nail Polish
While this toxic trio of chemicals is of the highest concern, there are other chemicals you need to look out for in nail polish. They include:
- Triphenyl phosphate (TPHP): An endocrine disruptor that can harm the reproduction system.
- Formaldehyde resin: A derivative of formaldehyde that can be a skin allergen.
- Camphor: Strips nails of their nutrients and can cause seizures and disorientation.
- Lead: Harms almost every organ system in the body and has been linked to a huge number of negative health effects. (Lead has even been found in store-bought face paint and the needles of artificial Christmas trees!)
- Xylene: A potential carcinogen that’s absorbed very quickly when inhaled and can irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract.
- Parabens: An endocrine disruptor that mimics estrogen in the body and disrupts hormones, harms fertility and reproductive organs, and increases the risk of cancer.
- Ethyl tosylamide / epoxy resin: An antibiotic that could contribute to antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.
- Methylisothiazolinone (MIT) / methylchloroisothiazolinone (CMIT): Preservatives linked to allergic reactions, lung toxicity, and possibly even neurotoxicity.
- Hydroquinone monomethyl ether (MEHQ/HQ): Can cause eye and skin irritation.
The Best Non-Toxic Nail Polish
To advertise their safety, many nail polish brands will tout themselves as “3-free,” meaning they don’t include DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde. However, you should actually go a step further and look for nail polishes with formulas that are 5-free, 10-free, 13-free, or higher.
Not only are these non-toxic nail polishes safer than conventional nail polish, but you also don’t have to sacrifice color, shine, or wear time. Check out these top non-toxic nail polish options and find the ones you want to wear today!
1. Rooted Woman
Founder India Williams created Rooted Woman when she began to realize that her pursuit of professional success meant she was putting her own self-care on the back burner. However, she also realized that many products people like to use during self-care can also be toxic.
Rooted Woman is a Black-owned, woman-owned brand that wants people to value self-care by using clean, natural products that are better for their health and the environment. Their gorgeous nail polishes are non-toxic, vegan-friendly, and handmade in small batches.
The 10-free polish has a clean, consistent coverage that looks good even with just one coat.
You can find Rooted Woman nail polish at EarthHero, which is one of the best zero waste online stores for all of your eco-friendly essentials. If you decide to shop at EarthHero, you can use the code EARTHFRIENDLY to take 10% off your order!
Related: Outstanding Eco-Friendly Makeup Brushes That Are Also Vegan!
Zoya makes non-toxic nail polish that’s free of 10 major chemicals. Plus, since these polishes are vegan, you can rest assured they’re not made with any animal-derived ingredients.
The company was founded in 1986 by Zoya and Michael Reyzis. They evolved their business from a small nail salon into a spa and beauty products line that focuses on healthy, natural solutions.
The affordable polish comes in an absolutely huge range of colors (over 600!) so you can easily find your favorites that go with your skin tone. You can also find finishes that include everything from cream and glitter to iridescent and metallic.
Plus, along with individual bottles, you can buy quad packs that come with 4 perfectly coordinated shades.
Related: The Best Reusable Cotton Rounds (Perfect for Removing Nail Polish!)
3. Sally Hansen Good.Kind.Pure
It’s important to note that not every option from Sally Hansen is a 10-free polish. However, if you’re looking for a good non-toxic option, check out their Good.Kind.Pure collection.
This nail polish collection isn’t just 10-free, or even 13-free. In fact, it’s free of an incredible 16 chemicals! Good.Kind.Pure is also the first plant-based and completely vegan product from the brand.
Instead of containing toxic ingredients that are terrible for your health, this nail polish is made with a variety of natural ingredients that can help grow and strengthen your nails, such as marine algae and bamboo.
The nail polish comes in a wide range of shades, so you can easily find your favorite colors. Plus, the cruelty-free nail polish includes 100% plant-based brush bristles for a smooth, streak-free application.
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4. butter LONDON
Butter LONDON offers a range of cosmetic products made with clean ingredients that are safer for you and always cruelty-free. This includes a nice selection of 8-free formula nail lacquers that give a chip-resistant, gel-like finish.
Just one swipe with the unique brush applicator gives you flawless, full-color coverage. Then, the radiant curing helps harden and dry the polish with natural light so you can enjoy up to 10 days of wear.
This vegan nail polish also includes bamboo extract to help promote stronger nails and prevent peeling and breakage for healthier-looking nails.
