Non-Toxic Nail Polish Brands


Your Nail Polish Could Kill You

Don’t let your nail polish slowly kill your body. Here are the top 15 non-toxic brands.


In 1976, the cosmetics industry itself established the Cosmetic Ingredient Review, a panel that is supposed to “review and assess the safety of ingredients used in cosmetics in an open, unbiased and expert manner,” according to its website. But the panel is financed entirely by the Personal Care Products Council, the industry lobbying group. The panel’s offices are also in the same building in Washington as the products council.

The problem is, no public authority tests the stated ingredients of products like nail polish for accuracy — let alone safety — prior to sale. In other words, cosmetics companies can lie, and women’s health is simply not a priority for the American government.

In 2005, lawmakers in California proposed banning DBP from cosmetic products sold or manufactured in the state. Industry lobbyists flooded the State Capitol (some bearing gift baskets of lipstick and nail polish), spending over a half-million dollars fighting the ban, according to state records. Some of the country’s best-known cosmetics companies — Estée Lauder, Mary Kay and OPI, among others — weighed in against it. The bill ultimately failed.

Your Nail Polish Could Kill You

“Stories of illness and tragedy abound at nail salons across the country; of children born slow or ‘special,’ of miscarriages and cancers, of coughs that will not go away and painful skin afflictions. The stories have become so common that older manicurists warn women of child-bearing age away from the business.” – The New York Times

Does all this mean we have to do away with nail polish? Well, kindof. Unless you’re going to send a sample to a lab to independently verify what chemicals are in the product (since it seems ingredients lists aren’t to be trusted), then you’ll never really know what you’re being exposed to. That said, it’s good to know that there are quite a few options that claim to be much safer than the mainstream brands.

“[Nail salons are] a beautiful industry, it makes people feel better,” Ms. Colon, who owned a salon in Brooklyn, said in an interview, a faint wheeze just audible behind her ready laugh. “But if a lot of people knew the truth behind it, it wouldn’t happen. They wouldn’t go.”

Your Nail Polish Could Kill You

Next: Healthier choices — the top 15 “non-toxic” nail polish brands…

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A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she lives in Monte Carlo, but spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always traveling, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 76 Comments

  1. Chris Moris

    I will never, ever wear nail polish again! I don’t want my baby to be special or something. Avoid nail polish is not just for my future baby, but for me too.

    • Opppsss! Are you gay? Wait, what? daughter? Likeee how?

    • ariel myers

      buuuuuut you’re a dud though? like how? what even? idk.

  2. Marie

    As a mother I did some research into nail polish for my daughter. I couldn’t believe how bad mommy’s nail polish really is.
    My daughter is 2, so it needed to be extra safe, ’cause we all know kids put their hands to their mouths all-the-time.
    So I found this nail polish which should be included in your list. It’s called Bo-Po Nail Polish ( ) It has vibrant colors and it peels right off. My daughter looooooves it.
    It is water based and non-toxic. Honestly, I love doing my nails with it too.

  3. Krysty

    You are so interesting! I do not think I’ve truly read something like this before.
    So great to find another person with a few genuine thoughts on this topic. Really.. thank you for starting this up.
    This web site is one thing that’s needed on the web, someone with a little originality!

  4. Heather

    My mom raised me that nail polish is not a big deal for girls. Yes, Believe it or not, I never tried one. Maybe I know the reasons why.

  5. Stephanie H

    DBP is a dangerous chemical. It shouldn’t be exposed to any human being because it can harm their health. I don’t get why they lie about this chemicals, knowing that it is dangerous.

    • KZ Evans

      Everything is about money. And us girls love to buy things that we think can make us beautiful. Money is evil people will do everything just to have it, even if it means putting other people’s lives at risk.

  6. Amelia Beckons

    The American Government should be involved in this issue. It is about women’s right and protection. The problem is, our Government is more concern about the money than citizens.

  7. Jess Giraudel

    I can’t believe I’m reading an article like this. Can nail polish actually kill me? No! Are you kidding me? Lol hahaha! It’s funny, Hilary.

  8. Kathryn Gibson

    You never fail us, Hilary. This is a very helpful article, especially for us, women. I can’t believe it. Well-known companies are lying to get sales.

  9. Blanche Martina

    Wow. Thank you, Hilary, for making an article like this. I know that there are a lot of women who aren’t aware of this, and this could be a way to spread awareness about this issue.

    • Monique Malick

      I agree. Hilary is such an inspiration to everyone. You are the best! More power to Urbanette! ❤

  10. Christine Muchoe

    I’m throwing my nail polish from Cacie away after reading this. I don’ care if it’s unused, or not. I love my life, more that my nails. Lol

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