BEAUTY: Nail Polish 101

My beautiful cookies, this is about to get real. This time around we are talking all about nail polish, which is something I wish I had more time to do, and will try to make time for it from now on.

But, (there is a but) I want to be careful with what I am putting on my nails, as much as I care of things like not eating processed foods, or applying a toxic moisturizer on my face. So we are going a little deep with this post. I want to show you what I found, but please remember I'm no expert whatsoever and you should make your own research.

I have heard many times before that conventional nail polishes contain a lot of chemicals, and some of these chemicals can break havoc on our bodies once they are absorbed by the nail, disrupting the endocrine system and causing reproductive issues among other things.   

Some of the harmful ingredients they like to use are Toluene, Formaldehyde, DPHP, Xylene, and  Dibutyl Phtalate.

And don't get me started on gel nail polish, I didn't look too much into it, but it seems like it has other not-so-good ingredients in order to avoid chipping or cracking. Add to that the UV light, which is not the best, and suddenly your spa day made a wrong turn into toxicville.

I am not going to lie, I still had some gel manicures done (I had one done just this past December) they are convenient and save me from myself and my uncoordinated left hand, and although I don't do them that often (maybe twice a year at most) I want to focus more on using safer products. 


Here's a list of the most used ingredients in conventional nail polish brands and why you should consider avoiding them. 
  • Toluene. Can affect the central nervous system and cause reproductive harm. Also can cause birth defects and developmental problems in children of pregnant women exposed to it for significant amount of time. 
  • Formaldehyde. It is a known carcinogen, or formaldehyde resin, can cause dermatitis. 
  • Dibutyl Phtalate. Has been linked to reproductive problems as well as birth defects. 
  • Dyphenyl Phospate (DPHP). created when your body metabolizes Tryphenyl Phosphate (TPP) which could disrupt hormones. 
  • Camphor. Can cause nausea, dizzines and headaches when inhaled specially in large doses.
  • Xylene. a known allergen and possible carcinogen.
  • Ethyl Tosylamide. Has already been barred from personal care products in Europe due to its antibiotic properties and concern over antibiotic resistance
How are brands allowed to use this kind of ingredients on their products? There is no regulation that require them to test their products for safety prior to launching them to market, making it really concerning because consumers are purchasing products thinking they are safe for their consumption.


Lucky for us, there are quite a few brands out there that are working hard on awesome effective products that are also affordable. These are brands that I have personally tried and loved, I have to be honest, they still work like any other nail polish, meaning that they chip fast and don't last as long, at least for me, maybe because I am always washing my hands. But they do have great ranges of color, from neutrals, brights and darks, so there is definitely something for everyone. My favorites? you guessed right. Neutrals!  

Lauren B. 

- 5 free. Free of formaldehyde, DBP, toluene, formaldehyde resin and camphor.
- Vegan and cruelty free
- Made in the U.S.A.

- Also carry a wide range of botanical nail and cuticle care products, along with a non acetone nail  polish remover. 
- Price $18-20 

Orly Breathable Treatment and Color

- 13 free. formulated without Toluene, Formaldehyde,Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor, Ethyl Tosylamide, Xylene, Triphenyl Phosphate (TPP), MEHQ/HQ, MIT, Parabens, Animal Derived Ingredients or Gluten.
- Vegan and cruelty free 
- Price $9.50
- They seem to carry their regular Professional Nail polish which is also 12 free. Toluene, Formaldehyde, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor, Ethyl Tosylamide, Xylene,  MEHQ/HQ, MIT, Parabens, Animal Derived Ingredients or Gluten.
- However, their gel nail color, and EPIX hybrid gel system lines don't have information on whether they are free of toxic ingredients or not.
- You can find a lot of colors at Target

Defy and Inspire. 

- 9 free. No DBP, No Toluene, No Formaldehyde Resin, No Camphor, No Propyl-paraben, No Butyl- paraben, No Phthalates, No Formaldehyde-donors, No Nonylphenol ethoxylate
- Cruelty free, but not vegan
- It is a Target brand
- Price $7.49

Ella + Mila. 

- 7 free. contain no Toluene, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Triphenyl Phosphate (TPHP), Xylene or Camphor. 
- Peta certified
- Vegan, cruelty free
- Made in the U.S.A.
- Price $10.50 and free shipping from their website
- Some colors can be found at Target.
- They also carry soy based nail polish remover.

Aside from these brands, there are many others in the market right now that are safer to use, so next time you feel like getting your nails done, think about these brands to make your mani pedi experience a much safer one! And make sure to check spas near you, they might already carry safe brands for you to pick the perfect color!



  1. This is such a great post. I love painting my nails and my kids nails, but I have completely stopped doing it because of the toxins in nail polish. This post gives me hope knowing there are some healthy and non-toxic options out there. Thank you SO much for sharing!


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