When it comes to my beauty routine, I try to keep things as natural as possible. Many of today’s most popular brands are laced with potentially harmful chemicals like phthalates (chemicals that give plastics flexibility and are used as binders in makeup, but have also been linked to causing cancer). The idea that a bunch of potentially harmful chemicals could be resting on my face, does not sit well with me. So when it comes to stocking my beauty cabinet, I try to be selective and mindful of my choices. However, I noticed that I was a whole lot less diligent when it came to my nail polish selection.
For me, nail polishes have always been an impulse purchase. Nothing I ever set out to buy, but something I’m inevitably drawn to while strolling the makeup aisles in Target. Because of the spontaneous nature of this purchase, I never really stopped to think about the chemicals that I can be putting on my nails. Turns out many traditional nail polishes have a bunch of chemicals that are no bueno.
One such chemical is triphenyl phosphate (TPHP) – a suspected endochrine-disruptor. And it’s in about 49 percent of the 3,000 nail polishes and treatments in EWG’s database! A study by Duke University and the Environmental Working Group found the chemical shows up in people’s urine after they’ve come in contact with the chemical in nail polish, revealing the risk of high level of exposure. And that’s just one of the harmful chemicals! Once I became aware of the potential dangers of making my nails look ah-mazing, I set out to find natural nail polish alternatives. The big question I had was if this polishes would still have great quality and if they had lasting power. I was pleasantly surprised.
Click through to see which polishes got our seal of approval.
First up, I tried Dr. Dana’s, the first dermatologist-developed nail care line.
The Dr. Dana behind the brand is an expert nail specialist and it’s clear that her care and knowledge were instrumental in creating this brand. The product is 9-free, meaning it’s formulated without nine questionable toxins, including formaldehyde, phthalates (DBP, DEHP, DEP, and others) and others. This line is not only committed to helping you rock a flawless mani-pedi, but they’re also set on ensuring your nails look stronger and healthier than ever. And, they’re cruelty-free!
For my experiment, I chose to rock their red, Judy. (Yes, they name their colors after fierce, badass women. This one is for world-renowned chef, Judy Joo.) The color was vibrant and only needed two coats. The best part – this polish lasted! It was honestly more durable than some of the mainstream, chemical-heavy counterparts I’ve tried. Now, the $18 price tag did seem like a lot to me at first, especially considering drugstore options are around $8 – $12, but after trying this polish, it’s totally worth the money. I know I’m investing in myself and my health, while getting a product that’s clearly devoted to making women look and feel their best. With six color options to choose from, I’d like to see a larger range down the road.
Next up… Smith and Cult
The first thing I noticed with Smith and Cult was the packaging. It was so sleek and sexy – kind of like the type of product I wouldn’t want to tuck away in my drawer. The color was also mesmerizing. I tried Psycho Candy, the perfect shade for those summer months where the tan is on point! The line was developed by beauty veteran Dineh Mohajer – the creator of Hard Candy – and has an impressive 8-free formula. No, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, etc.
The handle of the wand on this polish was a bit on the small side (and I have pretty small hands), but it was totally easy to manage. The color went on easy and was clearly high quality from the start. It took three coats – which is sometimes to be expected with lighter colors. But once the color was on, I immediately fell in love. I was also impressed by the longevity of the polish. It stayed for about a week with a couple of minor chips here and there. There is a great selection of vibrant colors that will suit the bold color seeker.
And last but not least, LVX.
Now if you’re looking for a natural line that has a ton of colors, LVX will suit your needs. The 7-free brand is formulated with certain toxins like: formaldehyde resin, DBP, toluene, and others. The brand takes inspiration from the latest runway looks to create their shades so there is seriously a color for every type of consumer.
I tried NOIR, an almost black shimmery color. At first application, I found the polish to be a bit watered-down. It took three coats till the color popped, which I found surprising since darker colors usually require two coats max. The color was true to its description and once on, it proved to be a quality polish that didn’t flake within the first couple of days.