Best Non-Toxic Nail Polish Options

Katie Wells Avatar

Reading Time: 4 minutes

This post contains affiliate links.

Read my affiliate policy.

Best non-toxic nail polish options
Wellness Mama » Blog » Beauty » Best Non-Toxic Nail Polish Options

I’ve written about how to make just about every natural beauty product I can think of, from deodorant to mascara, but one thing I’ve never been able to find a DIY recipe for is nail polish! While I still believe consuming gelatin is the best way to get beautiful nails, I do love a nice manicure or pedicure (usually administered at home with my girls).

Conventional nail polish can be one of the most toxic beauty products around and many contain a host of harmful chemicals. These chemicals are especially harmful to children and pregnant women, so I set out to find some safer alternatives that would help us keep our pretty pink toes.

Problems With Nail Polish

So how do chemicals get from your nails into your body? Well for starters, there’s a real mix of toxic chemicals in the nail polish.

Nail polishes often include:

  • Toulene– A chemical known to cause reproductive harm and dizziness. It is also found in gasoline and the CDC warns that it can cause central nervous system problems.
  • Formaldehyde– This known carcinogen is found in many nail polishes. It is also used to preserve dead things and when used in lab preparations, there are strict warnings to avoid inhalation or skin contact.
  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) -This chemical is banned in Europe and is known to cause reproductive problems, especially in boys. The Environmental Working Group classifies this chemical as the highest danger level and warns that it can cause organ problems and endocrine disruption.
  • Assorted other chemicals.

Nail polish removers are equally problematic and the fumes are especially harmful.

Are There Safe Options?

I stay far away from conventional nail polish, but with three daughters, I wanted to find some less toxic options that they could use occasionally. Many brands claim to be safe and natural, so we did a lot of research to narrow down to a few to try.

My daughters and I tested some of the top options that had a safe rating in the Environmental Working Group database. We had great results with several of the brands we tried, while some didn’t work well at all.

I’ve shared our top picks below, but it is important to note that even these safer options still have some chemicals in them and I wouldn’t use them all the time.

If you’ve been using conventional nail polish, not only would I suggest stopping right away, but also to dispose of conventional nail polish carefully. The EPA classifies nail polish as household hazardous waste (perhaps a hint we shouldn’t be using it) and requests that it is disposed of in a proper hazardous waste disposal site. You can use this directory (in the US) to find a hazardous waste disposal site near you.

It is also important to note that nail salons typically do not use non-toxic nail polish options. This means the air in nail salons is usually highly contaminated with chemicals. I suggest avoiding nail salons entirely, but if you do go to one, ask about the nail polish and removers they use and look for safer options.

Non-Toxic Nail Polish Options

These are our favorite nail polish options of all of the brands I researched and all of the ones we tried. I enlisted my daughters as testers on these since they are typically very active and tough on their nails.

1. Acquarella

Acquarella ranked a 1/10 on the EWG database. It is definitely pricey so it isn’t one I would use regularly, but it stayed on nails and didn’t have a strong chemical smell. It is available in a lot of colors and my daughters wanted all of them.

Aquarella nail polishes are water-based, free of the chemicals listed above, and even vegan and wheat free. They also make a non-toxic nail polish remover.

2. Honeybee Gardens

Another favorite with my tiny testers. This brand is also water-based, free of the three dangerous chemicals, and has a low rating on the EWG database. It is available in 25 colors, including this lovely hibiscus.

I like how you can remove this nail polish with vodka or rubbing alcohol and not have to buy nail polish remover at all.

3. Piggy Paint

Definitely gets the award for cutest name and these were a favorite with my kids. This brand didn’t seem to stay on nails as long, but that was fine with the kids since they want to change nail colors often anyway.

Best Natural Nail Polish Options

Piggy Paint is also one of the least expensive brands. We tried this sampler trio and it was less expensive than a single bottle of some of the other brands we tried.

Fun fact: Piggy Paint also sells cute little nail art stickers in a variety of designs. They are tiny, so they’re the perfect size for little fingers and stay on really well when covered with a top coat or sparkly polish.

