5 Nail Polishes That Are Non-Toxic

Traditional nail polish have slowly earned a bad reputation over the years. The chemical ingredients and a harsh odor often irritate the sinuses.

However, Sabina Wizemann, a senior chemist in the Health, Beauty & Environmental Sciences Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute revealed that it also “contains solvents and some ingredients that can potentially cause health issues and irritation if inhaled in large quantities.”


In response to health concerns, there have been many changes made to nail polish formulations as brands try to find better options for consumers. A wave of “non-toxic” or “natural” nail polish has hit shelves. But what does this mean?

“Products are crossing off ‘toxic’ ingredients from formulas at rapid speed, and some brands offer vegan and gluten-free options.”

explains Sabina Wizemann

Most non-toxic nail polishes no longer contain formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate making them 3-free. However, formulas can go up to 10-free. Here is a look at the different stages of non-toxicity:

  • 5-free contains no formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor
  • 7-free contains no formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene
  • 9-free contains no formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, parabens, acetone
  • 10-free contains no formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, parabens, acetone, TPHP, TBHP, gluten

“Water-based formulas incorporate non-synthetic pigments and aqueous acrylic polymers, plus they are also odorless”

explains Sabina Wizemann

The only drawback of water-based polish is that they do not last as long as traditional nail polish. Here are five of the “cleanest” nail polishes on the market.

5. Tenoverten

Rating: 8-free

Price: $11.99

From chic bottles to a polish formula that does not include acetone, parabens, and eight other controversial ingredients Tenorverten is a brilliant option for a cleaner polish. Not only does is it free of harsh chemicals, but it also replaces them with essential oils, vitamin E, and aloe. These ingredients encourage nail health and strength.

4. Smith & Cult

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Rating: 8-free

Price: $18.00

Smith & Cult offer a chip-resistant formula that is known for being super shiny. It is available in a variety of colors and finishes. They advise applying two coats of polish to get an opaque finish. Best of all, it is also vegan, and cruelty-free.

3. Dear Sundays

Rating: 10-free

Price: $18.00

Sunday’s polishes are vegan and cruelty-free. The company created the perfect 10-free polish that aims to make DIY manicures super easy. The polish boasts an easy-to-use brush allowing easy application.

2. Orosa

Rating: 14-free

Price: $12.00

Orosa’s nail lacquer is everything that nail polish lovers want. It offers a quick-dry formula, week-long wear, and brilliant color varieties. The formula is vegan and cruelty-free. Most importantly it is free of 14 controversial ingredients.


Rating: 14-free

Price: $14

AILA was founded by a podiatric surgeon. It focuses strongly on maintaining nail health. The formula is vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free. It also comes in a rainbow of vibrant shades and neutrals in various finishes.

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