How Well Do Non
To answer this question I spent the past few weeks testing out six different non-toxic nail polish brands. I was a bit skeptical I wasnt sure how great a brand labeled as 10-free or 16-free would compare to some of the conventional brands I had used in the past.
But, I am happy to report, I was pleasantly surprised. Overall each of the brands I tested worked really well! Some, of course, worked better than others.
If Youre Pregnant Go Naked
With child? Then its safer for you and your baby to skip nail polish altogether.
Sabrina says: Pregnant woman should think twice before getting their nails done in a nail salon at least one study has also shown that pregnant women who work or regularly visit nail salons may be putting their fetus brain development at risk due to the chemical solvents used.
Nicole Bijlsma is an accomplished naturopath, acupuncturist and building biologist. She adds: Pregnant women, asthmatics and children should all avoid nail polish and removers. Pregnant women or more importantly the developing foetus is uniquely susceptible to the hormone disrupting chemicals typically found in nail salons as they go through critical windows of development. This enhances their susceptibility to learning and behaviour disorders, reproductive problems later in life, and breast and testicular cancers. Remember with hormone disrupting chemicals the lower the level of exposure the better. For this reason, nail polish should be avoided in babies and children.
What Makes A Nail Polish Non
“Products are crossing off ‘toxic’ ingredients from formulas at rapid speed, and some brands offer vegan and gluten-free options,” says Wizemann. Most non-toxic nail polishes are three-free, meaning they do not contain formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate. Beyond that, polishes go as far as being nine-, or 10-, or even 14-free. Here’s the breakdown of what’s missing from those formulas:
- 5-free contains no formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor
- 7-free contains noformaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene
- 9-free contains no formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, parabens, acetone
- 10-free containsnoformaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, parabens, acetone, TPHP, TBHP, gluten
No matter which formula you choose, follow instructions, avoiding use in poorly-ventilated areas. Still wary? “Water-based formulas incorporate non-synthetic pigments and aqueous acrylic polymers, plus they are also odorless,” says Wizemann. Though easy to apply, they are often not as long-lasting. Here, the “cleanest” nail lacquers available right now:
The bottle says it all: “natural as mud.” This kid-friendly polish is hypoallergenic, water-based, and cruelty-free. Sensitive to the smell of nail lacquers? This formula claims to be “virtually odorless,” so you can breathe easy when it comes time to touch up your tips.
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Try Some Natural Nail Tricks Instead
Carla Oates has been researching and writing about natural beauty and health for the last ten years and is a great advocate for the organic industry. She says: You can easily rub a rich emollient in the form of a natural balm to a vegetable or nut oil into your nails to help strengthen them. Opt for unrefined oils as they retain their nutrient profile that infuse vital nutrients into the nail and the skin surrounding your nails. Soaking your nails in a silica-rich horsetail infusion may also help strengthen them. Silica can also be a great supplement to take internally for nail health. Oats are very high in silica too but be sure to soak them before eating.
What to do:
Make your own healing nail oil, a recipe from Carla. Its healing, strengthening and protective. Rich in omega 3,6 and 9, vitamin E and antioxidants.
Nailing It Oil
- 5 drops lemon essential oil
- 2 drops carrot seed essential oil
- 3 drops lavender essential oil
Mix oils together well and put into a 50ml dropper bottle. Massage a few drops into your nails and nail area.
What Makes Nail Polish Non
Following a 2015 study that found chemicals in lacquers can absorb through our nails and into our bodies, brands have begun to weed out ingredients that could negatively affect our health. The most common term you’ll see is three-free, meaning a polish is made without formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate. These are the “big three” ingredients considered to be the most potentially disruptive. Many non-toxic nail polishes are now going further, though, to eliminate others like formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, and TPHP. When a formula doesn’t contain those additives, that’s when you’ll see 5-, 7-, 9-, or 10-free written on the label.
