Safer Nail Polish Roundup

Guide to Safer Nail Polish version 3

You wouldn’t think nail polish was a complicated subject, but sadly it kind of is. Creating that colorful, hard, durable coating for your nails involves chemicals – and some of them are worse than others. So if you choose to use nail polish, it’s wise to know what’s in it.

Why It Matters

Since polish goes on hard nails, not directly on skin, you may think it’s not a big deal. But it turns out that the combination of solvents and other chemicals in nail polish make nails more absorbent. That combined with absorption via cuticles and surrounding skin, mean that these chemicals are getting into our bodily systems. As proof of that point, a study by Duke University and EWG found that participants who painted their nails had elevated levels of an endocrine disrupting chemical (TPHP) in their urine. Endocrine disrupting chemicals are known to interfere with normal hormone functioning, and can lead to weight gain and reproductive irregularities. Not good.

Chemicals to avoid:

  • formaldehyde and formaldehyde resin
  • dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
  • triphenyl phosphate  (TPHP)
  • toluene
  • camphor

Safer Nail Polish Brands*

As the truth about nail polish has been uncovered, more companies have been cleaning up their ingredient lists. All of the brands listed here are at minimum 5-FREE, meaning they are free of the 5 most common bad actor chemicals. Some go further, eliminating 7 or 8 different chemicals. They are all vegan/cruelty free as well. In addition, some are water based and odorless, apparently making them even safe for pregnant women (although you should always check with your doctor first).

In terms of performance, they all have great reputations for quality. The only downside is that they can be harder to remove than conventional nail polish. I’ve found that allowing nail polish remover to sit on the nails for a minute before taking it off, helps quite a bit. That plus a bit of elbow grease will get the job done!

Guide to Safer Nail Polish // www.mindfulmomma.com

Mineral Fusion

  • 5-FREE (formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, camphor, and formaldehyde resin)
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty free

Zoya

  • 5-FREE (formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, camphor, and formaldehyde resin)
  • Vegan

Aila

  • 8 FREE (formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, formaldehyde resin, camphor, triphenol phosphate (TPHP), parabens, sulfates)
  • Vegan

 

Guide to Safer Nail Polish // www.mindfulmomma.com

100% Pure

  • 5-FREE (formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, camphor, and formaldehyde resin)
  • Plus free of xylene, parabens, fragrances, phthalates
  • Vegan

Acquarella

  • 5-FREE (formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, camphor, and formaldehyde resin)
  • Plus free of parabens, lead, mercury, FD&C, coal tar
  • Water based
  • Odor free
  • PETA certified cruelty free

Honeybee Gardens

  • 5-FREE (formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, camphor, and formaldehyde resin)
  • Water based
  • No FD&C colors
  • PETA certified cruelty free

Guide to Safer Nail Polish // www.mindfulmomma.com

Julep

  • 5-FREE (formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, camphor, and formaldehyde resin)
  • Vegan

Pacifica

  • 7-FREE (parabens, phthalates (dibutyl phthalate), toluene, xylene, camphor, formaldehyde, resin)
  • Vegan (including brush)

 

Guide to Safer Nail Polish // www.mindfulmomma.com

Black Dahlia Lacquer

  • 5 FREE (formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, camphor, and formaldehyde resin)
  • Vegan
  • Leaping Bunny certified cruelty free

Priti NYC

  • 5-FREE (formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, camphor, and formaldehyde resin)
  • Plus free of TPHP , xylene and all parabens
  • Vegan
  • Cruelty free

Keeki Pure & Simple

  • 5-FREE (formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, camphor, and formaldehyde resin)
  • Plus no acetone
  • Water based
  • Cruelty free

Do you have a favorite safer nail polish brand?

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*Note: There are affiliate links in this post. If you make a purchase I may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you). Thank you for supporting Mindful Momma!

About Micaela

Micaela Preston is a marketing and communications consultant specializing in natural, organic and eco-friendly products and the health and wellness space. Micaela is available as a social media manager, green lifestyle writer, public speaker, brand ambassador and marketing manager.

Comments

  1. Love that somebody else is starting to cover this! I’ve read more and more articles on this lately. Only one note – Scotch Naturals I believe has gone out of business. Their website has nothing for sale and says new colors will be released in Summer 2015. Their social media accounts have been dormant for multiple years : / such a shame since I only heard about them earlier this year!

    • Oh no! Not sure how I missed that – I was on their website but didn’t notice that everything was sold out. 🙁 When I have time I will trade that one out for a different brand!

  2. I love Cote’s nail polish, based here in Santa Monica!

  3. Have you heard of Piggy Paint? I’d like to get something for my toddler that is safe.

  4. I have used Honey Bee nail polish. It never comes off–seriously. The instructions tell you to take it off in a week. I was too lazy and had painted nailed the whole summer.

  5. I use Poofy Polish! Safe for all & free from all the nasties listed above. Even rated one of the best nail polishes by Kris Carr. Over 100 beautiful colors to choose from. Purchase Poofy Polish here: sweetmelissas.poofyorganics.com

  6. Love to use Piggy paint and Pinki Naturali from Luna star naturals for my kids. Great colors and look awesome on kids nails.

  7. Jamberry Nail Laquers have the 5 free. I love them! They have great staying power, and can also be removed very easily.

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