4. Suncoat

This is another non-toxic option with an EWG rating of 1. The interesting thing about Suncoat is that it peels off easily, meaning you do not need nail polish remover. This ended up being fun for the girls, but it also didn’t last long on their nails since they had so much fun peeling it off.

5. ella+mila

While I haven’t tried it personally, this nail polish brand avoids the 7 worst chemicals in conventional nail polish. It is also available in an enormous range of colors and finishes (including sparkles!). They also claim to be chip resistant, fast drying, and vegan. I also think my girls would love the adorable little elephant on the bottle. If you try it, let me know what you think!

Want more natural nail care? Try this homemade cuticle cream to get nails looking their best before a natural manicure!

Do you use nail polish? Have you ever looked at non-toxic nail polish options?

These non-toxic nail polish choices are water-based, natural, free of chemicals toulene and formaldehyde and rated safe by the Environmental Working Group.
Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


217 responses to “Best Non-Toxic Nail Polish Options”

  1. Tia O'Brien Avatar
    Tia O’Brien

    I tried Jamberry nails and have to say I do not believe the non-toxic claim. I am VERY sensitive to chemicals and I got a plastic taste in my mouth both times I tried to keep these on my nails. Then I found out there was PVC in them. I would not let my kids use this.

  2. Nina Avatar

    I just wanted to give everyone a heads up on the Scotch Naturals polishes. I have been using them for about two years and was so happy to have found them. Then, all of a sudden, all of the German shops I bought them from had taken them out of their stocks. I enquired as to why that was, and confirmed what they told me: A pretty well-known eco-magazine called “Oekotest” has found Methylpyrrolidon in them which is reprotoxic. Their conclusion was: This nail polish should never have been sold. Now I’m stuck with a couple hundred dollars worth of nail polish that I’m definitely not using anymore! I will give Acquarella a try but this whole incident has made me really sceptic towards “non-toxic” nail polish in general.

    1. Natalia Olivia Avatar
      Natalia Olivia

      100 percent pure makes amazing nail polish and has a good reputation. They are based out of California.

  3. Jackie Avatar

    I love Zoya nail polish and it is 5 free and works and last wonderfully.

  4. Jeni Avatar

    Has anyone tried the Treat line of non-toxic Polish? I just bought it from Amazon. Stays on fairly well with the Deborah Lippmann “gel” alternative base and top coat.

  5. Celine Avatar

    I live in China and I use Mild’s. It’s pretty cheap (a bottle for 8 dollars) compared with American brands that come with the shipping fee (a bottle can cost 16 dollars or more!) It works well and almost has no smell. It peels off easily but I’ve found that it tends to make the nails look a bit unhealthy…So normally I let my nails rest for a few days before I paint them again:)

  6. Pattie Avatar

    I would also love to find out what you think about Jamberry nail wraps. I just went to a party and really liked them! They were super cute and easy and they look great. But a friend sent me an article that suggested they weren’t as non toxic as they claim since they are made of pvc. They said even the glue used isn’t great for you either. I was so excited and was so close to signing up to be a consultant! So bummed about this…

  7. Molly Avatar

    Do you have any info on Jamberry nail wraps? They seem like a good non-toxic option, but at $20 per sheet with shipping I usually just opt for the nail polish. This makes me think again! Thanks!

  8. Christine Avatar

    How about Karma Organic Spa? I have been using the remover for a while and its great! Just purchased a bottle of polish and so far I love it too (though I only JUST applied it today) No smell! Great addition to my non-toxic lifestyle with Celadon Road 🙂

  9. Dana Avatar

    I only use Willow & Wren! Love their colors and it’s 5-free! Safest one I’ve found yet.

  10. Isabel G. Avatar
    Isabel G.

    I found a nail polish diy by polished on youtube
    What you need:
    Clear nail polish
    tooth pick (or something small to mix with
    glitter (optional)
    How to make it:
    1 pick a color(s) that you like
    2 scrape it out into the nail polish
    3 add glitter (optional)
    4 mix with tooth pick

  11. Hilary Avatar

    I like Butter of London nail polish from Sephora. It isn’t tested on animals either!

