Free from: The toxin’s in nail polish breakdown

Brush up on your nail knowledge and read our full breakdown of ‘free-from’ polish ingredients.

Looking for a polish that is free from harmful chemicals, vegan friendly nail polish or nail polish that is safe to wear during pregnancy? Get the low-down on what to look for before making your next toxin-free nail polish purchase to help you choose the formula best suited to your nail needs. There are now over 10 ingredients that nail brands are looking to avoid when producing nail colours and formulas. It is important to bare in mind that the following chemicals whether they are included in your nail polish would be in very small doses, and Nail Polish Direct only source salon professional, regulated brands that are safe to use.

Let’s start with the basics…

What are the 10 chemicals to avoid when we look at 3-free (the toxic trio), 5-free, 7-free and 10-free nail polishes?

3-Free Chemicals also known as: The Toxic Trio

  1. Dibutyl Phthalate in nail polish (DBP) – This is one of the three chemicals that is part of what is classed as the ‘Toxic Trio’. DBP is a plasticized phthalate chemical that is found in solvents to make substances pliable. DBP is to be avoided during pregnancy.
  2. Formaldehyde in nail polish – This is the second chemical in the ‘Toxic Trio’. Formaldehyde is a strong preservative chemical that is found in building materials, household products and more. In small doses, Formaldehyde can be used in some nail polishes.
  3. Toulene in nail polish – This is the third chemical that makes up the ‘Toxic Trio’. Toulene is a strong smelling solvent. It is found in resins, plasticizers and some nail polishes to thin the formula and improve application. It is also a common ingredient in nail polish removers to dissolve other harsh chemicals. Toulene is another chemical to avoid during pregnancy.

Generally speaking, always look for 3-free formulas or more when pregnant to be completely safe and confident in your nail polish formula.

Other chemicals excluded from 5-Free, 7-Free and 10-free formulas

In addition to Dibutyl Phthalate, Formaldehyde and Toulene, 5-free, 7-free and 10-free products are also excluding the following ingredients:

4. Formaldehyde Resin in nail polish– This chemical is used in some formulas to give polishes a gloss finish. It creates a durable, tough finish in certain nail polishes.

5. Camphor in nail polish – This is derived from the Camphor tree used traditionally as a healing ingredient from distilled bark. Although it is also found in solutions such as cough remedys and vaporubs.

6. Ethyl Tosylamide in nail polish – This chemicals is commonly used in nail polishes as it’s properties help nail polish and nail lacquer to resist chipping and wearing off the nail bed.

7. Xylene in nail polish – Xylene is a solvent that is also known as Xytol or Dimethylbenzene. Used in cosmetics, this is a hydrocarbon that is naturally occurring naturally in petroleum.

8. Parabens in nail polish – Parabens are chemicals that preserve products such as face creams, body lotions, nail polishes, serums, body milks and more to prevent the growth of bacteria in the solutions.

9. Animals derivites, testing and by-products – This is the part that you’re looking for if you’re interested in Vegan friendly beauty and the elimination of animal testing in your cosmetics. Products that are Vegan friendly are generally 10-free, but will often state seperately that they are Vegan-friendly and cruelty-free.

10. Fragrance – Nail products that are 10-free also elimate the ingredients that give your nail polishes a specific fragrance. They will smell of the naturally occuring ingredients with no additives.

Which nail polish and gel polish brands are 3-free, 5-free, 7-free and 10-free?

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The following brands state that they are free from the chemicals listed below:

OPI nail polish is 3-free and does not contain: Dibutyl Phthalate, Formaldehyde and Toulene.

China Glaze nail polish is 3-free and does not contain: Dibutyl Phthalate, Formaldehyde and Toulene.

Essie nail polish is 3-free and does not contain: Dibutyl Phthalate, Formaldehyde and Toulene.

Sally Hansen nail polish is 3-free and does not contain: Dibutyl Phthalate, Formaldehyde and Toulene.

CND Vinylux nail polish is 7-Free and does not contain: formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, xylene or MEK.

Cuccio is a 100% cruelty-free brand meaning they do not test on animals for any of their products. The majority of Cuccio nail polishes and Cuccio Veneer gel polishes are Vegan and are free of animal bi-products, however we are not considered a 100% Vegan brand as there are a few shades that may contain ingredients of animal origin; such as carmine or fish scales.

Cuccio nail polishes and Cuccio Veneer Gel polishes are all 10-free and do not contain: Formaldehyde, Tosylamide / Formaldehyde Resin, Toluene, DBP, Camphor, Xylene, Ethyl Tosylamide, Parabens, Fragrance, Triphenyl Phosphate.

