Shine Bright with Healthier Nail Polish

Nail polishes just smell unhealthy, don’t they? Trust your nose on this one! Traditionally, nail polishes have had some nasty stuff lurking in their gorgeous sheens. From ingredients banned in children’s toys to links of them causing cancer. If they won’t put it in children’s toys, do we really want it on our bodies?

Luckily, the tides of change have begun to reach the shores of beauty products, including nail polishes. Brands like Essie, OPI, & Sally Hansen have already begun to make their formulas what’s called “3 Free” which just a cute way of saying they are free of the three major chemicals we want to avoid. However, they are still rife with other toxins, allergens, & other ingredients we don’t want in our toys let alone our bodies. Fear not, plenty of 5 & 7-free options are on the market & the horizon!

First, let’s deal with what is actually in our nail polishes…

The Yuck in Your Nail Polish

{The label inside these brackets lets you know which formulas these toxins are missing from}

{3, 5, 7- Free} Formaldehyde- an allergen, toxic, asthma trigger, and a carcinogen

{3, 5, 7- Free} Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP)- also a plasticizer that is so harmful it is not allowed to be used in children’s toys.

{3, 5, 7- Free} Toluene- Its smell is quite literally associated with paint thinner. It’s found in model airplane glue, contact cement, & paint thinner. It is known to be extremely harmful to neurological health. Scarily enough, it’s used as a recreational inhalant.

{5 & 7- Free} Formaldehyde resin- derived from formaldehyde and not as toxic, but is still a known allergen,  & used in glue products

{5 & 7- Free} Camphor- plasticizer which is a toxin it can be found in many perfumes & is toxic to insects and used as a repellent. It can cause your nails to lose their nourishment and turn them yellow.

{7 Free} Ethyl Tosylamide- another plasticizer & is considered a toxin

{7 Free} Xylene- Irritates the eyes & lung, but even worse it has been identified as an organ & neurological toxin.

What Brands Should I Try?

I am sharing two brands to try in the 5 & 7-Free categories. I have personal experience with all four brands & quite frankly, I love them all!


Zoya This brand has been around for quite some time now & is easily found at many salons. It is long lasting, bright & shiny, & comes in so many colors. My only complaint is that I can’t seem to find a broad range of colors in-store to buy. I usually only find fall/winter colors throughout all times of the year.

  • Can be found: Ulta, Target, & Amazon
  • Shade: Joey
main image

Image Credit: Zoya

OPI Infinite Shine While the classic formula is only 3-Free the Infinite Shine is actually 5-Free! Out of this whole list, the OPI Infinite Shine polishes are my favorite. They last longer than your average manicure, boasting up to 11 days of high-shine & I can always find plenty of new colors in-store.

  • Can be found: Ulta, Target, Sally Beauty, Macy’s & Amazon
  • Shade: Engage-Ment to Be
Shop Engage-meant to Be

Image Credit: OPI


Pacifica 7-Free nail polish right in your backyard? Yes, please! Pacifica is probably the most accessible to those of you who have a Target nearby. I found this nail polish to last just about a week, which for me is a long time!

  • Can be found: Ulta, Target, Whole Foods, & Amazon
  • Shade: London Tomboy

Image Credit: Pacifica

Ella + Mila Are you looking for a gel quality manicure & one is 7-free? Ella + Mila should be your go-to. I tried this one this week & they are still shining days later. Out of 10 nails, only one is chipping & that might have been from my own error. The only downside I see for this polish is that it is not as readily available. However, it is available at Target! Hopefully, the more popular 7-Free nail polishes get, more stores will start to carry it!

  • Can be found: Target, Ulta, & Amazon
  • Shade: Berry Much in Love
Berry Much in Love

Image Credit: Ella + Mila

Did you know about 3, 5, & 7-Free brands before reading this? Have you tried any 5 or 7-free brands? If you have, share in the comments which ones are your favorites!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s