The Best Clean Nail Polish Brands
Why Go "Clean"?
These days, it's possible to find a "clean" version of basically any beauty product. And while a completely clean beauty routine is optional, nail polish and remover may be the one category of products that you want to make the switch. (BTW, here's the difference between clean and natural beauty products.)
Why? Well, nail polish and remover tend to contain formaldehyde and formaldehyde-releasers, which are thought to be not so great for your health. Plus, it turns out that some people are allergic to gel manicures because of the chemicals they come into contact with during the process, meaning they can be left with itchy rashes and swollen lips. Yikes.
Luckily, there are plenty of clean nail care brands to choose from. While most brands are "3-free" these days, meaning they omit the three worst ingredients found in nail products—formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate—there are quite a few brands that go way beyond that in terms of what they're not willing to put in their products. In general, the higher the "free" number (there are 5-free, 7-free, 8-free, and even 10-free products), the less toxic they are to use. Here are our faves.
Not only are Kure Bazaar polishes nontoxic, they're also made from mostly natural ingredients. Substances like wood pulp, cotton, wheat, and even potatoes are used to create a lacquer that lasts as long as more chemically laden products. ($18; thedetoxmarket.com)
Smith & Cult
Londontown's Lakur 9-free line is known for its gel-like lasting power. The brand also does a full line of nail-care products ranging from nail hardener to top coat and even a nontoxic nail polish remover. ($16; londontownusa.com)
If you're looking for the cleanest possible nail products, this is the brand for you. Acquarella's polishes are unique because they're water-based. This has the bonus of making them almost odorless, plus they're a great pick for people with asthma and allergies. ($16; acquarella.com)
Nail salon TenOverTen has branched out into their own line of polishes which are 8-free as well as vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free. They're so entrenched in the wellness world that they even collab-ed with Taryn Toomey (founder of The Class, one of Jennifer Aniston's favorite workouts) on a set of soothing neutral shades. ($18; tenoverten.com)
With over 100 shades to choose from, Côte has more choices than pretty much any other clean nail-care brand out there. Sheer, shimmer, neons, glitter, metallic—they've got it all. ($18; coteshop.com)