Nail Polish: Going Green

Sometimes it can be hard to find ways to make our habits more eco-friendly.  Fortunately, sometimes making a few small changes can greatly affect our health and sustainability.  When it comes to nail polish, you can find plenty of cute, eco-friendly alternatives. When shopping for nail polish there are three big ingredients to avoid:

1) Formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen associated with various cancers and leukemia. It is used in building materials and as an industrial disinfectant. Banned in cosmetics in Sweden and Japan although legal in the U.S., formaldehyde causes headaches, respiratory problems, irritates eyes, and can worsen asthma when inhaled. When ingested, it can even cause death.

2) Toluene. Toluene is a solvent commonly used in nail polish. It has intoxicating properties and is also commonly used as an inhalant drug. Toluene can cause serious neurological damage.  Toluene is so toxic because the body is unable to properly metabolize it. Your body can’t get rid of it through sweat or bodily waste. Most of the toxicity is taken out when it is metabolized, but the leftovers can cause severe damage to your cells.

3) DBP (Phthalates). DBP is what is called a plasticizer. They are added to nail polish to make it more fluid, or easier and smoother to apply. The use of DBP within cosmetics, including nail polish, has been banned within the European Union and most producers within the United States have stopped using it as well. DBP is thought to be an endocrine disrupter, may be linked to obesity, and has been known to cause birth defects in mice.

With all that, it’s a wonder we haven’t banned nail polish altogether! Luckily, there are plenty of other options out there.

Sparitual is my absolute favorite. They have bright colors, all of their nail polish is vegan, and they have a decent selection to choose from. They also sell base coats, top coats, cuticle treatments, and polish removers. Also, their pricing is comparable to brands like OPI. Drawback? You can’t order online, and finding somewhere that sells it can be tough.

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The Tate Family sells The Natural Miracle Odorless Nail Polish Remover, which is made with 100% minerals. They don’t test on animals and have a very loyal following in the natural community. While they don’t sell polish at all, their polish remover can’t be beat.

No Miss is another popular brand of natural nail polish.  They have a decent range of colors and they’re cruelty-free.  This brand is very popular in natural food stores like Whole Foods and independently owned markets.

Peacekeeper Cause-Metics Nail paint is also a good one. They are very upfront about what is in their polish, and they rate a 3/10 on the Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetic Safety Database. Also, they donate all of their “after-tax, distributable profits to women’s health advocacy and urgent human rights issues”. So not only can you feel good about your nail polish, but you can also rack up some karma points while you’re at it.

Priti NYC , you just have to love them with their fun and flirty colors. They even have an entire line for children, including a few that glow in the dark. They’re certified organic which is a big hit in my opinion.

Zoya has the largest selection of natural polish I’ve ever found. They come out with a new collection every season, and they’re gorgeous. They also have tons of awesome kits and accessories to go with your polish, and you can order online.

Hopefully this will help you get started greening up your beauty routine!

eco nail polish, manicure, pedicure, green products, colorful nails, fingernails, nail polish, toe nails

Comments 6

  1. After trying Suncoat and paying $40 for what turned to be a major major disappointment, I found that Orly products avoid those three ingredients, and are far more affordable (and easy to find) than the majority of the more boutique / marketed as natural brands. I blogged about the topic too, but after my initial $40 bust, I decided I was NOT going to try all the brands… just didn’t have it in the wallet!

    Thanks for the info!

  2. One of my fears with “green” beauty care is that they replace the chemicals that we know are bad with products and combinations that are untested at all. After all, cosmetics are wholly unregulated. I would love to hear more discussion about the ingredients and how we know they are safe. I fear that in 10 or 20 years we’ll find out this stuff isn’t that safe. Why not buff and oil your nails and leave the colors and polishes out of it?

  3. Pingback: CauseMetics- Environmentally friendly makeup recommendations | Bambu Batu

  4. Free of Toxic Trio isn’t enough for some brands. Snails (safe nails) is 6-free
    First WASHABLE (no acetone required to remove) nail polish made in France

  5. Pingback: CauseMetics- Environmentally friendly makeup recommendations - Bambu Batu - The House of BambooBambu Batu – The House of Bamboo

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