My beauty obsessions go in phases; most recently, it was collecting lipstick I’m only brave enough to wear around the house. I’ve since moved on to building a fabulous nail polish collection, something completely necessary that I am still working on finding space for. In my quest to green my beauty routine, I’ve learned quite a bit that I want to pass on to you.
There is no such thing as an all-natural nail polish. There may be water-based and non-toxic formulas, but all of the ingredients required to shellac the pigment to the nails are not made of anything pretty. At the very least, you should be looking for “3-Free” nail polishes, which do not contain dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, and toluene in their formulas. What’s the big deal?
Here’s the condensed version: Dibutyl phthalate is a plasticizer that is included to prevent chipping and is also commonly used in PVC plastics, which have been known to pose serious health risks. Although it only exists as a harmless resin in nail polish, helping to harden the lacquer, formaldehyde is included because of its use in other nail treatments, so be on the lookout for this toxin in your other nail products. Lastly, toluene is another toxic ingredient found in paints, adhesives, varnishes, etc. The fact is, there are plenty of formulas that do not include these toxins, so why expose yourself to them if you don’t have to?
I have fallen in love with Scotch Naturals – a water-based, vegan formula that comes in a chic biodegradable bottle and 30 different shades. It is free of toxins, parabens, gluten, acetone, heavy metals, and fragrance, and is hypoallergenic. This cruelty-free, natural nail polish company also makes soy and plant-based removers. I love their cocktail-inspired marketing, too (also, get 20% off when you buy a customized Cocktail Trio). It’s clever and fun without being *too* precious. “Not all Scotch is an acquired taste…”
Click here to find an extensive list of brands that are considered 3-Free and natural, from the awesome nail blog All Lacquered Up. Make sure to try Butter London and Zoya – I’m currently wearing Zoya Morgan, a hot Barbie pink!
One more note – if you’re trying a nail polish from a brand whose other products are touted as natural, you still might want to check the ingredients. I recently read that Julep markets its hand scrubs as being paraben-, sulfate-, and phthalate-free, but its nail polish does contain phthalates, also known as PET-1, the chemical found in plastic water bottles and plastic containers.
Will you green your nail routine?