When I go shopping for nail polish, I instantly think of Essie and OPI. But I found that there are actually better non toxic alternatives. So which ones are the best non toxic gel nail polish?
I’ve put 7 different types of non toxic nail polishes to the test and I’m here to share my honest thoughts. I made sure these polishes don’t contain toxic chemicals AND also work extremely well.
While doing my testing and research, I noticed there aren’t many non-toxic gel nail polishes on the market. I only found 3 truly non-toxic gel polishes that actually work. So I’ll first talk about those three non toxic gel nail polishes. Then, the rest will be non-toxic regular polishes that are long-lasting and similar to gel polish.
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My Top Pick: Manicurist Green Flash
I chose Manicurist Green Flash as my top choice for nontoxic gel nail polish. They have the least toxic materials out of any gel polish I’ve seen. The polish cures under an LED lamp.
Other non-toxic polishes are often non-gel. So this is the one I get if I want a true gel polish without the toxins.
Best Non Toxic Gel Nail Polish
1. Manicurist Green Flash
Best Organic Gel Nail Polish
Non-Toxic Ingredients: 12-Free. Made with 84% plant-based ingredients like sugar cane wheat, potato, and corn. Free from formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, camphor, formaldehyde resin, xylene, parabens, artificial fragrances, phthalates, animal-derived ingredients, ethyl tosylamide, and triphenyl phosphate.
My Review: If I had to choose one truly non toxic gel nail polish, it would definitely be this one! It’s a non-toxic polish that acts like a gel and hardens under a UV lamp. I found that if you apply too many layers, the nail polish starts to clump. So I like to apply 1-2 quick strokes. I was also really surprised that this non toxic gel polish can be removed in less than 1 minute with their Green Flash Nail Polish remover!
I can’t even explain how fantastic Manicurist Green Flash LED polish is… It does take a little learning curve to get the technique right because you don’t have unlimited playtime like toxic polish. I wipe one side off the brush and do a thin coat using the remaining side.
Gorgeous nude shade that complements my cool toned skin.
2. Modelones Non Toxic Gel Nail Polish
Best Non Toxic Gel Nail Polish Kit
Non-Toxic Ingredients: 11-Free. Camphor Free, Dibutyl Phthalate Free, Paraben Free, Formaldehyde Free, Xylene Free
My Review: This polish is very similar to what nail salons use. When I applied a top coat on top of this polish, I found that it lasted over 28 days without chipping. I love that it has a relatively lower odor compared to other conventional polish brands. Plus, they have tons of colors to choose from. I really love their neutral tones and it comes in a kit.
Love the colors. They go on very smooth. The white is more of a bone white, which I was supposed by. Otherwise they are great!
Really like all the colors I got for such a low price. The bottles are smaller, but that’s to be expected. I rarely go through a bigger bottle before it goes bad anyway.
3. Beetles Gel Nail Polish
Most Affordable Non Toxic Polish
Non-Toxic Ingredients: 9-Free. Free from formaldehyde, Dibutyl Phthalate, Toluene, Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor, Xylene, Lead, Paraben, and Ethyl Tosylamide.
My Review: This brand is quite similar to Modelones and they both have very similar textures. You really can’t go wrong with either one if you’re looking for affordable toxin free nail polish. I preferred the Modelones one a tad bit more because I felt like it went on smoother. But the difference is very minimal, in my opinion. It’s a good natural gel nail polish.
I love these colors and beetles gel in general! The possibilities are endless with these colors, especially for fall I can’t wait to do more combinations.
I like this brand of gel polish. I was finally able to use a few colors from this pack last month. I wasn’t disappointed but I also felt the colors looked a bit different from the pictures.
4. Olive & June Non-Toxic Gel Nail Polish
Best Fast Drying Nail Polish
Non-Toxic Ingredients: 15-Free. Free from dibutyl phthalates, formaldehyde, and more.
My Review: Olive and June is a regular nail polish but the long-lasting formula almost feels like gel polish. It’s my go-to polish if I don’t want to use an LED lamp. They also have another polish formula called quick dry. I was amazed that it was dry to touch in just 1 minute. I did need to wait 1-2 hours for it to fully cure but that’s still quicker than most other regular nail polish. All favorite polishes happen to be included in one of their sets: The Soft + Shimmery Set. It’s really perfect for those who like pastel colors and playful colors.
The quick dry is an absolute game changer. It dries so quickly, looks great, and lasts!! The colors in the soft and shimmery set are perfect for summer.
This set has some great shades for a neutral look and some fun shades to mix in! I got a lot of compliments on Charming!
5. Ella+Mila Long-Lasting Nail Polish
Best Natural Nail Polish
Non-Toxic Ingredients: 17-Free. Free from formaldehyde, toluene, and phthalates.
My Review: My other go-to regular nail polish brand is Ella + Mila. I love how it’s so easy to apply on my nails. It has a thicker brush than most other brands so I just need to apply 1-2 swipes! The polish also lasts really surprisingly long and doesn’t chip easily. I personally don’t love all the Ella + Mila colors because they’re a little too bright for me. I prefer Olive and June’s colors more. But in terms of quality, I like Ella+Mila more.
I’ve tried lots of nail polish over the years and this one is really good quality. For one it has a wide thick brush and its pigment color is really beautiful.
I was extremely pleasantly surprised at how much I love this. Being free from so many chemicals (which is wonderful) you never know about quality. However, I was shocked at the amazing 1-coat coverage.
