Non-Toxic Nail Polish Brands


Your Nail Polish Could Kill You


I don’t know about you, but I’d rather go out in a skydiving tragedy than be put down by my nail polish. Sound dramatic? Believe it or not, your nail polish has the power to kill you, and your unborn baby. Really.

Your Nail Polish Could Kill YouIf you’re a nail polish aficionado, you’ve probably heard of the “Toxic-Trio”. It refers to the three most harmful chemicals contained in most nail care products: formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate, two of which are among the over 1,300 chemicals banned from use in cosmetics in the European Union. But in the United States, where fewer than a dozen chemicals are prohibited in such products, there are no restrictions on any of these chemicals. Toluene and DBP are widely known to be developmental toxins which show many harmful effects over a period of time (including miscarriages, birth defects, impaired cognitive and kidney function, ataxia and chronic pain), while formaldehyde is established as a potent carcinogen (ie. high tendency to cause cancer).

The Lies

In a recent research by the California DTSC (Department of Toxic Substance Control) involving 25 randomly chosen nail care products (like OPI, Essie, Cacie, etc.) that are sold and used in the majority of nail salons, almost all of the products that claimed their polish didn’t include toluene actually contained higher amounts of it than the products that did not make any claims at all. Brands with “toluene-free” written on the packaging were found to be flat-out lying, while five out of the seven with labels claiming being  “toxic-trio-free” were found to contain toluene or DBP, or both!

Your Nail Polish Could Kill You

Essie was proven to contain Triphenyl phosphate, N-Propyl Acetate and t-Butanol, all suspected to be harmful

The study’s results conflicted with the claims made by the nail care manufacturers — almost all of them were lying.

In fact, toluene was found most frequently, and in higher concentrations in products with “toxic-trio” related claims than in traditional products — ten of the twelve products with “toluene-free” claims did, in fact, contain toluene. Chemicals were also detected whose purpose, property, human toxicity, and environmental fate, are unknown to DTSC, and harmful chemicals butyl acetate and ethyl acetate were present in all but one product.

Your Nail Polish Could Kill You

“In the face of growing health concerns, some polish companies have said that they have removed certain controversial chemicals from their products. But random testing of some of these products by government agencies showed the chemicals were still present. Some of the chemicals in nail products are known to cause cancer, others have been linked to abnormal fetal development, miscarriages and other harm to reproductive health. Certain cosmetic color additives — particularly a type of brilliant red — have been shown by researchers to cause [a brownish] skin discoloration. A number of studies have also found that cosmetologists — a group that includes manicurists, as well as hairdressers and makeup artists — have elevated rates of death from Hodgkin’s disease, of low birth-weight babies and of multiple myeloma, a form of cancer.” – The New York Times

Your Nail Polish Could Kill You

Women’s health and safety is simply not a priority for the American government

Keep reading to find out what brands are safe:

Pages: 1 2 3 4

A writer, artist and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary spends most of her time in France, but still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC and has traveled extensively around the world, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and brands to bring to Urbanette readers.


  1. Marie

    As a mother I did some research into nail polish for my daughter. I couldn’t believe how bad mommy’s nail polish really is.
    My daughter is 2, so it needed to be extra safe, ’cause we all know kids put their hands to their mouths all-the-time.
    So I found this nail polish which should be included in your list. It’s called Bo-Po Nail Polish ( ) It has vibrant colors and it peels right off. My daughter looooooves it.
    It is water based and non-toxic. Honestly, I love doing my nails with it too.

  2. Krysty

    You are so interesting! I do not think I’ve truly read something like this before.
    So great to find another person with a few genuine thoughts on this topic. Really.. thank you for starting this up.
    This web site is one thing that’s needed on the web, someone with a little originality!

  3. Heather

    My mom raised me that nail polish is not a big deal for girls. Yes, Believe it or not, I never tried one. Maybe I know the reasons why.

  4. Stephanie H

    DBP is a dangerous chemical. It shouldn’t be exposed to any human being because it can harm their health. I don’t get why they lie about this chemicals, knowing that it is dangerous.

  5. Amelia Beckons

    The American Government should be involved in this issue. It is about women’s right and protection. The problem is, our Government is more concern about the money than citizens.

  6. Jess Giraudel

    I can’t believe I’m reading an article like this. Can nail polish actually kill me? No! Are you kidding me? Lol hahaha! It’s funny, Hilary.

  7. Kathryn Gibson

    You never fail us, Hilary. This is a very helpful article, especially for us, women. I can’t believe it. Well-known companies are lying to get sales.

  8. Blanche Martina

    Wow. Thank you, Hilary, for making an article like this. I know that there are a lot of women who aren’t aware of this, and this could be a way to spread awareness about this issue.

