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12 Non-Toxic Nail Polish Brands

12 Non-Toxic Nail Polish Brands

The more natural I go with skin care, the more natural I go with everything I put on my body. My latest green switch is nail care. I am a big fan of painted nails. In my jewelry career, that was limited to my toes, as it was pointless to paint my fingernails – they were never long and were in constant use.

I was watching a rerun of my favorite guilty pleasure, Gilmore Girls, and Lorelai’s nails were painted this great fire-engine red. This was about a week before Christmas and I thought, “Perfect!” I ran to my bathroom, got my fave O.P.I. red and started to paint. Then, I noticed the smell. My husband has what we like to call “dog nose” (thanks to a funny line in an even funnier book, Diary of a Mad Mom-to-Be by Laura Wolf). This affliction causes him to smell things more deeply and strongly and than the rest of us, especially me. Problem is, I seem to have contracted it as well in the few months since we moved back to the states, and the nail polish was seriously making me feel like I was going to lose my lunch. And the kicker? It wouldn’t dry. Ever. I think it was the rain.

Whatever the cause, after four hours trying to dry in the evening and a sleepless night spent with my nails sticking to my flannel sheets, I got up and removed the perfect red that was now all smudged and still not dry. The lacquer/formaldehyde smell stuck with me through the night and my nails felt a little bit like someone was trying to peel them off. I’ve known for years that nail polish and standard polish remover is not terribly healthy for us and even less healthy for the environment, and I’d been thinking for a while that I needed to switch. But would non-toxic colors really last? Would they come in the shades I like? Would plain old alcohol really remove them?

Image from www.tinker.com

Hence began my search for non-toxic nail polish. I’ve been more aware of healthier lacquer since I attended the Women In Green Forum this past September, but haven’t been painting my nails much (or at all, really) and haven’t had the right impetus to pursue researching it. Until now.

There are lots of brands out there that say they are all-natural or non-toxic, but there are three ingredients you are looking to avoid:

1. Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)

2. Formaldehyde (yes, seriously. In your nail polish.)

3. Toluene

These three have been linked to problems ranging from skin irritation in people to birth defects in animals.

Polishes that exclude all three of the above-listed chemicals:

1. Piggy Paint, non-toxic, odorless, kid-friendly, kid-colored, water-based formula.

2. Honeybee Gardens, an alternative to solvent-based nail polish, water-based, odorless, removes with rubbing alcohol.

3. No-Miss, does not contain the three-to-avoid above, and also does not contain camphor.

4. Acquarella, water-based system of nail polish, conditioner, remover and moisturizer.

5. Suncoat, water-based nail polish that has been recognized and honored from the Canadian Health Food Association Expo.

6. Gaiam, Created by New York City’s first organic spa, our non toxic nail polish is free of known carcinogens.

7. Peacekeeper Cause-Metics, created by the Environmental Working Group as the safest paint-based natural nail polish.

8. Sante, created without the use of formaldehydes, toluene, and colophony rosin.

9. Nubar, carcinogen-free nail care products.

10. Safe Nail Polish, non-toxic, oderless, made in the USA.

11. Priti, non-toxic, made without the evil-three and all known carcinogenic ingredients.

12. Spa Ritual, vegan nail lacquers.

Having done my research, I was eager to try some out! I looked at several of the brands for the colors I wanted: fire-engine red; palest of pinks like you’d use for a french manicure; and dark purple-almost black, but not true black. I found what I thought I was looking for at Honeybee Gardens online, and ordered all three colors. Once delivered, the only one that was what I wanted was the light pink, but I saved the other two to give as gifts. I found the red I was looking for by No-Miss in the RWC Whole Foods, and am still on the lookout for the not-quite-black. I recommend buying polish you can see in the store, online photos and different computer screens make it difficult to tell what color you’re really getting.

So how well does the polish hold up and does it really come off with just rubbing alcohol? Fabulously well! And Yes! I gave myself a full mani-pedi on Sunday, and had to remove the last of the pink polish. I used plain old generic rubbing alcohol, probably from Walgreen’s, and cotton swabs (once my bag of swabs is done, I will switch to using cotton rags in stead of disposable cotton balls). I had to rub a little longer to remove all the polish, but there was no stink! Not from the remover or the polish – Honeybee Gardens and No-Miss both state they are fragrance-free and while they do have a slight odor, it is insignificant and doesn’t smell like toxic paint.

As for the staying power, I have a chip on one nail, but I’ve done dishes, washed a car and moved some furniture since Sunday and I’m impressed with how great the paint looks and stays on. I’m a convert for sure.

-Jocelyn Broyles

Image credit – Robot nail art: borispumps via Flickr 

Related:
7 Ingredients to Ban From Your Bathroom

Read more: Beauty, Family, Fashion, General Health, Hands & Feet, Health, Holistic Beauty, Make-Up, Women's Health, , , , , ,

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233 comments

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6:45AM PST on Feb 2, 2015

Very intereste---http://www.eboychanel.com/

9:27PM PST on Dec 26, 2014

More marketing hogwash-

Though it's great that people share natural alternatives to every day products, we should really take care to promote products that are natural, instead of spreading marketing lies. When people buy these products, they think they are being healthy, when in fact they are exposing themselves to many of the same chemicals, just with new, unrecognizable names and/or even less safety data.

The first site, Piggy Paints, doesn't list nail polish ingredients on it's website. Instead I found them on a blog: Water, acrylates copolymers, melia azadirachta (neem oil). May contain: mica, red 34 lake, ultramarines, titanium dioxide, iron oxide pigments

OK so Piggy Paints are not natural, but they could be worse. Let's try #2, HoneyBeeGardens. They actually list the ingredients, which wouldn't you know, aren't natural either: Water, water-miscible acrylic, polyurethane formers and thickeners, non-ionic soaps. May contain: ultramarine blue, carmine, mica, iron oxides, and/or titanium dioxide.

One more, maybe it'll actually be natural. Unfortunately, No Miss is another one who thinks you won't miss the ingredients they didn't disclose. After digging, here they are: : N-butyl acetate, nitrocellulose, ethyl acetate, isopropyl alcohol. May contain: mica, titanium dioxide, D & C Red #7, D & C Red #6, D & C Red #17, D & C Red #34, FD & C Yellow #5, iron oxides, ultramarines, bismuth oxychloride, mica-based pearlescent pigments.

4:23AM PST on Dec 24, 2014

Thank you!

6:47PM PST on Dec 23, 2014

will start looking for these...
if they last, and cost effective & pretty looking.. im sold..

10:17AM PST on Dec 23, 2014

Very interested - hope some of these are available in the UK

10:05AM PST on Dec 23, 2014

thx

7:53AM PST on Dec 23, 2014

Thank You

9:18AM PST on Dec 22, 2014

ty

2:20AM PST on Dec 22, 2014

Great article, thanks. Always looking for ways to avoid toxins.

12:37AM PST on Dec 22, 2014

Ty

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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In other words, processed foods are a no no. Same information as for anything else to do with food …

I majored in art in university and taught it for 31 years. Art and music develop our whole brain.

Yay! I found the hidden catnip!

interesting, thanks. I think those beautiful things are god for human anyway.

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