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The best non-toxic nail polishes on the market!

Non-toxic nail polish? Is this a thing? Well, apparently so. We all know that nail polish has that distinctively pungent chemical smell, but I had no idea that these chemicals can actually be harmful to our bodies. Before we go into why non-toxic nail polishes might be a good addition to your beauty routine, I will stress that most people use regular nail polish for their whole lives and are absolutely fine. However, it is always worth minimizing the amount of chemicals that you use on your body, and making sure that the products you use are from decent sources (cruelty free, sustainable etc).

So, what is in nail polish and why can it be bad? For starters, most contain Toluene which is associated with inducing headaches and nausea, so if you’ve felt a bit queasy after painting your nails this could be why. There may also be Formaldehyde resin and Camphor, which is unlikely to cause any distinctive negative effects in the small doses that appear in nail polish; however it can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions. Lastly, Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) is associated with potentially complicating pregnancy and impacting fertility, hence why this is one of the main chemicals that non-toxic brands aim to remove from their products. DBP, Formaldehyde and Toluene are considered to be the ‘big three’, so are the ones that you should try to avoid if you are trying to use cleaner beauty products.


Smith & Cult – £19

This is a more expensive choice, but is worth it if you’re looking for a luxurious treat. It is also vegan (amazing!) and comes in loads of different beautiful shades. The reviews are mostly 5* so you can also guarantee that it is a high quality product. 


Nailberry – £14.50

This nail polish comes in an incredible 57 shades, and is vegan, gluten and cruelty free! Nailberry is amazing because the formula dries very quickly, so is great for those who get impatient when painting their nails.


Butter London – £12

Butter London is an 8-free formula nail polish, meaning that it does not contain eight of the most toxic nail polish ingredients. It also has an extensive shade range, and dries very glossy and has amazing staying power (Last time I painted my nails with this it lasted over a week chip free!)


Zoya – £11

This polish can be bought in Holland & Barrett on the high street, and is regularly part of promotions in store. Again, this is vegan and extremely high quality, so you definitely get what you pay for. They also have a hugely diverse shade range on their website (over 400!), so there will be a colour to suit whatever mood you are in. 


Autograph Flash Gel Nail – £7.50

Another high street buy, and for an amazing price. It is vegan, paraben and alcohol free and gives you that expensive gel finish that makes you look like you’ve just left the nail salon. If you want a long lasting and low maintenance polish then this is worth a try.


Even if you’re not completely sold on the non-toxic nail polish kick, hopefully you will take more time to check what is in the products you use on your body. The more natural the better, as it is less likely to cause nasty reactions and usually is better for the environment. It is just as important to put good quality ingredients on the outside as it is for your inside!

I am a third year English Lit student at The University of Exeter.
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