RELATED: Hard As Nails
Types Of Manicures
Before we begin, let’s look at the different products people use to beautify their nails. Acrylic is one of the most common choices. This substance is chemically hardened after application to give people those perfectly arched almond nails. While they’re inexpensive and gorgeous, you’ll need to soak your fake nails in acetone until they soften enough to be removed gently. Ouch!
Next, let’s look at gel manicure. Lots of people like it because it’s quick and durable. But, you need to place your hand under UV light for 30 seconds for it to set. That’s not fun, either.
Some people opt for SNS or dip powder. It doesn’t require special chemicals to harden, and it doesn’t require UV rays for curing. It also looks natural and lasts longer. But for dip powder to work, it uses a resin-type glue. Not the best ingredient for your nails, as you might have guessed.
That leaves us with traditional nail polish. But of course, not all polishes are created equal, either. You should always opt to choose non-toxic products. Thankfully, many options exist – you only have to know what you’re looking for.
What Is Non-Toxic Nail Polish?
If you’re a non-toxic nail polish newbie, the lingo is probably going to confuse you. Don’t worry – we’re here to shed light on the matter.
Three-, Five-, Seven-, 10- and 12-Free: What’s The Difference?
No nail polish is entirely natural or chemical-free – it just depends on how many harmful ingredients are absent from the product.
The most basic is three-free, which doesn’t contain formaldehyde, the carcinogenic chemical used to preserve specimens in labs. It also doesn’t contain dibutyl phthalate, a plasticiser that’s linked to developmental and reproductive issues. Finally, you also wouldn’t want toluene in your polish – a chemical that causes headaches and brain or kidney damage. It can even be harmful to a developing foetus.
Here are the harmful chemicals that are absent from each one.
- 5-Free - Formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, camphor and dibutyl phthalate
- 7-Free - Formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, camphor, dibutyl phthalate, ethyl tosylamide and xylene
- 10-Free - Toluene, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, parabens, animal by-products and fragrance
- 12-Free - Toulene, MIT, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, parabens, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, MEHQ/HQ and animal by-products
Careful With Your Choice Of Remover Too!
Your effort to choose a polish that works for you will be for nothing if you use a harmful nail polish remover like acetone. Nourished Life offers a safe and gentle alternative. Or, you can use a homemade solution.
Top 12 Non-Toxic Nail Polishes In Australia
Looking for the best natural nail polish takes more than just ordering from Priceline or Chemist Warehouse. To make shopping simpler for you, we’ve rounded up our top picks for chemical-free nail polish, rated based on safety, quality and the number of shades available.
Just because you’re a soon-to-be mom, doesn’t mean you have to stop painting your nails. This cute pregnancy-safe brand contains no harmful chemicals. It’s even baby-friendly, proving that you’re never too young to have your nails on fleek.
Price: Gift Set With Four Colours - $USD14.99 (or $AUD10.35)
Looking for an opaque but breathable product? Go with the Life Basics nail polish. This smooth and quick-drying formula is perfect for those who are looking for a 7-free polish with a solid colour and a satin finish. The naked peach shade is best for everyday use, though the black polish is also a crowd favourite. Feel free to add a top coat for extra shine.
Let your kids in on the fun! Paraben-free and five-free, this kid-safe product is gentle enough for little hands. Paint your child’s nails in a candy pink or soft purple colour. Note that it’s designed for children four years old and up.
Here’s a basic, eight-free polish that’s versatile enough for anyone. It comes in 29 beautiful colours that were made to match any skin tone, so you’ll never have trouble finding your perfect shade. It’s also a Leaping Bunny-certified product, which means it’s absolutely cruelty-free.
This gorgeous butter LONDON nail polish is described as molten gold – and with its dreamy, shimmering gold colour, there’s no surprise as to why. The three-free lacquer proves that choosing toxin-free products doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on beauty.
If you want a gentle, water-based coating, then the Honeybee Gardens polish is the way to go. Going beyond the regular three-, five- or seven-free nail polish, the enamel is proudly 12-free. You don’t have to worry about harsh smells, either. The long-wearing formula comes in 26 colours, so choose whichever one suits your mood.
Going nude doesn’t mean compromising your health. This seven-free enamel has a translucent, caramel sheer that’s perfect for showing off your natural nail colour. No wonder it’s one of the brand’s best-selling products! The vegan formula is also proudly cruelty-free.
Nothing spells sexy like a sensual, deep amber rust polish. And that’s precisely what Hanami’s eco-friendly 10-free formula delivers. Aside from looking amazing, the water-permeable product is easy to apply. Wondering what else is there to love? The polish is cruelty-free and completely vegan.
Many beauty gurus recommend Smith & Cult eight-free nail lacquer. It comes in dazzling, highly pigmented shades that are guaranteed to catch attention anywhere you go. You don’t have to worry about chipping, either – the colours stay on for days.
Save a bit of cash when you order them as a set – this package comes in three classic shades: Tang Bang, Shatter Souls and 1972.
Want a reliable chemical-free nail polish that won’t chip? Then the Jin Soon nail lacquer should be your choice. The formula stays on for days without any sign of wear. The product also comes in a variety of wearable colours, perfect for any mood or occasion.
Did you know that putting on the Scout polish can make your nails healthy? That’s true! This BPA and paraben-free formula hydrates and nourishes your nails like no other enamel can. It even contains broccoli seed extract, as well as bamboo and aloe vera juice. Who knew that polish could also act as an excellent nail strengthener?
Any nail-obsessed individual wants one thing – unlimited choices. And with the Zoya nail lacquer, that’s what you get. The gorgeous non-toxic nail polish comes in more than 300 colours. For example, this green polish glimmers under the summer sun. You can even opt for a moody, deep purple for winter. Can it get any better? Yes, it can – the polish can last up to 10 days without chipping.
Taking Care Of Your Nails Is Taking Care Of Your Health
Choosing a nail polish that doesn’t contain toxins can help you avoid a series of health issues. Now that you’re informed, there’s a good chance you’ll be more conscious about your choices when it comes to nail care. Use any of the products on our list, and we guarantee – you can have an Instagram-worthy #nailfie, minus the risks.