    • Monique Malick

      I agree. Hilary is such an inspiration to everyone. You are the best! More power to Urbanette! ❤

  9. Christine Muchoe

    I’m throwing my nail polish from Cacie away after reading this. I don’ care if it’s unused, or not. I love my life, more that my nails. Lol

  10. Jodi Thil

    Really? Do you believe that the products you buy are toxin-free? Lol. Labels are lying! Stop believing in them.

  11. Zerin Martin

    I showed this article to my friend and she said she is using Scotch Naturals. I’m planning to use that one too. I rarely use nail polish, that is why I’m not too scared about this.

  12. Kathleen

    It’s about American Women’s health, and American Government is quiet about it. Hmm.. Suspicious huh?

  13. Layla Perlman

    I used to play my mom’s nail polish when I was a kid. I didn’t know it has an impact on our health. My sister is also using nail polish, of course, it’s a girl thing.

  14. Marina Josef

    I don’t care at all. Lol. Seriously, we are inhaling chemicals every day. Putting nail polish is a normal thing for me. I don’t care how dangerous it is because we are eating, and inhaling chemicals every day.

  15. Luthi Sanders

    You can’t always go to DTSC just to test your new polish, right? Lol. You have to deal with it. In this world, money is more important than life.

  16. Marina Bozek

    I can’t imagine myself getting diagnosed with cancer, because of a nail polish. Damn it. I know, it’s not funny, but I can’t help it. Lol.

  17. Marina Topper

    Oh, Now I have the reason why I shouldn’t follow my boyfriend’s demand. He wanted me to wear nail polish! Lol. I can save money and my life too.

  18. Be content with your natural beauty. Those cosmetic products will kill you in the future. Yes, this is a warning for women who wear makeup thinking it will make them beautiful.

  19. Jesse Wyss

    The Amercian Government is like deaf, and blind when it comes to this issue. They know everything about this, and they are just ignoring it for the sake of money.

    • Kseniya Tomlin

      That’s right! They keep ignoring the issue because they get a lot of money from these companies.

  20. Jessie Fernande

    What? HoneyBee Gardens dries that long? I’m going to try that nail polish.

  21. Yuliya Bruce

    I am using HoneyBee Gardens. I’m glad it’s safe!!! I thought I’m going to throw my nail polishes too.

  22. Lana Wiliam

    My friend owns a Nail Spa, and this will affect her business. I will share this with her, so she can have an idea what kind of products she should use to avoid any health problems.

  23. Paul Daiz

    That’s the reason why I hate seeing my girlfriend using any cosmetic products. It consists chemicals, and just like these nail polish, who would know if it is real toxic-free or not.

  24. Nataliya Smith

    Nail Salon is my sanctuary! How can you do this to me!!!! I am afraid, but I need the manicure and pedicure? What to do now? I am confused!!

    • Alena Martin

      Yes! 🙁 Nail Salon is my stress reliever. 🙁

  25. Angelo Henderso

    I am using Butter London!!! Please tell me that they are telling the truth???? Oh my God! My mom’s going to kill me if she finds out about this.

    • Jurik Smith

      Butter London is the best! Don’t worry about them.

  26. Of course, people! It consists different types of chemicals! What made you think that it is safe? You are getting on my nerves. Chemicals are never safe.

  27. Selli Coaze

    “Women’s health and safety are simply not a priority for the American government” Hello, Mr. Trump! I hope your spare time on this issue! It’s about women’s right and protection.

  28. Juli Woods

    Cosmetic products will make you look beautiful but will kill you slowly. Are you going to take the risk? Why don’t you ditch those cosmetic products, and be happy with your real beauty?

  29. Hena Taylor

    It is very alarming! Knowing that many women are at risk of miscarriages, and having cancer? How does the American Government afford to ignore this huge issue?

  30. Lusi Martin

    I had this skin problem before. I always wear different colors of nail polish every week, and my girlfriends love it. When I had this skin problem, I consulted the doctor, and I was shocked when she told me that it’s because of my nail polish.

  31. Jessi Agusta

    I can’t believe that Mary Kay is part of the company who’s unsafe! No!!!!! I used Mary Kay ever since, and I am scared right now. I am thinking how the chemicals harm my body.

  32. Haha! I am laughing so hard, knowing that my sister is crying out loud over this article. Imagine, she’s a nail polish addict, and after reading this, our mom asked me to throw all her nail polish! Hahaha!

  33. Honey Smith

    Butter London is worth every penny. Wide range of fantastic colors.

  34. Bela Christo

    I want water-based, toxin free nail polish!

  35. Betty Campbell

    😱😰 Oh no!

  36. Mary Beyer

    I’ve been using L’Oreal but I’ll switch — Butter London is impressive! I like that they do safety studies.