Of course, while being cognizant of using safer products is important, the trade-off shouldn’t be a disappointing nail polish experience. Happily, it no longer is. Glamour‘s staff got down to testing a spate of chic, thoughtful formulas, and came away impressed with the ones below. Scroll on for the best non-toxic nail polish, according to our editors.
All products featured on Glamour are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
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Top 5 Toxic Chemicals To Avoid:
- Dibutyl Phthalate: Also known as DBP, Dibutyl Phthalate keep nail polish from chipping. It is an endocrine disruptor, toxic to the reproductive system and is linked to obesity
- Toluene: Toluene helps nail polish go on smoothly and is toxic to the nervous system as it can impair breathing, cause nausea, cause developmental damage to the fetus, and is linked to malignant lymphoma.
- Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is a huge carcinogen and normally used to embalm dead bodies.
- Formaldehyde Resina: similar to Formaldehyde, but not as toxic. This chemical is used as a nail strengthener, but also a skin allergen and can cause dermatitis.
- Camphor: Exposure to Camphor in large doses, especially through inhalation, can be toxic and cause irritation, nausea, dizziness, and headaches. When ingested can be linked to seizures and in rare cases cause liver damage when applied to skin.
Base Coat Nail Polish
Heres a basic, eight-free polish thats versatile enough for anyone. It comes in 29 beautiful colours that were made to match any skin tone, so youll never have trouble finding your perfect shade. Its also a Leaping Bunny-certified product, which means its absolutely cruelty-free.
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Honeybee Gardens Watercolors Nail Enamel
If you want a gentle, water-based coating, then the Honeybee Gardens polish is the way to go. Going beyond the regular three-, five- or seven-free nail polish, the enamel is proudly 12-free. You dont have to worry about harsh smells, either. The long-wearing formula comes in 26 colours, so choose whichever one suits your mood.
Nail Polish Ingredients Today
This also means that mainstream nail polishes are evolving. Mainstream brands hear consumers want safer options and they adjust. When I sat down to start researching this post, I looked at mainstream brands too like Revlon, Chanel and Maybelline and honestly, I couldnt find not even one formula that still included toluene or dibutyl phthalate.
This is important to note because when brands are making claims like 10-free or 8-free or listing all of their NO ingredients, its not really setting them as much apart from the mainstream as these marketing tactics suggest.
Finding a cleaner nail polish really means taking a look at whats in the formula rather than whats not.
In addition to this, more thoughtful brands have not only stripped out the more dangerous ingredients, theyve also started adding in beautiful, nourishing ingredients too. This post is an opportunity to look at and celebrate these decisions as well.
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Is Nail Polish Toxic Only When It Makes Contact With The Skin
You may think that your nail serves as a protective barrier against nail polish and that it can only be absorbed when it comes into contact with your skin. However, while your skin is more porous than your actual nail, chemicals CAN pass through either barrier. What does this mean? It means that while the toxins in nail polish will pass through your skin at a greater rate, they can also still pass through your nail. So, if you’re still married to your conventional nail polish, be careful to only paint on the nail.
Know Your Nails Just A Little Bit More
I found this stuff interestingit has little to do with nail polish, but I reckon youll want to know it anyway. Consider it an added bonus!
The colour of your nails can also give you insight into your health. If youre intrigued, Carlas shared a little rundown below:
- Yellow or white nails can indicate fungus infection.
- No colour can be a sign of anaemia.
- Purple nails may reflect poor circulation.
- White spots on the nails often signify a zinc or calcium deficiency .
- Longitudinal ridges on the nails can also be a sign of gut malabsorption and digestive issues.
- Soft, brittle nails may also be a sign that your body is not receiving enough nutrients.
- Brown spots on the nails that are pitting may reflect a deficiency in vitamin C or folic acid.
- If the top of your nail is spooned it may signal low B12 and or iron.
- Nails that split easily can suggest a deficiency in minerals such as copper and magnesium and/or essential fatty acid deficiency.
