Best 5 Non-toxic Nail Polishes 2023

The 5 Best Non-toxic Nail Polishes 2024

If you want non-toxic nail polish for pregnancy or just want to take care of your health, it can be challenging to find what you need. There are all kinds of questions that come up. For example, how do you choose the best non-toxic nail polishes? Is gel or lacquer safer? How do you even know what is the healthiest type of nail polish?

What Ingredients Should Be Avoided in Nail Polishes?

The good news is that most nail care brands have cut out the three most harmful chemicals from their formulas. It’s easy to find non-toxic nail polishes that are 3-free. These don’t contain formaldehyde (a preservative that causes cancer), toluene (a solvent linked to brain damage), or dibutyl phthalate (DBP, a plasticizer that causes liver and kidney damage).

Here’s an example of a 3-free nail lacquer:

OPI Nail Lacquer

The 5 Best Non-toxic Nail Polishes 2023

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Is OPI non-toxic? The brand eliminated DBP back in 2006. Without a doubt, users are better off without it! Moreover, OPI says that their lacquers are also free of toluene and formaldehyde.

We cross-checked the SkinSAFE database and were pleased with what else we discovered. OPI polish is described as 73% free of top allergens, too.

But some nail care brands are even more careful with consumers’ health. These days, you can find nail polish that is 5-free, 7-free, and so on. Sally Hansen’s Good.Kind.Pure polish is 16-free, for example.

Most manufacturers will state up front which ingredients they don’t include in the polish. The list may include other harmful chemicals like xylene, camphor, phthalates, ketones, petrochemicals, and parabens. Each of these toxins can have a harmful effect ranging from skin irritation to respiratory problems and even organ damage or cancer.

Although it’s true that polish doesn’t absorb through the keratin of the nail, there are other ways these poisons can get into your system. How many times have you put your polished nails into your mouth? How often have you gotten polish on the skin around the nail? How long do you breathe in the fumes?

Depending on whether the toxin accumulates in your cells, you might not notice the effects for years.

What Nail Polishes Are Safe?

Best Non-toxic Nail Polishes

Here’s our favorite non-toxic nail polish from LDS nails. It’s 9-free, putting it in the same healthy polish category as OPI Nature Strong.

What’s amazing is that it also has fewer toxins than ella+milla which is only 7-free!

LDS 170 Young Attitude - LDS Healthy Nail Lacquer

The 5 Best Non-toxic Nail Polishes 2023

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It’s time to feel good about glitter! This lacquer is vegan and cruelty-free. What’s more, it’s 9-free! It doesn’t contain formaldehyde, DBP, toluene, ketones, phthalates, BHA, camphor, polyurethane, or petrochemical solvents.

Since it’s a lacquer, not a gel, it air-dries. You don’t need to expose yourself to ultraviolet radiation to enjoy a manicure with it.

The LDS line of healthy nail lacquers offers more than 170 shades. When properly applied, each one lasts up to 7 days of wear.

For more durability, check out the LDS gel polish. It lasts up to 3 weeks, plus it’s odorless.

Who Makes Sure That Nail Polish Is Non-toxic?

We hate to break it to you, but the FDA doesn’t approve nail polish before it comes to market. As long as manufacturers provide appropriate labeling and encourage the proper use of the product, the company is off the hook.

It’s up to watchdogs like the EWG (Environmental Working Group) to provide the public with information. It’s much easier to do this when manufacturers provide MSDS sheets. Kiara Sky is a brand that does this for both gels and lacquers. The Material Safety Data Sheets are available on its website.

Kiara Sky Gel Polish 566 - Blue Colors - You Make Me Melt

The 5 Best Non-toxic Nail Polishes 2023

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Kiara Sky is based in Bakersfield, California. We checked the MSDS sheet for this pretty blue shade of gel polish they make. At the time of writing, the list of ingredients included:

  • Methacrylate oligomer.
  • Methacrylate monomer.
  • HPMA.
  • Monomer.
  • Phosphine oxide ester.
  • Hydroxycyclohexylphenyl ketone.
  • Various pigments.

As you can see, there’s no mention of DBP, formaldehyde, toluene, parabens, xylene, etc.

The next section of the MSDS page talks about first-aid measures. It’s a pretty standard warning suggesting that it’s best to not ingest the polish, get it on the skin, or get it in the eyes.

If you scroll to the bottom, you’ll see the part about inhalation. If the polish is used in a poorly ventilated area, it could cause dizziness, headache, or nausea.

Also, on the skin, it may cause dryness or redness. Prolonged or frequent contact could cause a rash.

On the fifth page, the polish is confirmed as non-carcinogenic with no known problems for reproduction or genetics. Plus, it wasn’t tested on animals so it’s cruelty-free.

We also checked the Kiara Sky nail lacquer MSDS sheet.

Kiara Sky Nail Lacquer - N588 Shake Your Palm Palm

The 5 Best Non-toxic Nail Polishes 2023

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This lovely shade of green is composed of butyl acetate, ethyl acetate, nitrocellulose, and isopropyl alcohol. If you visit INCI Decoder, you can learn about each of these ingredients.

For instance, you’re already familiar with isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol. It’s a solvent.

Then, there are ethyl and butyl acetate that are solvents in many brands of nail polishes including essie and OPI.

Lastly, nitrocellulose is what forms the film to coat the nail. It’s also in many nail lacquers. In summary, there’s nothing too scary in this bottle!

Is Gel Polish Safer than Nail Lacquer?

If you want to stay away from harsh solvents and strong odors, gel polish is better. Some brands smell downright pleasant. And as long as you apply and cure it properly, a gel manicure is safe for nails.

When it comes time to remove gels, you can also minimize your exposure to acetone by using nail wraps.

Lavis Gel Polish 133 - Whisper White

The 5 Best Non-toxic Nail Polishes 2023

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This sophisticated shade dresses up any outfit. But it’s just one of the over 200 Lavis gels available.  Although they are formulated for professionals, they are super easy for beginners to use. The smooth formula won’t shrink or bubble. Plus, the polish cures within seconds under either LED or UV nail lamps.

What’s the Best Non-toxic Nail Polish for Kids?

For little kids, we recommend a water-based formula like Piggy Paint. It’s got a safe rating on the EWG database. That’s essential as we know how much little ones like to stick their fingers in their mouth.

Moreover, it doesn’t have a strong odor and it comes in lots of cheery colors. Even the brush is designed for little fingernails.

Conclusion

When nail care brands started eliminating toxic chemicals from their polishes, it was a win for everyone. Not only are consumers safer, but so are nail artists. It’s also better for everyone involved in manufacturing the polishes as well as the environment.

We hope the information here helps you choose the best non-toxic nail polish for your needs today. Check out our deals page and stock up to get free shipping on orders over $100!

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