I am passionate about eliminating toxins from our home. Whenever I share the different ways I am striving for that, I am ALWAYS asked what I do for nail polish! It has continued to be a space where I needed improvement because I love to get my nails done! It is something that I do for myself that feels relaxing, fun and easy. Well.. today is the day, my friends. I decided last month that I will be the guinea pig for all of us nail-lovers (who also love to live a natural lifestyle)! My girls and I went ahead and sampled three of the top non-toxic options, and my review is:
My review is coming up shortly. First, let’s talk about why my quest for a nontoxic nail polish was one worth doing.
Being “natural” or “organic” is all the rage for brands. The problem is that often these terms are misleading since it is not well-regualted and even “natural” products contain toxic substances! ACK! It can be confusing to know what to trust, and who to believe. I started looking for natural alternatives to everyday products years ago and I felt really good about the changes I was making! It was only in the past year or so that I realized that several of the brands that I stood by and trusted, still contained harmful substances! The solution? Learn what chemicals to avoid and WHY to avoid them. Nail polish is a good topic to bring up this topic because it is notoriously TOXIC. You only have to walk into the nail salon to know that those smells can be doing your body systems any favors!
There are THREE BIG CULPRITS in the toxicity of Nail Polish.
- Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP)– The Plasticizer–
- Toluene– The Paint Thinner–
- Formaldehyde– The Hardener–
I mean those three just SOUND like VILLIANS’ names!! AMIRIGHT?!
Without getting too technical, the short answer is that these toxic substances wreck havoc on your reproductive system, have been associated with dizziness, numbness, dry skin and irritation and pose SIGNIFICANT RISKS TO HUMAN HEALTH.
But it’s just on your nails! I mean.. so small, so hard.. is it REALLY getting into your system? According to a study conducted at Duke University, these hormone-disprupters get absorbed EVERY TIME you use nail polish:
“It is very troubling that nail polish being marketed to women and teenage girls contains a suspected endocrine disruptor…. It is even more troubling to learn that their bodies absorb it quickly after the apply just one coat.” -Johanna Congleton, Senior Scientist at EWG.
“People get really upset about phthalates in plastics, but they don’t think about what’s in the cosmetics they’re applying DIRECTLY TO THEIR SKIN.” -Kate Hoffman, Duke University (reported by Yahoo News). “The skin is the organ that takes it all in!”
But WHAT to DO?? We want to have fun, cute nails! We want to paint our daughters’ nails and have bonding experiences with girlfriends!
Instead of burying your head in the sand, try out some of these natural and EFFECTIVE nail polish brands and see if you can find a healthier alternative! I even took my own nail polish with me when I got my gel nail polish removed and had him paint my nails with Ella + Mila! Totally normal.
PS- I have found that going over the tops of my nails with THIS- Buffer Block really helps the nail polish to adhere to my nails better.
Ella+Mila (7 -Free) The brush is nice and the polish coats smoothly, but you will definitely need more than one coat. The top coat that they sell dries really quickly. The polish really wears very well. Definitely comparable to to the other (more toxic) salon brands. I have had the same color on my hands for about 5 days and I only see one little chip! (you can find it HERE). This brand was probably my favorite so far.
10 Free Chemistry (10-Free)– this one lasted on me for several days. They are a newer company- so not as many color options….yet!
PalatePolish-(5- Free) Contains NONE of the aforementioned bad guys. Also is VEGAN and never tested on animals. This is a thick polish (but not goopy). I found it to be super easy to apply with very minimal streaking. I used it on my toes and have zero chipping in over two weeks!
Beyond the Polish-
Looking for a way to recreate your favorite manicure at home, with products your can TRUST to be healthy and non toxic? Try this cuticle oil recipe and nail polish remover paired with a fun polish to feel pampered AND safe.
This DIY oil will deeply soothe and moisturize to keep your nail bed healthy and strong! My cuticles were so torn up over the summer when we were in Utah, I used this daily. In Connecticut I never have this issue! Just the dry climate I guess.
DIY Cuticle oil
1 Tsp. Vitamin E
1 Tbsp. almond oil
10 drops frankincense
10 drops lavender essential oil
10 ml roller
1. Combine all ingredients in a 10ml roller
2.Apply to cuticle
3.Massage into skin gently
Repeat daily or as needed
DIY Nail Polish Remover
Citrus Fresh and Lemon essential oils keep nails and cuticles healthy as they break down the polish. The bright, sunny scent is a bonus!
- ⅔ cup apple cider vinegar or 70 percent isopropyl rubbing alcohol
- 6 drops Citrus Fresh essential oil blend
- 7 drops Lemon essential oil
1. Using a funnel, pour all ingredients into a 6- or 8-ounce bottle with a lid.
2. Shake gently until mixed well.
3. Soak a cotton ball in the solution, then rub onto fingernails until polish is removed. You can also dip your nails in the solution for 20-30 seconds and use a cotton ball to wipe clean.
4. Wash hands with soap and water.
5. Moisturize fingers and nails with DIY cuticle oil *This recipe may take a little longer to remove your polish, it’s worth it.
I did also buy THIS nail polish remover and it worked great!