UPDATE: Since writing this post, 4-free and 5-free polishes have exploded onto the market. These polishes are free from camphor or formaldehyde resin , or both . Why would you want to avoid these ingredients? Formaldehyde resin is a dermatitis-causing skin allergen that can remain active for up to three days after your polish has dried. And while camphor is a natural ingredient, exposure in large doses can be toxic and cause irritation, nausea, dizziness, and headaches.
Here is a list of 3-, 4- and 5-free brands.
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Nail Polish Ingredients To Avoid
- Formaldehyde: This is actually only found in hardening products, not regular polishes. It is a known human carcinogen and an irritant to the skin, eyes, nose and throat.
- Formaldehyde resin: This helps the polish adhere to the nail. It’s not dangerous like formaldehyde , but it can be allergenic.
- Dibutyl phthalate : This is a plasticizer that makes the polish more flexible in order to stop it from chipping and cracking. It is linked to hormone disruption.
- Toluene: This chemical makes the polish go on smoothly, so it’s easy to apply. It is linked to headaches, dizziness and fatigue, and is a possible reproductive and developmental toxin.
- Camphor: This is another plasticizer, like DBP. Some people find it irritating.
- Xylene: This is a solvent that ensures your nail polish stays the right consistency. Inhaling it can cause eye and skin irritation, headaches, nausea and dizziness.
- Ethyl tosylamide: This is a plasticizer that helps nail polish to dry quickly. It is linked to antibiotic resistance.
- Triphenyl phosphate : This chemical makes polish more flexible and durable. Studies show that it is a hormone disruptor and is associated with fertility problems.
- Parabens: These are preservatives that prevent bacterial growth. They have been shown to exert estrogenic effects.
- Lead: This metal is found in certain nail polish pigments, and may cause fatigue, headaches, memory loss, miscarriages and premature births.
Now, on to the best five-, seven- and 10-free brands!
Sally Hansen Good Kind Pure
The most shocking discovery of this entire study was realizing Sally Hansen made it to our top 5. I mean, GO SALLY!
Sally Hansens polish touts itself as the first plant-based 16-free vegan nail polish . It comes in 30 shades, is 77% naturally derived and also includes a new plant-based brush. And Ive gotta say, the brush is actually everything here. Its wider than normal but not clunky and it delivers a seamless, dare I say, PRO application.
Sally Hansen GOOD. KIND. PURE is formulated without the aforementioned concerning nail polish ingredients and its also void of benzophenone-1 and benzophenone-3 as well.
In fact, Sally Hansen goes above and beyond adding the following nourishing ingredients into their polish formulas:
- Methylthioppopylamido acetyl methionine: An antioxidant peptide that has DNA protection, cell protection and light protection benefits.
- Persea gratissima fruit extract: An effective skin conditioner.
- Camellia sinensis leaf extract: Contains antioxidants and is effective for protecting skin cells against damage from sun exposure.
- Spinacia oleracea leaf extract: An effective skin conditioner.
Sally Hansen GOOD. KIND. PURE. nail polish
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How To Choose A Non
When choosing a non-toxic nail polish, you may come across 3-free, 5-free, 7-free, and up to 16-free products. These counts indicate the number of chemicals or harmful ingredients that are absent in the formulation. The most common toxic trio is toluene, formaldehyde, and dibutyl phthalate which may cause skin irritations and other long-term effects on your body. You can also steer clear of ingredients like formaldehyde resin, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, and camphor. This ensures that your nail stays healthy no matter how many times you choose to paint them with color.
Choose a water-based nail polish. A water-based polish does not give off harmful fumes and is safe for your skin. Solvent-based nail polishes, on the other hand, can give off toxic fumes, which can be dangerous when inhaled. Since nail colors last long on your enamel, you want to choose a base that is safe for you.
