Safer Nail Polish Options

A few moons ago I became more conscious about the organic and natural movement in food and have never looked back. While I still indulge in plenty of “bad” food, for the most part I’ve made a commitment to eat natural and chemical free. Over the past year, this has extended to other parts of my life including anything from cleaning supplies, make up, toothpaste even toys.

The reality is once I researched the harmful chemicals that exist in day to day products, it was difficult to turn my back on this new found knowledge. I also told myself I wouldn’t “preach” about my lifestyle. I am happy to share about it and educate if people are interested but it is not my place to tell anyone that my lifestyle is any better than theirs.

I could write blogs upon blogs on natural living but today I will focus on a simple fashion statement that is bold, beautiful and typically full of chemicals: nail polish.

Nail polish lies in our fingernails and virtually touch everything that we eat, utilize and much more. The idea especially crossed my mind when I realized that when I painted my daughters’ nails, they were being introduced to these chemicals. In particular, my youngest Mackenzie who as any other 5 year old puts her hands in her mouth.

What kind of chemicals am I referring to? The worst offenders are typically broke into several categories “Big 3” “Big 5” and “Big 7” and when looking for toxic free options you’d like to make sure they at the very least fall into the “Safe 3” category which indicates 3 of the top chemicals in nail polish have been removed from the formula.

Some toxins found in nail polish include:

  • Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) – Common plasticizer, which increases the flexibility and fluidity of a product.

Why a concern? Potential links to cancer including potential problems in the endocrine system, an increased risk of diabetes in women, nausea, potential birth defects.

  • Formaldehyde – Naturally occurring organic compound that is a gas at room temperature.

Why a concern?  A known carcinogen . Health concerns include allergic reactions, breathing issues (coughing, asthma-like symptoms, wheezing, etc.).

  • Methylene Glycol/Formalin – An organic compound of a solution in water of formaldehyde.

Why a concern? It is a known carcinogen. Health concerns include allergic reactions, breathing issues (coughing, asthma-like symptoms, wheezing, etc.),  it’s an irritant, and can cause vomiting. 

  • Toluene – Derived from petroleum and commonly used as a solvent to dissolve or combine other chemicals.

Why a concern? It can  cause dizziness, dry skin, it’s an irritant,  headaches, liver and kidney damage, nausea, numbness, and has been linked to birth defects.

This is just a small list of potential hazards in conventional nail polish but you get the idea by now.
Some safer alternatives I recommend and absolutely swear by are: 

Pacifica Beauty (seriously my ultimate favorite brand for so much)! They have 7-free nail polish at a reasonable price for what you are getting!

Zoya Nail Polish (Okay they are tied for #1 spot)- THE best color selection ever, 5-free nail polish and they have some of the best deals I’ve seen monthly. 

Honeybee Gardens– Beautiful nail polish colors and other make up options. 

Kure Bazaar– Upto 85% natural nail polish, again the selection is amazing.

Priti NYC– Vegan, gluten and cruelty free, most importantly free of virtually any harmful toxic and a color palette to rave about for days!


I know what you are likely thinking. You seriously pay $9-$20 for nail polish? The answer is yes. Am I very well off? Not exactly. When I first had the desire to buy this type of nail polish, I struggled with the concept of paying this much for a bottle of nail polish when I can buy it elsewhere for $3, that coupled with having a family and an overbearing amount of student loan responsibilities made me feel as buying nail polish at these prices was not a smart investment of my money.  It was then that it hit me.  I’ll be spending  maybe $13 more than usual, okay got it. If I bought 3 or 4 bottles over a few weeks, months the amount of additional money spent would have been minimal or quickly spent on other items and yet I am investing in a safer consumer product for myself and my family that could potentially prevent me from being exposed to harmful chemicals.

The numbers started to make sense.

I ask you to take a look at newer alternatives and remember true beauty doesn’t need to be toxin

filled. Natural is beautiful!

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