Nail polish is the latest product to be given the clean beauty treatment following the revelation that the traditional chemical-laden formulas are, in fact, bad for us. The majority of nail brands are now free of the common “toxic trio” — formaldehyde, toluene and dibutyl phthalate — while some are going the extra mile to ensure that we don’t have to sacrifice our health for perfectly polished digits, being either five, seven, nine and even ten free. All the unpronounceable words and greenwashing in the beauty industry can make understanding the situation a difficult task — so we’ve put together a quick guide on all things nail polish, alongside a few brands that are really worth introducing to your fingertips.
Free from: formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, and camphor.
Free From: formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, and xylene.
Free from: formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, parabens, and acetone.
Free from: formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, parabens, triphenyl phosphate (TPHP), and tert-butyl hydroperoxide. Ten-free’s are also understood to contain no animal-derived ingredients.
Boasting a seven-free formula in a vast and varied array of hues, Deborah Lipmann’s gel-based polishes can be catered to all — whether its those searching for a more muted colour palette or those who like their fingertips bright and bold.
For those looking to be extra careful, each ornate bottle of JINsoon polish, whether it’s a fruity pop of colour or the fun and frivolous confetti variation, contains a high-tech, 10-free formula. If you’re wanting toxic-free nails but don’t have the time to do them at home, Spring Spa uses the safe and long-lasting JINsoon polish for manicure treatments.
Smith & Cult
Smith & Cult’s eight-free formula delivers a high gloss, ultra-smooth aesthetic to the nails. Plus, the vibrant-hued, lively variations — from gold sequins to glitter — make a perfect choice for lovers of nail art. The gilded lids and the adorable bottling is just the cherry on top of an already impressive cake.
In addition to being vegan and cruelty-free, the formulas from New-York-based nail polish brand Sundays are 10-free and come with a sleek brush designed for fuss-free application.
Habit’s nail polishes are not only five-free, but they are also certified organic, vegan, cruelty-free and naturally strengthening — thanks to the inclusion of Myrrh, an extract that coats nails in the natural, strengthening ingredient oleo-resin. What’s more, the green-beauty brand also tops each bottle with a lid crafted from bamboo, and packages it in an FSC-certified paperboard box.