Here at Peaceful Dumpling, we’re big fans of the DIY manicure. We’re likewise proponents of using non-toxic, 5-free nail polishes. A 5-free nail polish is free of the major “nail polish toxins:” formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, DPB, and toluene. Although it 5-free polishes aren’t necessarily “all natural,” we feel good knowing that their brands are making an effort to create health-conscious products.
More on the “Dirty” 5:
Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is a nail polished hardener. It’s classified as a known a carcinogen by the US National Toxicology Program.
Formaldehyde Resin: This byproduct of formaldehyde is not as tested as formaldehyde, but its is a suspected allergen.
Toluene: This solvent is used to dissolve paint, ink, and adhesive, among other materials; it’s restricted by the European Union and listed in California state’s Prop 65 as a chemical harmful to fetal development although it’s safety is contested by some nail polish manufacturers.
DBP (Dibutyl Phthalate): Used to minimize chipping, DBP is classified as an endocrine disruptor and is banned by the EU. It’s also classified by the Australian government as a reproductive and hormonal toxicant.
Camphor: Camphor adds a glossy, shiny finish to nails. It’s not necessarily considered a toxin, but it has been associated with severe skin irritation and allergic reactions.
In my experience, the following brands perform as well as (if not better than) some of the big-name salon polishes like OPI and Essie. (And many of the big-name brands are moving away from the “dirty” five anyway.) Of course, performance may vary between colors; sheer shimmery shades have a slightly different formula than, say, opaque shades, which may contribute to how long your mani stays looking fabulous. But by and large, the following 5-free nail polish brands feel like luxury in a bottle!
10 Chicest 5-Free Nail Polish Companies
Developed by a physician, AILA nail lacquers are designed for women who no longer want to sacrifice health for function when it comes to their beauty products. In addition to being 5-free, AILA is free of parabens, triphenol phosphate (TPHP), and sulfates.
2. Ani Michele
Founded by Ani Sousamian, Ani Michele is a karma-positive company focused on paying forward peace, love, and health. All Ani Michele products are vegan-friendly and made in the US.
3. Ella + Mila
Ella + Mila has a ridiculously cute collection of 5-free polishes. (Just look at that sweet elephant on the bottle!) Keeping up with fashion trends, the brand releases a collection of polishes every few months.
Habit Cosmetics was founded by Aja Frierson, a former fashion industry colorist. “Habit” refers to the habits (clothing) women wear daily as well as our grounding self-care practices. These long-wearing, trend-conscious colors are formulated with myrrh to strengthen nails and serve as an antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory.
Lauren B. nail polish is a marriage of performance and health-conscious formulation. Each polish is vegan-friendly and made in the USA. Try Lauren B.’s lacquer with the brand’s top and base coat for a gel-like mani.
LVX is one of the chicest vegan nail polish brands on the market. This fashion forward brand captures the runways’ most popular colors. So even if you can’t afford that high-fashion coat this fall, you can still sport the seasons’ most stunning colors on your fingers and toes. In addition to being 5-free, LVX is free of xylene and parabens.
NCLA offers a large collection of whimsical, 5-free nail polishes as well as seriously drool-worthy nail wraps. You’ll find that each of NCLA’s is infused with the brand’s sunny California spirit.
8. Priti NYC
Priti NYC has close ties with New York Fashion Week, so you know that they’ve got some fashion-forward colors. Priti NYC is also free of xylene, parabens, and gluten.
If you’re looking for a vegan, cruelty-free beauty brand that are the opposite of “crunchy,” look no further than Trust Fund Beauty—your sassy go-to for sexy polishes and lip colors.
You’ve probably heard of them by now. Zoya is probably the most mainstream vegan, 5-free nail polish brand—and with good reason! Zoya’s huge collection of polishes comes in every color and formulation you can think of. It boggles the mind!
What are your favorite vegan 5-free nail polish brands?
Related: 5 Vegan Nutrition Tips for Healthy Nails
What Your Nails Say about Your Health
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Photos: Style Blueprint, Mary Hood Luttrell, Ella + Mila, Habit Cosmetics, Lauren B. Beauty, NCLA, Mary Hood Luttrell, Priti NYC, Trust Fund Beauty, Zoya