  37. Jennifer varner

    Wow, what a fantastic post! I’m so much in love with my nailpolish and couldn’t live without it right now. But I do not like the idea of being exposed to toxic materials. I’mdefinitely going to give your suggestions a try. Thanks so much very helpful!

  38. Robert Patel

    I knew it, and I told my girlfriend about it. After I explained to her what will happen to her if she continues using nail polish, she immediately throws all her nail polish.

  39. Evelyn Harris

    It’s not only in the nail polish industry, but it’s also in the food industry. Lying about the ingredients is natural for the manufacturers. After all, we’re still going to patronize their product.

  40. Dawn Katz

    I am the type of girl who doesn’t like nail polish. I have a doubt putting it on my fingers, as I use my fingers to eat.

  41. How can we sure that their products are safe? After reading this, you want us to believe that they are not lying? Lol. I can’t believe this just happened.

  42. Kimberly Holder

    I am relieved that there are still nail polish companies who are toxic-free. I thought I will never have glamorous nails ever.

    • Anila William

      You should be very careful on your next purchase. Ensure that it is for real, toxic-free.

  43. Ani Hoker

    I pity the people who have to work at a nail salon. They are more exposed to the chemicals than to ours. The company should follow the standard rules and think about the safety of other people.

  44. What?! Why do they need to lie about their product? Do they have a conscience? They lie to earn money, and it’s okay to kill people? What kind of thinking is that?

  45. Eloisa Clay

    OMG! Even Mary Kay? Cmon… Why on earth is this happening? I can’t live without nail polish!!!! What am I suppose to do now? Urgh!

    • Maria Bruce

      Yuh! I can’t believe that Mary Kay is not safe too!!! I’m switching to Acquarella now.

  46. Katherine Donnelly

    They are testing the products, and they never tell the people what’s really on it. If it’s dangerous to the citizen, the company will pay so it can be approved. Yeah. We know the strategy.

  47. George Sumanta

    The US Government has nothing to do with this one. Why would they give a sh*t about these companies? The taxes from these companies are more important than the American people. Lol

  48. Britni Baynes

    What’s new? Manufacturers are lying to us ever since. They only need our money. Stop acting like you all didn’t know their shitty lies.

    • Quin Meri

      Money is more important than our lives.

  49. Jeweli Prater

    Even the well-known products are lying to us, girls. They only think about money, and the safety of women is nothing for American Government. What a shame.

  50. Lancy Stanford

    WTF. Is this all lie? My business will probably go down because of this article. Really? Nail polish consists of those dangerous chemicals?

    • Ana Brose

      Maybe you can change the brands of your nail polish. It’s for you, and your customers’ safety as well.

  51. SERIOUSLY??? A Nail Polish can kill me???? OMG!!!!! Why!!!!!!! I’m going to cry a river!! Huhuhuhu! I’m using nail polish for 12 years!!!!!!!

  52. Hazel Collins

    yes we need this kind of article! a very informative and helpful one. Whenever i am cleaning my nails i’m not applying nail polish on my nails because i know that it will make my nails yellow and unhealthy if i will always use it. I’ve also noticed it on some of my gal friends. maybe the most essential tip to those who are always patronizing nail polish is to look first for the ingredients before buying it. too bad they have beautiful colors but i’d rather have simple and plain nails.

  53. Nicole Derseweh

    Well, it pays to be beautiful. But I would say I love Butter Nail Polish for my DIY manicure (and pedicure).

  54. Hannah Mayers

    Great! This article revealed a lot of “nail polish” secrets. That’s why, as much as I can, I avoid applying nail polish.

  55. Wow! Hidden risks in nail polish?! This is very alarming but thanks for the information. I’ll be on the lookout for these dangerous chemicals next time I shop for my nail polish. Great article!

  56. Butter Nail Polish is one of my favorite products for DIY manicures. Thanks for this article, I will be on the lookout for better nail polish alternatives 🙂

  57. I didn't think the bright green nail polish I got for my birthday could get more dangerous than the color! Thanks for this article 🙂

  58. Jen Spillane

    Very informative! I've been wondering about toxins in my nail polish. Thank you!

  59. Ansley Barrington

    I love Butter polishes, I can't leave Ulta without scooping up one or two! Sometimes I swear you can just smell the harmful chemicals in the pungent scents of nail polishes. "Seche Vite," a popular topcoat, is known to cause birth defects so steer clear of that one too.

  60. Courtney Watson

    It’s good to know that alternatives are available. We love applying colors to our nails, little do we know about the dangers of toxic nail polish.

  61. Sandra Brown

    That’s why I don’t trust really cheap nail polish. It’s obvious, really cheap nail polish are substandard or have too many harmful/ toxic ingredients.

  62. Zenab Bello-Osagie

    Awesome! Cute colors too!

Leave a Reply

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