All About Non-Toxic Nail Polishes

My last post about my new favorite nail polish color inspired me to share my experiences about different brands and colors that are not just vegan but more natural too.  In that post I talked about what is an 8-free nail polish but this time I would like to introduce you the other options too on the market, a 3 to 10-free guide and why you should always choose ‘green’ nail polishes!

picture from Pinterest

Short and sweet reason on why: for your health and for the environment.

I repeat myself every single time I talk about ‘green’ products and these two reasons would be my answer. But to be more exact… Nail polishes are easily available in drug store and sometimes in the supermarkets too, but they never mention anything about the ingredients. I mean who would buy it if it would say, they contains endocrine distruptors? Would you still buy it if they would tell you formaldehyde is a human carcinogen and air pollutant? I do not think so… (if still yes……. don’t say yes please, have some self-respect my dear and care about your health!)

Let’s dive deeper!  The ingredients inside your nail polish can cause: skin-, eye- and mucous membranes irritation,  reproductive and developmental problems, central nervous system depression, headache, fatigue, weakness, tiredness, confusion, weakness, drunken-type actions, memory loss,  it may affect the kidneys and liver and has been linked to birth defects,  watery eyes, headache, a burning throat and labored breathing, extreme fatigue, mental confusion, nausea, dizziness, nausea and/or vomiting, kidney and liver damage, hormone disruption and so on. PRETTY INTENSE ISN’T IT?

(My dear European friends! Three of the most toxic ingredients are banned from the EU, call them the ‘toxic trio’: dibutyl phthalate, toluene compounds and formaldehyde.)

On the environmental side: Your nail polish is hazardous. It is flammable! Don’t throw your bottle in the trash and neither try to recycle it. It has to go to a hazardous waste facility.

These are the brands and colors I have tried lately:

#1 benecos nail polish

I bought 2 colors (Rose Passion and Hot Summer) in Europe and I love them to the moon and back. They dry fast, last long, vegan and they are 8-free, which means they don’t contain these: toluene, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde resin, paraben, xylene, camphor, streaks of colophony. For me, this brand’s nail polishes are the absolute winners, not just because they contains up to 90% natural ingredients also of their quality too.

#2 BohoGreen

I bought two colors also (Sunset and Nature) a few months ago. I use them quite often. They last long and the colors are beautiful too. I would recommend them. They are vegan and 8-free. And I like Boho Green’s makeup line too.

#3 Terra Naturi

I bought it in a drug store also in Europe. It is a vegan 5-free nail polish and is the drug stores’s own brand. I don’t know much about it and I couldn’t find too many information about it either. I love this color, but unfortunately 5-free is still high in toxic ingredients… The color is called Magic Dust. If it is fine by you, go for it!

#4 ncla nail polish

I only tried 1 color (Taurus) and it does last long, but the result was uneven as it shows on the photo too. I bought this nail polish a year ago and used it many times and I could never achieve even look with it, eventho I am a certified nail technician too, not just a makeup artist. It is vegan and 7-free. This brand is specialized in nail polishes and they have so many exciting colors. I really love their branding, maybe I just got unlucky with this color.

And here you can search weather your nail polish is toxic or not.

What does x-free doesn’t contains:

  • 3-free: ‘toxic trio’ aka dibutyl phthalate, toluene compounds and formaldehyde
  • 5-free: Formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, and camphor
  • 7-free:  Formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, and xylene
  • 8-free: dibutyl phthalate (dbp), toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, triphenyl phosphate (tphp)
  • 9-free: Formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, parabens, and acetone
  • 10-free: dibutyl phthalate, TPHP, toluene, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, parabens, and tert-butyl hydroperoxide
  • You can find water based ones that does not contains: Formaldehyde, formaldehyde-like derivatives, toluene, ketones, petrochemical solvents, DBP, phthalates, polyurethane, polyurethane film-formers, parabens, camphor, mercury, lead, FD&C, coal tar, gluten, wheat by-products, aromatic hydrocarbons

If you wish to do a research about what these toxic ingredients may cause, please do so!

Sidenote: Whilst, I am happy to introduce alternative versions of nail polishes they are still not free of toxic ingredients neither fully natural. They are not as bad as commercial ones. And if you are planning to purchase nail polish in the future please choose the ones with less toxins inside of them and make sure that they are not tested in animals! 

If you have tried other non-toxic nail polish brands please let me know in the comment below! I would love to hear about your experience.

Love and kindness,


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