Less Toxic Nail Polish and Nail Care


A few months ago on Instagram I asked in stories if people had suggestions for a more eco and health friendly nail polish. I think my nail polish query on Instagram was my most responded-to story to date. I had no idea that A) nails were such a hot topic and B) that there were so many nail polish companies out there using less toxic formulations.

Emphasis on less toxic, not non toxic. The standard for “green” nail polish is how many bad chemicals they’ve cut out, not what great, nourishing ingredients they contain. I have to separate it out from my standards of everything else I put on my body or else I would have to stop using nail polish all together. For instance, in one 8 Free formula there is a chemical called: polyethylene terephthalate. Personally, I just don’t trust a man made chemical I can’t pronounce. However, the Environmental Working Group says it has low toxicity. So, I guess this means, paint with abandon!

Below is the list of brands I compiled from all of the suggestions I received on Instagram stories. Some brands make it obvious what their “_ free” number is, so for those I put it next to the brand name.


Butter London


Dazzle Dry

Flora 1761 8 Free

Gabriel Cosmetics 10 Free


J. Hannah 7 Free

Julep 5 Free

Londontown 9 Free

Miranda Bennet 7 Free


Priti NYC



Smith + Cult 8 Free

Spa Ritual 12 Free

Sundays 10 Free

TenoverTen 8 Free

Veque 9 Free

Zoya 10 Free

So many brands! I had no idea. I also stumbled across this article with even more brands not included here. With so many to choose from, and only so much time and money to paint my nails, I bought a couple colors from Flora1761 as my first foray into less toxic nails. I based my first “green” nail polish purchase on the pretty packaging, availability of colors I like (I pretty much just stick to reds and pinks) and the fact that they were having a holiday sale. The verdict: slightly less durable than the Essie I used to use, but it works! It also smells just like the conventional pharmacy nail polish, so I would suggest painting in a ventilated area. Again, you’re still putting unnatural chemicals on your nails, it’s just less bad. As with all things, do your research, weigh your options and choose what works for you!


I paint my nails occasionally, and in between paintings, I like to keep them healthy with the following tips:

-Eat: Biotin in the form of foods including eggs, avocados, cauliflower.

-Use: Skin Food to moisturize hands and nails. You can also soak your nails in olive oil for 15 minutes a few nights in a row to give them extra TLC.

This is my favorite natural nail polish remover.

I learned a trick recently to whiten nails when I was having a serious day of dyeing without gloves and was asked last-minute to hand model for Wwake the next day: use a combination of hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice, and baking soda all together in a bowl and it will magically whiten your nails naturally!