The 10 Best Non-Toxic Nail Polish Brands
Deciding what nail polish color to buy is a tough choice, but trying to decipher the ingredient label on the bottle is almost impossible.
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 that non-toxic nail polishes won't perform without the harsh chemicals in their formulas," 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."
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, the 10 best non-toxic nail polishes.
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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 hot pink shade.
You don't have to be in NYC to experience Tenoverten's eco-friendly salon manicures. 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).
Olive & June
If you're looking for a classic red nail polish, free of hard-to-pronounce ingredients, look no further than Olive & June. The polish line from L.A.'s favorite nail salon is "seven-free," but the bold color doesn't hold back on staying power. You can expect to have a shiny, chip-free manicure for days.
You avoid harmful chemicals in your food, makeup, skincare, and haircare products, so why aren't you doing the same for your nails? That's the M.O. of Base Coat's plant-based line of nail polishes.
What's more impressive than Côte's vegan, cruelty, and toxin-free 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.
It's impossible not to feel chill when you step into one of Sundays' two minimalist NYC nail salons. And using one of the salon's in-house polishes at home will put you at ease, too. All of the shades were designed to be non-toxic to ensure your manicure is safe for you, and if you're at the salon, the nail technician, too. 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.
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 longwear, high-color payoff. Take this bold royal blue for example. It looks just as fresh seven days in.
Veque Nail Polish
This indie polish brand is vegan, cruelty-free, and doesn't include the 10 most harmful chemicals commonly found in many nail polish formulas. Aside from a wide selection of sheer, bold, and metallic colors, Veque also makes one of the most innovative base coats around. Its white tint makes pastel and neon colors pop.
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.