The Best Non-Toxic Nail Polishes That Promise To Be Better For You & The Environment
There are so many buzzwords in the beauty industry that it can be difficult, if not not impossible, to keep up. More and more of these terms revolve around clean beauty: the idea that toxin-free cruelty-free products are better for you and the environment. Skincare has been pushing it for a while. But now the trend has moved to nails. While plenty of brands offer "healthier" varnishes, finding the best non-toxic nail polishes can require a little research.
Three chemicals kickstarted the trend. As Time reports, they are the carcinogen formaldehyde, a plasticiser called dibutyl phthalate that has a possible link to reproductive and developmental health issues, and toluene, which can potentially affect the nervous system. Removing the big three, as they are now known, from their formula allowed brands to use the "three-free" title.
Over the years, some have eliminated more and more potentially hazardous chemicals. Now, it's common to find 8- or even 13-free polishes. Although the level of exposure that provokes a detrimental health response isn't clear, industry insiders believe non-toxic varnishes are positive in more ways than one. “The skin around our fingers and cuticles is sensitive and absorbent, so non-toxic polishes tend to be kinder to nails, meaning less chance of drying out our nails and skin, which can cause irritation and inflammation," Sherrille Riley, founder of the Nails & Brows boutique, told Refinery29.
However, authors of a 2018 Environmental Science & Technology study into non-toxic nail polishes have advised wearers to do their research. After testing 40 polishes from 12 different chemical-free brands, researchers found that, in some cases, hazardous chemicals were being swapped for similarly risky ones. "There’s no clear information on whether these nail polishes are actually less toxic," co-author Anna Young told Time.
If in doubt, double check the ingredients list. Here's a few top-rated brands that will let you try out the non-toxic look.
1. The 13-Free Option
U.S. brand Orly has released more than 50 shades in its Breathable range. The collection is free from a whopping 13 chemicals and is based on a formula that won't chip and doesn't require a base or top coat. Each polish will also keep your nails healthy thanks to an infusion of vitamin B5, vitamin C, and argan oil.
2. A Glittery Look
3. An Innovative Formula
Butter London Patent Shine 10X Nail Lacquer
Butter London's varnishes are truly technological. This deep pink lacquer is made using patented Shock Resistant Polymer Technology. That's a fancy way of saying that it can give a gel-like effect for up to 10 days. It's also free from eight chemicals and infused with a combination of nail-strengthening bamboo extract and diamond powder.
4. For Healthy Nails
Benecos Happy Nails Nail Polish
The German brand has a sharp focus on all things natural. Its vegan nail polish range is free from formaldehyde, camphor, silicone, parabens, and phthalates and includes biotin and avocado oils for nail health. Apply two coats and seal with a top coat for the best look.
5. A Gluten-Free Addition
6. A Pro-Looking Finish
7. A Brand With Expertise
The only problem is there's way too many colours to choose from.