7 Non-Toxic Nail Polish Brands to Try
It’s difficult to find beauty products that don’t carry harsh chemicals. Even those that we put on our skin and faces have mild to major traces of substances that age the skin or leave compounds that can damage the environment. Even dainty looking nail varnishes are not spared. Most nail paint cosmetics that come in a variety of colors have substances that contain toxic materials. Toxins that not only can dry or discolor nails but even hurt the internal organs when inhaled! With this kind of risk to one’s health, being mindful and checking diligently what we buy should be of utmost importance.
Luckily, some small companies have responded to calls for safer alternatives or at least, with reduced toxins that can potentially harm or be fatal to humans and the environment.
But first, why do we like nail polish so much? And where and when did it originate?
The First Nail Polish
The art of coloring nails has been in practice for centuries; however, its composition and its beautification purposes as we know it today was not exactly similar with the people who used them hundreds or thousands of years ago. The timeline may not also be linear as the practice may have either been used through years of contact between cultures or simply, one or several civilizations may have had started painting their nails without knowing that other groups were doing the same thing too.
Colouring nails was said to have begun in ancient India when people used henna to color their nails. The same substance used for temporary tattoos inked on arms or legs and, as hair care. In ancient Babylonia, nail coloring was also popular but mainly as part of pre-preparation of men before going to battle. Kohl was used instead of henna, however.
In China, when the practice spread from the subcontinent, nail coloring took a different aesthetic level. Instead of just relying on henna, the upper class or members of the imperial family created nail colorings with gum, beeswax, gelatin, egg whites, and alum, then used other materials to further beautify like flower petals. Fake nails made of gold and precious gems also came into existence.
In other civilizations like Egypt and in other areas in Africa, painting nails or preference for a particular shade signified the class of the user. Darker and more intense tones for the upper class or those with power, pastels for the lower class. Queen Nefertiti used an intense red color for her nails.
In the 1900’s nail polish, as we know it now was invented by Revlon.
Toxins To Watch Out For in Nail Polish
Conventional nail polish contains plenty of toxins that are harmful to health. While not all exist in a particular varnish or brand, there are common ones that one should really be aware of as these chemicals do so much harm when it touches the skin or inhaled. These are Formaldehyde, Parabens, Camphor, Toluene and Dibutyl Phthalate. There are actually more, but these are the most frequently used and the riskiest.
A chemical most known to preserve cadavers, this substance which emits a strong smell is also used for the manufacture of household products and building materials. People who are sensitive to formaldehyde experience skin irritation, dizziness, and watery eyes. In some studies, long exposure could trigger cancerous tumor to grow.
A chemical compound used in many cosmetics and pharmaceutical products as a preservative and, prevent the growth of microbes and bacteria. However, high levels of parabens can cause breast cancer cells to develop.
A natural compound that is found in some lotions, creams and other cosmetic products. Often used also as a topical treatment for itchy skin, chest congestion, and other inflammation. In high dosage however and when inhaled it can cause respiratory problems. If ingested, it can cause serious harm and be even fatal.
Also known as Methyl benzene, Toluene is found in crude petroleum oil. The paper industry also emits traces of this chemical compound.
Colorless and with a paint-thinner like odor, prolonged exposure can affect the nervous system. High doses can lead to narcosis and be fatal too.
One of the compounds used for making flexible plastics and other products such as solvents. DBP is also used in other cosmetic products. It is reported that this chemical can affect hormone function. Pregnant women should not be exposed to Dibutyl Phthalate as it can harm their unborn child; children who accidentally swallow or bite objects containing this chemical are at risk of having their kidneys and liver harmed.
7 Non-toxic Nail Brands To Try
Due to the excess of chemicals that many nail varnishes contain or even other cosmetic products, it would be totally wise to look for safer options. Of course, some of the nail polish is more pricey, but the possibility of protecting our health is the better alternative. Here are the 7 non-toxic nail brands to try:
1. Jin Soon
While a bottle cost $18.00, this non-toxic nail brand may just be the perfect one for you as it doesn’t contain any of the five toxic ones such as toluene formaldehyde, camphor, DBP, resin, and camphor. Sold at one of New York City’s top salon which also bears the same name, Jin Soon nail polish is available in a variety of colors, even special ones to match every season.
The polish also lasts for three days until it starts to show slightly visible signs of nips or wear and tear. Amazon also carries this line of non-toxic nail polish brand.
One of the most affordable non-toxic nail polish brand to try as it is only under $ 10.00, this brand carries 50 different shades – all-vegan free. The best part too, Zoya is free from eight harmful chemicals including formaldehyde, camphor, DBP, dibutyl phthalate and toluene.
Wear and tear start to show for this brand on the fourth day – considered too as one of the big names in the nail polish business that offers non-toxic varnishes.
3. Piggy Paint
Only $9.99 per bottle, this non-toxic nail brand is water-based and dries quickly – perfect for those who are always on the go. Safe for kids since it’s hypoallergenic and free from eight toxic chemicals, Piggy paint is also perfect for adults as it has no odor. Available in 12 colors, this non-toxic nail brand is made of several organic ingredients such as neem oil, acrylates copolymer. For a darker effect, apply several layers to get the desired effect.
4. Smith and Cult
Also close to 20 dollars per bottle ($18.00) this is another non-toxic nail brand to try as it has no eight harmful chemicals that can damage one’s health.
One of its come-ons is its durability since the color lasts and stays vibrant even when you’re constantly typing on your laptop or frequently washing your hands. Doesn’t hurt too that the bottle can double as a desk display with its sleek design.
Also priced at $ 18.00 per bottle, this non-toxic nail polish brand offers shades in light lovely hues and nudes, mimicking the motif of the brand’s salons. Free from eight harsh chemicals, Tenoverten is light and easy to coat, but still comes off as vibrant. Long-lasting too as it doesn’t chip easily even when you have to do some housecleaning or intense typing.
6. Ella + Mila
Only $ 10.00, this brand is free from seven harsh chemicals and considered one of the best in the market with around 100 colors available to suit any taste and whim. Polish with sparkles too are available for those who love their nail paint with a touch of craziness.
Vegan and affordable, the Ella + Mila line is quick to dry and can last for days without immediately showing any wear and tear. Aside from the brand’s non-toxic nail polish, other products are available too such as nail primer and polish remover.
Priced at $18.00 per bottle, the Acquarella non-toxic nail polish is vegan, wheat-free and of course, free from most of the harsh chemicals such as formaldehyde, DBP among others. Water-based, this brand was once ranked number 1 on the EWG database.
Water-base, you only need to apply two coats without any primer. Acquarella doesn’t chip easily and is available in 42 vibrant and subdued hues.
There are more non-toxic nail brands to try that is suited for those with different styles and budget. Always remember that you can always be stylish without sacrificing your health and wellbeing.