When looking for non-toxic nail polish, you may also want to consider the final look of the color. You can choose a finish that best suits your taste. Whether you want a matte or creamy finish, there is a non-toxic nail polish available for you. Opt for something that has a glossy finish if youre looking for a finish that will compliment your outfit on special occasions. Creme nail polishes are more suitable if you want to add a bit of color to your everyday look.
- Lasting power
Nail Bars Are Not Your Friend
The experts all agree: Dont enter a nail salon. Just dont. If you do go, at the very least make sure you sit next to an open window.
Sabrina says: Linda McSweeny, Journalist for the Medical Observer, describes visiting a nail salon as chemical warfare and it does not take a science degree to know she is right. Nail salons reek of toxic chemicals because they are just that, toxic! You can read more here. Chemicals and other volatile organic compounds are used at such high levels that they can often cause headaches, irritations and breathing problems. Plus there are links to far longer reaching health issues such as cancer and reproductive issues.
What to do?
Some nail bars are going 3-free. Ask your nail technician if theyve switched to 3-free. If all else fails take your own 3-free colour with you.
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Can You Remove Shellac At Home
You’ll need acetone nail polish remover nothing else will do the job. You’ll also need a good nail file with a rough side, some kitchen foil and some cotton pads. … Start the process by taking the rough file and buffing away the top, shiny layer of your shellac or two-week gel nail polish.Apr 7, 2020
Beware Of Polish Removers
Narelle Chenery is a scientist and creative director of Miessence. She says nail polish removers are just as bad as the polishes. Theyre usually full of acetone, fragrances, methyl ethyl ketone, phthalates and toluene. Most of these cause significant damage to the human body, she says.
adds: As far as nail polish removers go, all conventional types should be avoided due to the harsh ingredients, but also the potent fumes.
What to do?
The good news is that most natural water-based nail polishes can actually be removed without any nail polish remover and many of the natural polish brands have their own removers that are safe and toxin-free.
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Shades Of White: Butter London Non Toxic Nail Polish
So Im off to California in a few weeks and wanted to buy a nail polish that suits the warm weather and gives some vividness for summertime.
I knew I wanted in white, but wasnt sure which brand will satisfy my needs.
Im starting to be passionate about non-toxic beauty products and I came across the organic brand Butter LONDON.
Butter LONDON is an amazing beauty product and I can frankly say that I am in love with the color, the feel, the way this nail polish looks, just everything.
Lets talk about the ingredients.
Butter London nail polish is made out of non-toxic ingredients. It does not contain Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP or Parabens.
Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP: Harmful?
Formaldehyde, Toluene, DBP are chemicals responsible for cancer, birth defects, respiratory problems, neurological damage .
DBP is apparently a reproductive and developmental toxin. Toluene can affect the central nervous system and can cause headaches, fatigue, etc.
Formaldehyde is as we all know carcinogen and can cause throat, skin and eye irritation. .
Butter LONDON has created a new formula and left out all of these chemicals to generate a cool toxin free nail polish that is trendy as well.
50 shades of WHITE
AhaI got myself the 50 shades of white creamy Butter London nail polish called Cotton Buds.
Why cotton buds?
What’s The Healthiest Nail Polish
Here, the “cleanest” nail lacquers available right now:10-FREE. Nail Polish. Sundays. … 10-FREE. Professional Nail Lacquer. Zoya. … 10-FREE. Nail Polish. JinSoon. … 10-FREE. Nail Polish. Côte. … 8-FREE. Nail Polish. Smith & Cult. … 8-FREE. Nail Polish. tenoverten. … 7-FREE. Nail Color. Pacifica. … WATER-BASED NAIL POLISH. Nail Paint. Piggy Paint.Sep 6, 2019
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Best Overall: Zoya Nail Polish
These 7-free polishes are not only super affordable , theyre also repeatedly lauded for their staying power. Not to mention that they also recently launched a convenient new tool called The Poppy, which makes it easier than ever to paint your own nails, saving you even more cash.