12 Best Non-Toxic Nail Polishes for 2021
These non-toxic nail polishes look good and are good for you.
Everyone loves a good DIY manicure, but perhaps we should be focusing less on how to make nail polish last longer and more on how to make it less harmful to our health. In 2015, a widely quoted study co-authored by researchers at Duke University and the Environmental Working Group reported evidence of a common nail polish chemical called triphenyl phosphate (TPHP). The chemical, a known endocrine disruptor that may interfere with hormone function, was found in the bodies of every single woman who painted her nails for the study. Other toxins in nail polish have been linked to additional health issues. That’s where non-toxic nail polish comes in.
You’ve probably read about 3-free, 5-free, 7-free, 9-free, 10-free products (among others). There’s a reason those numbers appear on labels. “Non-toxic nail polish generally means that the formulation does not contain these three ingredients: toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), or formaldehyde. This is also listed as ‘3 Free’ on the packaging,” said Dasha Minina, founder of Maxus Nails, which sells vegan polishes that are free of 10 chemicals (aka 10 free). The higher the number, the more toxic chemicals the polish excludes.
The good news is that in the past few years, more nail polish companies have committed to creating less-toxic products, so it’s easier to find the best nail polish and best gel nail polish without compromising your health. (Just be sure you know how to remove gel nail polish without harming your nails.)
Best non-toxic base coat
If you have brittle or weak nails or just want a little extra TLC, try a strengthening base coat. We love the way this cruelty-free vegan nail polish preps nails for a full manicure. Knowing this is free from 11 toxic chemicals will help you feel good about slicking it over your nails.