In this post, I will share with you my honest review of several non-toxic nail polishes that my daughter and I have tried. I also created a list of clean brands of nail polish that I think are worth trying. They all have cleaner ingredients and are on my future wish list for when I decide to purchase more nail polish.
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Why should you use non-toxic nail polish?
Not all nail polish is created equal. Did you know that some nail polish is full of chemicals and toxins that can be absorbed into your body?
Some nail polish contains what is known as the “toxic trio”. Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) is a plasticizer that is an endocrine disruptor and can negatively affect the reproductive system, kidney, and liver. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen that can cause allergic reactions, asthma and miscarriages. Toluene is a neurotoxin that can cause impaired breathing, hearing loss, neurological damage and even birth and developmental defects in pregnant women. These are just a few of the toxic ingredients found in nail polish. There are several others including camphor, colophonium, triphenylphosphate, xylene, formaldehyde resin, silicone, butyl alcohol, and benzophenones to name a few.
Finding a safe nail polish for kids and pregnancy
My collection of nail polish used to be MASSIVE. I had every color imaginable, which is amusing to think about because I’ve been a nail biter all my life. The only time I have ever had long, healthy nails is during my pregnancies. I was so excited to FINALLY have nails that I could paint. However, after looking into the hidden dangers of nail polish, I made the decision to toss almost every single polish in my collection. I started from the ground up and through trial and error have found one in particular that I love.
Toxin-Free Nail Polish Review
1- Piggy Paint
About- According to their website, Piggy Paint is non-toxic, free of all harsh chemicals including parabens and alcohol. It’s virtually odorless, kid-friendly, cruelty-free and vegan. The polish is water-based and dries to a hard, durable finish. It’s even safe for use during pregnancy.
Ingredients- Water, acrylates, copolymer, neem oil. May contain (depending on shade): ultramarines, iron oxide, titanium dioxide, mica, red 28, red 34, red 22, red 7, yellow 10, violet 2, zinc sulfide/copper, chrome green, orange 5
EWG Rating- 1 or 2 depending on the color.
Cost- $6.99- $7.99
Color Choices- 50+
How long does it last? Our experience with Piggy Paint is that it lasts about a week but within a day or so there will likely be significant chips on your nails. We have found that it usually lasts longer on toenails vs. fingernails. The paint chips in a day or two on fingernails and will last a little longer on toenails. One of my favorite things about Piggy Paint is how quickly it dries and how easily it comes off of skin. I let my daughter paint her own nails and she often gets a lot on the skin around her nails. Within a couple of hours of normal play, the paint that gets on her skin usually rubs off without any scrubbing or nail polish remover. Piggy Paint is water-based, so it does come off more quickly with frequent hand washing, bathing, swimming, or water play.
About- Zoya is one of the top choices among health-conscious and pregnant women worldwide. It is Big-10 free which means it does not include any of the following ingredients: formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutl, toluene, camphor, TPHP, parabens, xylene, ethyl, tosylamide, and lead. Its long-wear formula is also vegan friendly.
Ingredients- Butyl acetate, ethyl acetate, nitrocellulose, acetyl tributyl citrate, isopropyl alcohol, sterikonium hectroite, acrylates copolymer, styrene/acrylates copolymer
Rating- I couldn’t find Zoya on the EWG app but I did find it on the Think Dirty app. There it is rated a 4 out of 10.
Color Choices- 400
How long does it last? Zoya is the polish that I use and it normally lasts at least a week without any chips. It lasts even longer on my toenails, usually at least three weeks before I notice any chipping or need to re-paint due to nail growth.
3- Ella + Mila
About- These polishes are 7-free, which means they do not contain formaldehyde, toluene, DiButyl phthalate (DBP), formaldehyde resin, camphor, TPHP, and xylene. The polish is vegan, quick-dry, chip-resistant, never tested on animals and proudly made in the USA.
Ingredients- Butyl acetate, Ethyl acetate, Nitrocellulose, Isopropyl alcohol, Trimethyl pentanyl diisobutyrate, Acetyl tributyl citrate, Adipic acid/neopentyl glycol/trimellitic anhydride copolymer, Isophorone diamine/isophthalic acid/tromethamine copolymer, Silica, n-Butyl alcohol, Stearalkonium bentonite, Bis(glycidoxyphenyl)propane/
EWG Rating- 5
Color Choices- Over 100 colors to choose from.
How long does it last? Personally, I’ve only tried two different colors of this brand. Both colors were very faint once applied and required A LOT of coats before they were noticeable. In my experience, the polish chipped rather easily and didn’t hold up well doing household chores like washing dishes and cleaning.
For an adult, Zoya is the clear winner in my opinion. I’ve personally had a better experience with it versus the other brands that I’ve tried. There are several other clean brands out there but I haven’t personally tried them so I can’t stand behind them 100%.
As for the best polish for kids, Piggy Paint is my go-to. I think it is the perfect choice for toddlers and preschoolers. I love how quickly it dries because little kids are constantly on the go and do not have time to wait for nail polish to dry. It washes off fairly easily so you can let your little ones paint their own nails and don’t have to worry about using nail polish remover. It’s a great way to encourage independence, fine motor skills, and child-led learning.
I have found that if you add a clear coat on top, the paint will last longer.
Along with a vast array of color choices, Piggy Paint has several gift sets and accessories to choose from so it makes a great gift for any youngster interested in painting their nails. It would make the perfect addition to a spa-themed mani-pedi party. The bottles are even the perfect size for tiny hands!
If your child is older, you may want to choose a brand like Zoya that doesn’t wash off so easily and lasts a bit longer.
Here are a few of my favorite Piggy Paint and Zoya gift sets.
This best selling Naked Manicure Hydrate and Heal System has been on my wish list. It’s rated 4.5 out of 5 stars and comes with two new bonus treatments to try.
I love this kit because it has all of the basics for a mani and pedi. It comes with a mini nail polish remover, base, and topcoat, as well as quick-drying drops.
Nail Polish Remover
Of course, where there is nail polish, you need nail polish remover. Here are some great non-toxic options that my family has used. Mineral Fusion is my favorite. I love that the ingredients are cleaner than most, it doesn’t dry out your nails, and it doesn’t smell like acetone.
Ella + Mila
More Non-Toxic Nail Polish
If you are in the market for non-toxic nail polish, the good news is that more and more companies are making an effort to ditch the toxins. I’ve compiled a list of clean nail polishes that have stellar reviews. If you’ve tried any of these brands, I’d love to hear from you to see which non-toxic nail polish is your current favorite.
Cote Nail Polish
This brand has stellar reviews on Amazon. It’s Big-10 Free and made in the USA.
Sundays Nail Polish
This salon-quality polish is Big-10 free and vegan.
10+ Free Chemistry Plant-Based Clean Nail Polish
This brand is known to be the cleanest polish on the market. The formula is free from 21 toxic ingredients.
Smith & Cult Nail Polish
Butter LONDON Patent Shine 10X Nail Lacquer
This formula is 8-free, has a glossy finish, and lasts up to 10 days.
AILA Nail Lacquer
This polish is 8-free, vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, and made in the USA.
Pacifica 7-Free Nail Polish Collection
This formula has an assortment of colors that apply smoothly and last long.
Painting your nails adds a pop of color to an outfit, is a great way to express yourself, and can be fun, especially with kids. If you are concerned about the ingredients in your nail polish, I recommend referring the EWG’s Skin Deep or Think Dirty Databases to look up products and their ingredients. They are great informational tools to help you learn about how safe and toxic products are before making the commitment to buy them.