Nail polish can pose quite the conundrum. The lure of fun, sparkly nails is often hard to ignore. But at the same time, we know that most commercial nail polishes are full of harmful ingredients and that getting a mani means exposing ourselves to some toxic chemical nasties.
You can read more on why nail polish is so problematic, here.
Fortunately, not all nail polishes are created equal. Some are undoubtedly safer than others. The beauty industry has heard the call for non toxic nail polish and many brands (even the big ones) now offer 3 free and 5 free polishes.
But while it’s great that we can now feel better about our manicures, the many types of non toxic nail polishes can sometimes be confusing. So today, we wade into the world of safer nail polish and introduce you to our favourites.
3 free nail polishes are free of the so-called Toxic Trio: dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, and formaldehyde. These three are the most harmful—and most common—toxic ingredients found in many mainstream polishes.
But why stop at 3? There’s also 4 free, which is free of the Toxic Trio, as well as formaldehyde resin.
As you can see, the number refers to the amount of toxic ingredients removed from the nail polish formula. Today, 5 free is the gold standard. These safer polishes don’t contain the Toxic Trio and are also free of formaldehyde resin and camphor.
On top of the nasties mentioned above, 7 free nail polish is also free from ethyl tosylamide and xylene.
Our top 7 free pick is Hanami, which is cruelty free, palm oil free, vegan, and made in Australia. These polishes are fast drying, chip resistant, and come in a range of gorgeous colours.
8 free nail polishes go even further. These are free from DBP, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, and triphenyl phosphate (TPHP).
Our top 8 free picks: Benecos (budget friendly, doesn’t chip, and comes in a variety of vibrant shades) and Butter London (their on-trend polishes last up to 10 days and are formulated to strengthen nails).
10 free nail polishes strip out even more bad stuff. These are free from all of the dodgy ingredients previously mentioned, plus fragrances and animal ingredients.
You never have to worry about your 5-year-old chewing off (and eating) her nail polish again. Snails, one of our fave kid friendly nail polishes, is completely odourless and comes off with just soap and water. This brand is said to be the “first 12 free, water based and washable French kids nail polish in the world” and is made in the EU under the strictest cosmetics laws. You’ll be glad to know that even mums can use this.
Have you made the switch to non toxic nail polish? Which is your favourite?