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5. Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro
If you’re looking for another outstanding option that gives you the look and durability of gel polish without toxic chemicals, check out the Gel Lab Pro line from Deborah Lippmann.
This non-toxic, 10-free formula doesn’t require a curing light to set. However, you still get to enjoy gel-like wear and shine that lasts a long time.
It also includes numerous natural ingredients to help enhance the health of your nails and the look and longevity of the polish. This includes biotin, rice protein, and green tea extract for health, as well as bamboo for strength and carnauba wax for shine.
Even though this polish is strong and brilliant, it still comes off with regular polish remover — no soaking necessary. Plus, this vegan and cruelty-free nail polish brand uses absolutely no animal testing, which means it’s safe for you and the animals we share the planet with.
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6. Ella + Mila
You can rest assured the nail polish from Ella + Mila is actually vegan and cruelty-free because it’s certified by PETA. Plus, since it’s a 7-free nail polish, it doesn’t contain dangerous ingredients like formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, and camphor.
The quick-drying polish is made in the United States and comes in a wide range of trendy and fun colors. You can also get all types of finishes, such as matte, glitter, holographic, jelly, neon, metallic, and shimmer.
Related: Ditch the Plastic With These Skin-Softening Lotion Bars
You won’t find harmful ingredients inside Nailtopia nail polish. Instead, this company uses an 85% bio-sourced, plant-based formula.
This includes a mix of real fruits and vegetables to provide calcium, biotin, vitamin A, vitamin B5, and naturally derived plant proteins to help strengthen your nails. Plus, not only is this polish non-toxic and packed with vitamins and minerals, but it’s also 100% vegan and Leaping Bunny-certified cruelty-free.
Nailtopia polish comes in a great range of bright colors. You can also find plenty of on-trend finishes, such as creme, metallic, and shimmer.
Related: Get Soft and Smooth Hair With the Best Shampoo Bars
8. ORLY Breathable
ORLY Breathable is a 12-free polish with a hydrating formula that acts as both a base and topcoat. The stylish shades of this vegan and cruelty-free polish are infused with argan oil, vitamin B5, and vitamin C to give you stronger, healthier looking nails.
As the name suggests, this polish has a breathable formula that prevents chipping and peeling while still promoting oxygen flow to your nails.
In addition to offering clean, non-toxic nail polish, ORLY also has innovative features that make it easier to paint your own nails. This includes a unique gripper cap for easy opening and handling, as well as a smooth brush for flawless application.
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9. 10 Free Chemistry
10 Free Chemistry makes a nail polish that’s better for you and better for the environment. Their clean, non-toxic polish is an astounding 21+ free and up to 85% naturally derived.
Even though this breathable, vegan, and Leaping Bunny-certified cruelty-free polish is made with plant-based ingredients, it still provides up to 10 days of wear. You’ll also appreciate that it’s infused with a revitalizing serum that helps rehydrate, restore, and strengthen nails from the inside to improve their appearance.
Additionally, the polish is made in the USA with sustainable ingredients and eco-friendly packaging to help reduce its carbon footprint. 10 Free Chemistry has a fantastic range of colors in pearl, matte, and shimmer finishes.
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Tenoverten makes a 5-free nail polish that doesn’t contain chemicals like DBP, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, and camphor. This means you don’t have to sacrifice getting beautiful, chip-resistant color to enjoy healthier, stronger nails.
The company believes that healthy and effective aren’t mutually exclusive concepts. That’s why they put people and the planet first. It’s also why they believe that cruelty is never acceptable.
With colors that range from bright to natural, you’ll have no problems finding a vegan polish that you love.
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Best Non-Toxic Nail Polish Brands
Thanks to these top non-toxic nail polish brands, you can avoid the dangerous and negative effects associated with traditional nail polishes while still enjoying the fun and beauty of painted nails. Make the switch today and discover how the clean beauty movement can help you live a healthier and more eco-friendly life!
More Helpful Sustainable Tips
Did you enjoy learning more about the best non-toxic and eco-friendly nail polish? Interested in discovering even more tips that can help you live an eco-friendly life? Then please be sure to take a look at some of our other popular posts:
- Simple Swaps You Can Make to Create a More Sustainable Bathroom
- How to Get Energy Naturally and Quickly
- The Best Non-Toxic Cookware to Keep Dangerous Chemicals Out of Your Food
- Enjoy Ethical Shimmer and Shine With Eco-Friendly Jewelry