Halo Gel Polish is completely compliant with UK and EU regulations and cruelty free however does not specifiy whether it is Vegan or free-from any specific chemicals.

Mavala nail polishes are cruelty-free but do not specify whether they are vegan-friendly also. Mavala nail polishes are 10-free and do not contain: Dibutyl Phthalate, Formaldehyde, Toulene, Parabens, Camphor, Xylene, Triphenyl Phosphate (TPHP), Rosin and Nickel.

Which nail polish and gel polish brands are vegetarian, vegan and cruelty-free?

The following nail polish brands offer vegan-friendly, vegetarian and/or cruelty-free nail products meaning that they are free from ingredients that are derivitives of animals and free from animal testing.

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Nails Inc nail polish is 5-free and does not contain: Phthalates including DBP, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde resin, Animal derivatives, Camphor. Nails Inc is 100% cruelty-free so do NOT test on animals. Nails Inc are a 100% vegetarian brand and are working towards being 100% vegan.

2am London gel polish has a vegan-friendly, cruelty-free formula and does not specify whether it is free-from any specific chemicals.

Artistic Nail Design meaning Artistic Colour Gloss gel polishes and Artistic Colour Revolution nail polishes are Vegan, with the exception of the Revive Cuticle Oil which contains fish oils. Artistic Nail Designdoes not specify whether it is free-from any specific chemicals.

Butter London nail polish is 8-Free and does not contain: Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, DBP, Toluene, Camphor, Ethyl Tosylamide, Xylene, or TPHP. Patent Shine 10X™ Nail Lacquer (look for the silver caps) are now 100% Vegan. All Butter London products are free-from animal testing.

Zoya nail polish is 10-free and does not contain: toluene, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, parabens, TPHP, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, dibutyl phthalate or lead, as well as being 100% vegan friendly, cruelty free and breathable.

A England nail polish is 3-free and does not contain: Dibutyl Phthalate, Formaldehyde and Toulene. A England nail polish is also cruelty-free and vegan friendly.

Bluesky gel golish is 100% Vegan and is registered by The Vegan Society; the official association whose trademark is registered worldwide to highlight vegan-friendly and cruelty-free products. Bluesky gel nail polish does not contain: formaldehyde.

Ciaté London nail polish is Peta certified, 100% vegan friendly and cruelty free. Ciaté London does not specify whether it is free-from any specific chemicals.

Deborah Lippmann is a 100% Vegan and cruelty-free brand. Deborah Lippmann nail polish is also 7-free and does not contain: formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide and xylene.

Daisy DND Gel Polish is Vegan friendly, cruelty-free and free from animal testing. Daisy DND gel polish does not specify whether it is free-from any specific chemicals.

Jessica nail polish is Vegan-friendly and cruelty-free. Jessica nail polish is also 7-free and does not contain: Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Toulene, Dibutyl phthalate, Camphor, Xylene, Ethyl Tosylamide.

Leighton Denny nail polish is Vegan-friendly and cruelty-free. Leighton Denny does not specify whether it is free-from any specific chemicals.

Maggie Anne nail polish is 7-free and does not contain: Tulene, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin ,Camphor and THTP. Maggie Anne also does not test on animals and is 100% vegan-friendly.

Nailberry is 12 Free, 100% Vegan & Gluten Free, Cruelty Free, Breathable / Oxygenated, Moisture Permeable and Certified Halal.

ORLY nail polishes are 12-free and are formulated without: Toluene, Formaldehyde, Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor, Ethyl Tosylamide, Xylene, MEHQ/HQ, MIT, Parabens, Animal Derived Ingredients or Gluten. Orly is also vegan and cruelty-free with the exception of the Cuticle Therapy Crème which contains Lanolin and the Gel FX Remover which also contains Lanolin (lanolin is a type of wool derived from sheep wool).

Piggy Paint, a water-based nail polish developed for childen with the tag line ‘natural as mud’ is 5 free and does not contain: formaldehyde, toluene, phthalates, Bisphenol A, ethyl acetate and acetone. Piggy Paint nail polish is also 100% vegan and cruelty free.

Other brands featured online at Nail Polish Direct are professionally sourced, however may not be mentioned on the above list as they themselves do not specify on their website whether they are free-from specific chemicals or vegan friendly and cruelty free. If you haven’t found the brand you’re looking for, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We advise contacting the brands directly for a full allergen and free-from list.

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