6 Best Non-Toxic Nail Polishes Available in Canada
These non-toxic nail polishes look good and are good for you.
Why you really should use non-toxic nail polish
Everyone loves a good DIY manicure, but perhaps we should be focusing less on how to make nail polish last longer and more on how to make it less harmful to our health. In 2015, a widely quoted study co-authored by researchers at Duke University and the Environmental Working Group reported evidence of a common nail polish chemical called triphenyl phosphate (TPHP). The chemical, a known endocrine disruptor that may interfere with hormone function, was found in the bodies of every single woman who painted her nails for the study. Other toxins in nail polish have been linked to additional health issues. That’s where non-toxic nail polish comes in.
You’ve probably read about 3-free, 5-free, 7-free, 9-free, 10-free products (among others). There’s a reason those numbers appear on labels. “Non-toxic nail polish generally means that the formulation does not contain these three ingredients: toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), or formaldehyde. This is also listed as ‘3 Free’ on the packaging,” said Dasha Minina, founder of Maxus Nails, which sells vegan polishes that are free of 10 chemicals (aka 10 free). The higher the number, the more toxic chemicals the polish excludes.
The good news is that in the past few years, more nail polish companies have committed to creating less-toxic products, so it’s easier to find the best nail polish and best gel nail polish without compromising your health. (Just be sure you know how to remove gel nail polish without harming your nails.) Read on for some of our favorite non-toxic nail polishes.
(Related: 8 Best Gel Nail Polishes for a Chip-Free Manicure)
Maxus Nails Base Coat
Best non-toxic base coat
If you have brittle or weak nails or just want a little extra TLC, try a strengthening base coat. We love the way this cruelty-free vegan nail polish preps nails for a full manicure. Knowing this is free from 11 toxic chemicals will help you feel good about slicking it over your nails.
Olive & June Nail Polish in GH
Best non-toxic salon-quality polish
If you hate the way light colors can go on chalky, you’re going to love the opaque coverage of this 7-free, baby-pink shade. It’s a similarly delicate shade as Queen Elizabeth’s favorite nail polish. The brand also has a whole bunch of nail tools (though we had bad luck with the nail stickers in the past), so you can have an entire nail salon experience from the comfort of your home.
Pacifica Plant Magic Polish
This blushing shade is a versatile pick that you can dress up or tone down depending on your mood. It’s vegan, 100 percent cruelty-free, and free of 16 toxins. The extra-wide brush makes polishing your nails easier. Pacifica is a well-established brand in the clean beauty world, which matters. As a study in Environmental Science & Technology explains, phrases like 3-free and 16-free on nail polish labels vary by brand and aren’t validated by a third party. You’re taking the company at its word, so make sure you trust it. Finish off your home manicure with a moisturizing cuticle oil.
(Related: 7 Hacks for Strong and Healthy Nails)
Deborah Lippmann Gel Lab Pro Nail Polish in Lady Is a Tramp
Best cruelty-free non-toxic nail polish
Deborah Lippmann’s Gel Lab Pro nail polish is the healthier alternative to gel polish, free of 10 toxic ingredients. The formula is packed with ingredients aimed at improving nail quality, including evening primrose, keratin, biotin, green tea extract, rice protein, and bamboo. Best of all, you don’t need a heat lamp or curing treatment. We appreciate how committed the company is to its cruelty-free policy. It does not sell its polish to outlets or stores that require animal testing by law.
Habit Cosmetics Nail Polish in 18 Soft Focus
Best nail strengthener
The bottle of Habit non-toxic nail polish is so gorgeous you’d be forgiven for mistaking it for cool home decor. This woman-owned company, which launched in 2013, focuses on sustainable packaging. It’s PETA certified, free of nine toxic chemicals, and contains myrrh extract, which improves nail strength. Good news for anyone who buys from only vegan makeup brands: Habit’s polishes are free of animal ingredients.
Dr.’s Remedy Total Two-In-One Enriched Nail Polish
Best for damaged nails
This organic polish—it can be used as either a base or top coat—works to strengthen damaged nails. Need more reasons to love this brand? The 10-free nail polishes are cruelty-free, vegan friendly, and made with ingredients aimed at helping nails grow faster and healthier, including biotin, tea tree oil, garlic bulb extract, lavender wheat protein, and vitamins. Wear it over your favorite colored polish to protect against UV rays.