  12. Crystal Avatar

    I’m curious as to thoughts on the Jamberry Nail Wraps as well. The only ingredient on the package is for the adhesive which is Acrylates Copolymer. According to EWG’s Skin Deep, it rates a 2.

    I asked a rep what the wraps were made of and I was sent a MSDS sheet. They are made of polyvinylchloride film on paper. (PVC) Of course according to the MSDS sheet, there are no known health hazards associated with the use of this product. But we also know how PVC does a number on the endocrine system. Is the major concern with PVC when it leaches into our food and drinking water? Is it ok to glue PVC to your nails?

    1. Charlotte Avatar

      I would also like to know about this! Are the Jamberry nails safe? Is it ok to glue PVC to your nails?

      1. Maddie Avatar

        Disclosure: I am a Jamberry Independent Consultant. But I did a lot of research into this product before I started using them on myself. I have a couple of chemists on my Jamberry team, and my understanding is that the phthalates in Jamberry are only dangerous when heated to extreme heats, such as being burned. As long as you use the product as directed and don’t light them on fire and sniff them, they are very safe.
        But if anyone is very educated in this area and has done further research, I’d love to hear what you found.

  13. Kara Avatar

    I love Zoya polishes – they have great staying power and a couple times a year run a Free 3 special, where you only pay shipping (takes a long time to ship though – so be prepared for that).

    Another brand I really love is No Miss. I think this is the one a previous posted mentioned sells at Whole Foods. They also stay on really well.

  14. Shannon Avatar

    Hi I love all of this information. I use Josie Marans Argan Oil Line of pure oil and cosmetics she has on QVC because its all made from argan oil and natural ingredients. I have not seen any finger nail polish yet but I have ordered her nail polish remover wipes for our 3 year old who loves nails and toes painted and could not stand using the regular nail polish remover and was searching for new polish and was planning on trying little piggies glad I found this site. The nail polish remover is called Josie Maran Bear Naked nail wipes has little polar bears on the front come with lavender or natural grapefruit scent. I love them and so does she because she can do it herself. (3 at the end of of the month) Thank you!

  15. JP Avatar

    Have you had trouble removing the Scotch Naturals? A local vendor said she decided not to carry it because the polish was impossible to remove. She said she had to literally scrape it off (after using the SN remover) and it damaged the nail.

  16. Rebecca Nicodemus Avatar
    Rebecca Nicodemus

    I will also vote for Jamberry nails. They are non toxic and I think they are much easier and last longer than nail polish plus they have so many cute designs for women and children!

  17. claire Avatar

    My niece uses a brand call Jamberry nails…it’s a covering simular to fake nail’s.
    I’m not sure about them as I can’t find a lot of info on ingredient’s.
    Would appreciate your help with this.
    One thing I did like they came off with olive
    Love your site and all you do!
    Big hug to you and your family!

  18. Leah Avatar

    I have been using ZOYA which is 3 free and great. Many of ORLY nail polishes are 3 free as well and can be found at many drugstores and Sally Beauty Supply stores. The great thing about these brands are that they’re cheap and last 6-8 days chip free.

  19. Zoe Avatar

    I recently discovered “Flower” nail polishes, Free of DBP, toluene & camphor and only $5/each with an amazing variety of colors and staying power. Love them!

  20. Wanda Wakkinen Avatar
    Wanda Wakkinen

    So good to hear of all these more healthy choices. I did not read about colored “henna” products, which can be used as lip color, rouge, and nail polish. The one I use is called Mehru Herbal Lip Dye, and it comes in many colors. For the Plum Fairy color, the ingredients are: Berberry Roots Powder, Bees wax, Cosmetic colour, IPA, Glycerine, Flower scent, mineral water. Be careful! If you use it for nail polish, it dyes the nail (and cuticle). It will fade and needs to be redone regularly. It may come off with alcohol, etc. I haven’t tried it. If used for lip color, it is drying, but they have a product you put on top of it — a clear gloss. I found it online. Enjoy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *