What woman doesn’t love a good nail polish? Nail polish is a great pick-me-up when you’re having a bad face day or when your outfit just isn’t working. If your nails are good, you’re good. It’s just makes you feel more put together. The problem is that many women (including me, until recently) unknowingly use their favorite colors and brands without understanding the harmful effects the chemicals in their polish could be doing to their bodies. Below I outline the top chemical offenders in most brands and my top picks for the best non-toxic nail polish.
Nail Polish Chemicals
You don’t need me to tell you there is some nasty smelling stuff in nail polish. Most of the time it smells like you opened a can of paint thinner and are trying to find a well ventilated area so you don’t pass out. Stay clear of the five toxic nail polish chemicals below and you are off to a good start.
Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen. It is the stuff they use to embalm dead people and animals. When it is used in controlled environments, there are warnings to avoid skin contact and inhalation. Yeah, not something you want to put on your nails or breathe in while you are doing it.
Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP)
DBP has been linked to reproductive issues and malformations of embryos, as well as cancer. It is commonly used as a plasticizer. It has been banned in Europe.
Toluene gives you that wonderful paint thinner smell. It is commonly used as a liquid solvent. If you breathe in the vapors, it can cause central nervous system problems, light-headedness and/or nausea. It can also cause developmental problems in children and birth defects in babies of women who had exposure while pregnant.
Camphor can cause staining (usually yellow) of your nails and has been linked to seizures and/or disorientation if used in large quantities.
Formaldehyde resin is an off-shoot or derivative of formaldehyde. It is not as toxic, per se, as regular formaldehyde, but it can be an allergen. It is mainly used to make coatings and adhesives – still not a good idea to use on your body.
Some experts will also tell you to stay away from Triphenyl Phosphate (a flame retardant that is a possible endocrine disruptor) and Xylene (an irritant that can cause systemic toxicity), but I think that if we can all agree to at least stay away from the top five chemicals we are making a great start.
My Picks for the Best Non-Toxic Nail Polish (in no particular order):
I personally own and like the colors: Laurie, Bela, Godiva, Micky, Lo, Nana, and the Clear Top Coat
I personally own and like the colors: Rock Candy and Jewel
I personally own and like the colors: Daydreamer and Fame
Great for kids.
As a side note, I am sure that any of the corresponding brands’ nail polish removers would also be good.
The organic nail polish remover that I use now:
Karma Naturals: Easily bought on Amazon
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I recommend these products because they are products that I personally use or companies that I have found trustworthy.