10 Non-Toxic Nail Polish Brands for a Chip-Free Manicure
These formulas last for days.
Deciding what nail polish color to buy is a tough choice, but trying to decipher the ingredient label on the bottle is even harder.
In recent years, traditional nail polish has earned a bad rap for containing potentially harmful ingredients and an equally offensive odor. In response, major players in the nail polish industry have cleaned up their act, eliminating the five-known carcinogens (formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde resin, and camphor) that can cause health issues if consumed or enter your body through your nail beds. And in the interim, a ton of new brands specializing in non-toxic nail polishes have popped up, too.
Today, five-free polish formulas are common, with some brands going up to 10-free, but the misconception that these cleaner formulas don't perform as well as traditional polish is still out there.
"It's a myth," says Amy Lin, founder of Sundays Studio, a boutique non-toxic nail salon in New York City. "Eliminating these chemicals can change the texture of the nail polish, making it thinner. With Sundays, we've added more non-toxic pigment to our formulas to compensate for this so that clients still get that creamy, opaque finish."
However, anyone who has ever painted their nails at home knows that not all polishes are created equal. That's why we've searched high and low for the best non-toxic nail polish brands that offer the widest range of shades and a shiny, long-lasting finish. Ahead, our 10 picks.
Sally Hansen Good.Kind.Pure
You feel good about the price of a Sally Hansen nail polish whenever you pick up a bottle at the drugstore, and now you can feel even better knowing what's in the polish you're putting on your nails. Good.Kind.Pure is the brand's first-ever clean, vegan collection. The 16-free, plant-based formula comes in 30 colors, including this sandy nude.
You don't have to be in NYC to experience a Tenoverten manicure. Co-owners and friends Nadine Abramcyk and Adair Ilyinsky created a line of non-toxic nail polishes that can be purchased online and come in an amazing array of colors. The formula is "eight-free," meaning it doesn't contain formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, and triphenyl phosphate (TPHP).
Along with the perfect red, Emilie Heathe's nail polish comes in a handful of chic colors. The nail polish formula is infused with nourishing ingredients found in skincare to strengthen nails.
It's impossible not to feel chill when you step into one of Sundays' two minimalist NYC nail salons (they do offer guided meditation with every service). And using one of the salon's in-house polishes at home will put you at ease, too. All of the shades were designed with both the consumer and technician in mind. The formula is "10-free," and doesn't include TPHP, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, parabens, and tert-butyl hydroperoxide.
Olive & June
The polish line from L.A.'s favorite nail salon is "seven-free," but the bold colors (including this lime shade) don't hold back on staying power. You can expect to have a shiny, chip-free manicure for days.
Smith & Cult
What people love most about Smith & Cult's cult-favorite eight-free nail polishes is their high-shine and full color coverage. The brand also makes some of the best glitters in the game.
JinSoon's nine-free nail polish formula is known for its long-wear, high-color payoff. Take this gorgeous lavender for example. It looks just as fresh seven days in.
What's bold, shiny, and chip-free? Your at-home manicure when you use one of Butter London's eight-free nail polishes. Like the brand's name implies, this formula goes on as smooth as butter.
What's more impressive than Côte's clean, vegan polish formula is the brand's extensive shade range, which includes three different finishes. From creamy mint green to shimmery violet, odds are one of the 120+ colors is the exact polish you've been eyeing for your next manicure.
Yes, it's possible to get a salon quality manicure at home, thanks to nail polish formulas like Orosa. The brand's 14-free nail polish comes in a ton of on-trend shades, including fruit-inspired papaya.
From non-toxic makeup and skincare to sustainability practices, Clean Slate is an exploration of all things in the green beauty space.