Many of us are enamored with nail polish but how many of us actually bother to delve a smidge deeper to see if the products are dangerously toxic?  There are five main dangerous chemicals that are the backbone of many nail polishes.  To keep yourself and those around you safe, choose polishes that avoid the “Big Five” chemicals: dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, and camphor.  The toxic chemicals in many nail polishes have been known to cause a range of health issues–reproductive impairment, hearing loss, neurological damage, blood cancers, respiratory problems, allergic reactions, liver dysfunction, headaches and the list goes on!


If you do want to use nail polish, choose a brand that is at least free of the “Big Three” (DBP, formaldehyde, and toluene), but aim for one free of all five hazardous chemicals. If you have your nails done at a salon, look for one that uses 3-free or 5-free polishes in order to protect both yourself and the salon’s workers.

Here are non-toxic nail polishes that are available in a range of colors and finishes, and using any one of the polishes will still have your nails looking like the perfect ten!

Zoya Matte Velvet Lacquer in Amal, $10,

Zoya nail polish revolutionized the nail industry when it began making long-lasting, toxin-free polish. Eliminating toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, and DBP from its polishes, Zoya has quickly become one of the most popular 5-free nail polish brands out there.

Suncoat Nail Polish in Copacabana, $12,

Suncoat manufactures nail polishes with a water base and no toxins. Rather than replacing known toxins with other chemicals, a common practice among nail polish makers, Suncoat uses water.  Made with mineral pigments and natural ingredients, check out Suncoat’s peelable nail polish (no remover needed!).

Honeybee Gardens in Abyss, $13,

Honeybee Gardens nail polish uses a special, water-based formula that’s 3-free, nearly odorless, and free of FD&C colors (synthetic food dyes that can be used in food, drink, and cosmetics).

OPI Nail Lacquer in Alpaca My Bags, $10.50,

OPI is an old tried and true.  Free of formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, and camphor, you’re sure to find a color that fits anyone of your moods.