It’s no secret that makeup and skincare products hide nasty chemicals. But did you know that most nail polish brands actually hide some of the worst chemicals in their products?
Yuck. No wonder our at-home mani’s never seemed to last and our nails are brittle and falling apart (or is that just me…whoops)
if you know me you know that I’m a nail polish fanatic and my nails are rarely ever bare. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: [bctt tweet=”Plain nails are said nails. ” username=”caityrosek”]
And since recently I’ve been feeling more convicted about the clothes I wear and the products I use I thought I’d take it a step farther from my last post of cruelty-free nail polishes and dive headfirst into chemical-free nail polish!
This post contains affiliate links meaning I may earn a commission (at no extra cost to you) when you make a purchase using these links. To see my full disclosure, click here.
Here’s a little run down on some of the most popular and harmful chemicals you can find in the average bottle of nail polish. (Yes, these words are almost impossible to pronounce. And yes some of these chemicals have been tested on animals and I do not in any way support or condone this type of testing. These are just facts I thought would be helpful to share with you.)
1. Formaldehyde resin – This chemical is classified as both an immune system toxicant and a skin irritant by the EWG (Environmental working group) Source
2. Triphenyl phosphate – This chemical is used for flexibility within the nail polish. It has also been found in furniture flame retardants. Studies have shown that this chemical can enter the body through the polish and has been shown to cause reproductive issues in animals. Source
3. Dibutyl phthalate – DBP is known to interfere with hormone function and is another chemical shown to cause birth defects in lab animals. Source
4. Toluene – The ingredient that gives your nail polish a smooth finish. The fumes of this bad boy are highly toxic and studies have found that it can cause a ton of neurological damage, impaired breathing, nausea and when inhaled too much by pregnant women, can cause impaired fetal development. Source
5. Camphor – What makes your polish so glossy. While it’s not the most toxic chemical on this list, I deem any chemical toxic. It has been shown to cause severe skin reactions and be an irritant. When inhaled it can cause dizziness, nausea, and headaches. It has also been linked to causing organ damage. Source
6. Xylene – A component found in blood thinners and nail polish alike. Like most of the other chemicals, it can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, etc, when inhaled. Long term exposure to this chemical can also lead to kidney and gut toxicity. Source
These are just a few but arguably the most common.
Often when we hear people talking about chemical-free nail polish we hear terms like “big three free, big four free and big 5 free”. Those Numbers being the number of big toxins that these nail polishes would be free from.
So let’s break it down even farther because I’m a nerd for this stuff.
The big 3 chemicals are Dibutyl Phthalate, Formaldehyde and Toluene.
The big 4 Chemicals are Dibutyl Phthalate, Formaldehyde, Toluene, and either camphor or Tosylamide.
The big 5 are all of the above.
There are even companies that are 7-free and 10-free. While the big 3 free is a fantastic start, you can never go wrong by choosing fewer chemicals.
So here are my picks for the best chemical-free nail polish!
Pacifica– Pacifica is a gorgeous all-natural and clean makeup brand and their nail polish are no different. In fact, their nail polish comes in at a stunning 7-free. AKA they’re free from 7 of the most toxic chemicals.
Smith and cult– This brand became a cult classic (see what I did there) almost overnight. This high-end brand offers an array of stunning colors and is proud to be 8-free.
Zoya – This is probably one of my favorites. They were one of the first nail polish companies to go big-3, big-5 and they have just managed to go big-10! Woohoo! What an amazing accomplishment.
Butter London – I was surprised to hear that Butter London is a chemical-free nail polish, in fact, they are 8-free!
Jinsoon– Jinsoon is such an underrated brand and I bet most of you won’t have heard f it before. I know I hadn’t. Jinsoon believes in simplicity and that nail polishes should be as healthy and eco-friendly as possible. Most of their formulas are now 10-free.
Chanel – Yes, Chanel. I don’t know why this one was so surprising to me but Chanel’s nail colors are a big 5-free.
And there you have it! The best of the best when it comes to chemical-free nail polish. If you ask me. But you’re here so I guess you kinda did.
Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed please don’t forget to pin this post and follow me on Instagram for daily inspiration.