Raise your hand if you love a good manicure?! Me too, me too! But take one whiff of some nail polishes and it’s clear that they’re packed with chemicals. And not just any chemicals, extremely toxic ones—some of which have been banned by the European Union.
Luckily, nail polish companies are cleaning up their acts eliminating specific harmful chemicals which they market as 3-free, 5-free, 7-free polishes, etc. but what does ‘x’-free actually mean? Here’s the scoop:
3-free polish does not contain dibutyl phthalate, toluene or formaldehyde.
4-free polish does not contain dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde or formaldehyde resin.
5-free polish does not contain dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin or camphor.
6-free polish does not contain dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor or parabens.
7-free polish does not contain dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, parabens or xylene.
8-free does not contain formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, and triphenyl phosphate.
9-free does not contain formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, parabens, and acetone.
The good news is that most consumer-available nail polishes are at least three-free, like OPI, Essie, Wet ‘n’ Wild, American Apparel, or Sally Hansen, AND tons of brands are coming out with cleaner polishes.
One of my favorite non-toxic polish lines to recently launch is by Jewelry designer Ariel Gordon who is known for her personal and perfectly stackable ring game. Born out of Ariel’s obsession with a great polish to compliment her jewels, she picked the five colors (ranging from a creamy rose gold to rainbow confetti) based on the classic shades she finds herself wearing the most. With fun names like “Girl Boss,” “Basic Bitch,” and “Candy Crush,” each has been formulated to be 7-Free. They’re devoid of many of the harsh chemicals that are found in traditional polishes, not tested on animals and come with a vegan brush. Just like her jewels, each polish is handmade in Los Angeles and made to be worn every day. They retail for $16 each at arielgordonjewelry.com.
What other non-toxic polishes are you liking?