In today’s article, I’m sharing the best non toxic & clean nail polish brands that I wear daily. Let’s talk quickly about non-toxic nail polish. After using clean nail polish for almost a decade, I’ve tested a lot of brands that say they make healthy and chip-resistant polish. But can nail polish really be non-toxic?
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What is Non-Toxic Nail Polish
The truth is nail polish can’t be truly non-toxic. What I mean is it can’t be 100% natural to function like a normal nail polish. For nail polish to function the way it should, it needs SOME chemicals. While there ARE 100% natural versions for kids, they’re not exactly suitable for adults. So what’s a company to do? The solution: take out the most harmful ingredients that could negatively affect our health. So technically, non toxic nail polish actually means low-tox or less-toxic.
That’s why you’ll see clean nail polish described as 5-free, 10-free and even 21-free. The number refers to the number of worst offenders the brand leaves out of their formulas. These include: formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate. formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, and TPHP. I’m sharing some of my favorite healthy nail polish brands and some of the best nail trends to try in 2023!
Tip: Remember to use a proper base coat and top coat (non-toxic) to give yourself a proper chip-resistant manicure!
Toxins to Avoid in Nail Polish
These are the most common ingredients to avoid in nail polish.
Formaldehyde: Known for its preservative properties, formaldehyde is used in some nail polishes but has been associated with health concerns.
Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP): DBP is a plasticizer that has been used in nail polish to improve flexibility. Due to potential health risks, including reproductive issues, many nail polish brands have phased out the use of DBP.
Toluene: Toluene is a solvent that helps in achieving a smooth finish. However, it has been linked to respiratory and nervous system issues.
Camphor: Camphor is used in some nail polishes to provide a glossy finish. It may cause skin irritation and allergic reactions in some individuals.
Formaldehyde Resin: This is a derivative of formaldehyde and is used to improve the adhesion of nail polish. Some people prefer to avoid it due to potential sensitivities.
Xylene: Xylene is a solvent that can be irritating to the skin and respiratory system.
Ethyl Tosylamide: This antimicrobial agent is sometimes used in nail polishes. Some people avoid it due to its potential impact on antibiotic resistance.
Parabens: While less common, some nail polishes may contain parabens as preservatives. Parabens have been associated with endocrine disruption.
Triphenyl Phosphate (TPHP): TPHP is used to improve flexibility and durability in nail polishes and can disrupt hormones.
Benzophenone-1: This ingredient is used to prevent UV light from causing color changes in the polish and can cause endocrine disruption.
My Favorite Non Toxic Nail Polish Brands
Eco Glaze has been one of my new favorite nail polishes! They use a cleaner formula made from 70% bio-sourced ingredients (sustainable and renewable) and are 14 free. The shades are SO good and vibrant, plus long-lasting.
This is the sister brand of China Glaze, and I’ll be honest, I do NOT like China Glaze nail polish. It turns kind of filmy and chips off easily, so I was skeptical of how their new clean nail polish brand would perform especially at such a low price. But Eco Glaze feels like way higher in quality and it lasts much longer without chipping.
Ella + Mila is an amazing non toxic nail polish brand that’s 17-Free, vegan and made in the USA. They have a super impressive selection of colors available.
Function design and beautiful lacquer collide in the fashionable world of Emilie Heathe. If you’re looking for a beautiful red or deep, rich shades Emilie Heathe has a sophisticated range of high-performance colors.
- Contains nourishing oils and antioxidants: Bamboo Extract, Sea Buckthorn Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Vitamin E, Zinc, Biotin & Coconut Oil
- 10-FREE: Made Without Parabens, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor, Toluene, Xylene, Ethyl Tosylamide, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Tert-Butyl Hydroperoxide (TBHP) + Animal-Derived Ingredients.
- Emilie Heathe Website / Amazon Store
French in origin and popular worldwide, Kure Bazaar is 4-free and made of up to 85% natural origin including wood pulp, wheat, cotton, potatoes and corn.
Huella is a 10-free and vegan nail polish brand that focuses on delivering high-shine and chip-resistant nail polish.
SAVE: Discount code OBL saves 10%
On the affordable end we have Lakur by Londontown, which I find has decent wear for a budget friendly bottle.
- Vegan, Cruelty Free, Gluten Free
- Florium Complex infused formula
- 90+ high-pigmented colors
- Vegan, cruelty-free
8-free and vegan nail polish brand Deco Miami might be focused on nail stickers these days, but their nail polish is one of my OG favorites. They’re beautifully designed and packaged and come in a size that makes sense. Their nudes are my favorite!
For a seriously budget friendly nail polish, Gabriel Cosmetics nail polishes perform great for under $10. I prefer their opaque shades over their shimmery ones.
- Vegan, gluten-free, cruelty-free
- Free of: formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, camphor, formaldehyde resin, xylene, parabens, fragrances, phthalates, and animal ingredients
Another quality budget nail polish brand to try is ZOYA. ZOYA evolved from a small nail salon into a spa focusing on healthy, natural solutions for natural nails. They now have a wide range of 10-Free formula thats used often on runways. And they’re only $10!
Another one of my longtime favorites is Trust Fund Beauty. Yes, Khloe Kardashian loves their Put A Ring On It shade. They don’t have the biggest shade range, but you can find your nudes, reds, darks and some pretty funky colors too.
- PETA & Leaping Bunny certified
- Worldwide shipping
Cable Knit Nails
Andrea is a clean beauty expert from Los Angeles, California with 10 years of experience in clean beauty, natural skincare and organic living. She writes for Organic Beauty Lover using her expertise to guide readers in choosing the best clean beauty products. Andrea graduated from the University of Southern California in 2012 and has worked at multiple skincare companies, big and small. Connect with her @organicbeautylover.