Hello there 🙂
I don't paint my nails often, but when I paint them myself I usually don't deviate from my tried and true brands and colors. The same goes when I have my nails done in the salon. I never really thought about the nail polishes I used other than their hues.
But recently I took a crash course in nail polish ingredients and learned more about the benefits of vegan and "clean" polishes. I've heard of the terms "5-free", "7-free", etc., but I never really knew what that meant, just that the polishes were free of certain chemicals and ingredients. The craziest thing I've ever thought of? There are animal products in some nail polishes!
Vegan nail polish does not use any animal ingredients or pigments such as carmine (a red pigment extracted from cochineal insect shells), guanine (extracted from fish scales and used for its shimmering effect), and oleic acid (derived) from animal oils and used to make thicken and add shine), "explains Barry Shields, Managing Partner at Nailtopia.
Even if you don't have a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle, opting for a vegan nail polish has advantages. "The main benefit of vegan nail polish is that your nails are less exposed to harsh chemicals and no animals are harmed in the production and testing process," says Shields. "Especially for Nailtopia, our polishes are mixed with natural AHA and PHA, which help to incorporate the vitamins that are good for you in our formula in order to strengthen, harden and care for nails and cuticles."
Allie Compton, Product Development Manager at Credo, adds that many vegan nail polishes are free of certain ingredients and harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde, phthalates and toluene. "Harmful formaldehyde resins are often used in traditional formulas to strengthen and repair the nail. However, some vegan formulas often have naturally-derived ingredients to strengthen and condition the nail, such as vitamin B5 and vitamin A," she says.
And what do these terms – 5-free, 7-free, 8-free, etc. – mean? Compton says claims are free from trademarks and that they are not officially regulated or subject to any standard. But in general, Shields says, "X-free agents that are formulated without a certain number of toxic ingredients that are known to be harmful. One of the biggest risks for these harmful ingredients is inhalation of their fumes."
Here's a general basis for the ingredients, according to Shields.
5-free: The formula does not contain the following ingredients: formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde resin, camphor.
7-free: The formula does not contain the following ingredients: formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene.
17-free: The formula does not contain the following ingredients: formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, acetone, phthalates (including DBP), parabens, triphenyl phosphate, animal ingredients, styrene, bisphenol A, glycol ethers of the E series (glycol ethers derived from ethylene oxide ), Nonylphenol ethoxylate, sulfates, triclosan.
And you don't have to worry that vegan nail polishes aren't as good as the regular ones. Many of the formulas have long life and shelf life. "Many of the 'toxic' ingredients found in traditional nail polishes are added as cheap plasticizers, paint thinners, and hardeners, but there are plenty of non-toxic substitutes available from vegan and 'clean' nail polish brands are widespread, "says Compton.
For best application, she recommends making sure your nails are completely clean and dry before applying the first coat for a longer lifespan. "Use a gentle, non-drying hand sanitizer like Credo's hand sanitizer spray on your nail to remove any traces of oil or residue from your fingernail before you apply the polish," she says. "Be sure to use a top coat to further protect your polish and add shine. After your polish has dried, make sure that you use a good hand cream or cuticle oil on your fingertips to prevent your polish from going quickly flakes off. "
Check out some of our favorite vegan nail polish brands below.
"Nailtopia is 100% vegan and doesn't use any animal ingredients or harmful chemicals that can hurt your nails," says Shields. "Our formulation is vegetable, organic, infused with superfood, completely free and non-toxic. We also do not test on animals, which makes our brand Cruelty Free and Leaping Bunny Approved!"
All of Olive and June's nail polishes are 7-free, vegan, and cruelty free. They are amazing because they are so durable and have a gel-like finish. So it looks like you got your nails done in the salon. Try the poppy seed bottle handle to make painting your nails so much easier, especially if you have trembling hands!
J. Hannah is quickly becoming our favorite brand for cool Polish girls. The colors are subtle and sophisticated. They are non-toxic and cruelty free too.
Smith & Cult offers a wide variety of colors, from files to metallics. The polishes are 8-free, vegan, and cruelty free. In addition, the packaging with the golden top is so chic.
Tenoverten has salons in New York, but if you can't reach them, you can enjoy the brand's non-toxic, long-lasting polishes at home. Each varnish is 8-free, vegan and cruelty free.
Nails Inc. offers a range of vegan, cruelty-free, and 21-free nail polishes called Plant Power. There are tons of colors and top coats to choose from, and the polishes last a long time. The glass bottle also has a recyclable and environmentally friendly wooden cap.
JinSoon polishes are some of my favorites because the colors are so elegant and condition the nails well. Your nails look shiny and full of color. The formula is 9/10 free and vegan-friendly and has a UV filter to protect it from fading or yellowing.
Whichever look you go for, you'll find a shade that works with Orly's nail polishes. Seriously. They have everything from neons to glitter to classic neutrals. They're 12-free, vegan, and have never been tested on animals.
NCLA's nail polishes are 7-free, vegan and cruelty free. In just two shifts, you get perfect, fairy coverage.
For a gel-like manicure without UV lamps and the removal process, the Gel Lab Pro polishes by Deborah Lippmann are the right choice. The formula is 10-free, vegan, and cruelty free. The polishes also contain nourishing ingredients such as evening primrose, keratin, biotin, green tea extract, aucoumea and rice protein to care for and protect the nails.
According to Compton, Priti NYC is one of their favorite vegan nail polish brands. The polishes are free from toluene, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, TPHP, xylene and parabens. The best news? There are over 80 colors to choose from.