6. Dazzle Dry Natural Nail Polish
Best Long Lasting Nail Polish
Non-Toxic Ingredients: Free from formaldehyde, toluene, TPHP, nitrocellulose, camphor, formaldehyde resin, ethyl tosylamide, phthalates, xylene, and MEK.
My Review: If you need a minimal mani set, this is a really good one to get. It comes with a nail prep solution, base coat, nail polish, non toxic top coat, and a second top coat. Applying these extras really helps the polish stay on for longer without chipping. I also really love the light pink nail color – I think it’s such a classic color and can be worn every day.
This product is easy and quick to apply. It looked as though I’d just left a salon when I finished the process. Doesn’t make nails hard, but Polish lasted a week before showing wear.
Liked the mini pack to be able to see if I liked it without spending too much. I do like that it stays on for about 2 weeks, but I do use gloves to wash dishes. The color is just what I wanted.
7. OPI Vegan Nail Polish
Best Vegan Nail Polish
Non-Toxic Ingredients: 9-free. Made with nature-sourced plant-based ingredients.
My Review: If you want a vegan non toxic nail polish, this “nature strong” line of polishes by OPI is a great choice. Not all of their polishes are non toxic though so check for only polishes labeled “nature strong”. The formula glided on smoothly and I like the glossy finish. With a top coat, it can last up to a week or a little more.
The color is beautiful! The product is not too thick. I used it with a base coat for longevity.
What toxic ingredients to avoid in gel polish?
- Dibutyl phthalate: Dibutyl phthalate (DBP) is considered an endocrine disruptor that may cause reproductive and other health concerns. Some people may also experience allergic reactions to DBP.
- Toluene: Prolonged exposure to toluene is bad for your health. It’s a neurotoxin that can affect the central nervous system and cause dizziness It also may irritate the respiratory system and the skin.
- Formaldehyde: Formaldehyde is used as a hardening agent and large amounts of it are harmful. It is a known human carcinogen and can cause skin and respiratory irritation. Not only is formaldehyde an ingredient to avoid in nail polish, but it’s also important to avoid it in makeup products like tinted moisturizers and cream blushes.
- Formaldehyde Resin: Formaldehyde resin is a byproduct of formaldehyde and is used as a nail hardener. Like formaldehyde, it may cause allergic reactions and skin irritation. It’s best to avoid both toxic substances.
- Camphor: Large amounts of camphor can cause allergic reactions and skin irritations. Inhaling the toxin may also lead to dizziness, nausea, and headache. It’s important to avoid this ingredient as much as possible.
- Parabens: Parabens are used as preservatives in some nail polishes. However, it may lead to hormone disruption and allergic reactions. Look for paraben-free nail polish formulas for the safest options.
- Xylene: Xylene is a harmful solvent used in some nail polishes. Inhaling xylene may lead to dizziness, headaches, and skin irritations.
What to look for in non-toxic gel nail polish?
The best gel nail polish brands that are non-toxic typically have one of the three labels.
- 3-Free Nail Polish: This is also commonly known as “toxic trio” which refers to nail polish that doesn’t contain these three toxic chemicals: formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP).
- 5-Free Nail Polish: This means it doesn’t have formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), formaldehyde resin, or camphor.
- 7-Free Nail Polishes: These don’t have formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, and xylene.
FAQs on Non Toxic Nail Polish Brands
Is gel nail polish toxic?
Most gel nail polish is toxic! Non toxic nail polish formulation doesn’t have harsh chemicals like formaldehyde resin, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP). Non-toxic gel polishes are better than traditional nail polishes because they have safer ingredients such as plant-based or bio-based substances.
Is UV gel nail polish toxic?
UV gel nail polish itself is completely safe to use. However, since UV gel polish requires curing under UV lamps, this exposure to UV light may have harmful effects on the skin. That includes more risk of skin damage and skin cancer. To minimize the risks, it is best to limit the frequency of UV lamp exposure or you can try applying sunscreen to your hands before curing.
What is the healthiest type of nail polish?
Water-based nail polishes are considered the healthiest option. They are free from toxic ingredients like formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP. Water-based polishes are also odor-free and also easier to remove. This also means they don’t last as long. Non-toxic gel nail polish is also a healthy and safe option to use.
What is a good alternative to gel nail polish?
Good non-toxic alternatives to gel nail polish are using non-toxic long-lasting nail polishes. These are not gel but they are long-lasting, like gel. These kinds of polishes don’t need a UV or LED light.
Nontoxic nail polishes do not have harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP so they are safer nail polish options. Non-toxic nail polishes are easy to apply, dry quickly, and can be removed with regular nail polish remover. I’ve included a few of the best picks in the list.
Is OPI gel toxic free?
OPI gel polishes, including their GelColor line, are not completely free from potentially harmful ingredients. I do have to recognize that OPI has made efforts to reduce the use of certain harmful chemicals. However, their gel polishes may still contain some ingredients that are considered toxic. I featured the OPI nature strong polishes which are non-toxic.
How often should you take a break from gel nails?
I like to take a break from gel nail polish for a couple of weeks every few months to focus on nail care. I find that this helps prevent potential damage to your natural nails. During this period of time I don’t have nail polish on, I like to moisturize my nail beds using cuticle oil and a strengthening base coat to get healthy nails.
And that’s a wrap on the best non-toxic nail polish brands! What’s your favorite?