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Pedis Are Not Optional

Safer Pedis For Everyone


We really shouldn’t need a masters in biochemistry to decipher the nail polish industry’s arbitrary nontoxic ingredient code. A manicure or pedi a week for 50 years can really add up, so here’s the 411 on nontoxic nail polish. Safer pedis for all!

Nail Polish 411


Nearly all nail polishes available today are considered three-free, meaning they don’t contain the undoubtedly toxic formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP).

Five- free options like Zoya don’t contain formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, and camphor. Zoya has a tonnnnnn of colors to choose from!

My favorite seven-free brand is ella+mila  … THE cutest colors and packaging, it is made in the USA, AND they sell it at Target now! The soy nail polish remover is a lot gentler + safer than your typical remover, and I love that it is unscented.  OPI Lincoln Park After Dark has been my go-to color, but I found a great ella + mile substitute called Lights Out

Seven free options are free of formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, and xylene.

Nine-free brand Butter London is ah-mazing and I’m just loving that in addition to the chemicals above, it’s free from parabens & acetone.

To be honest, I haven’t tried a ten-free brand yet but it exists! Acquarella is probable the most popular with the best reviews. It’s a water-based polish free of DBP, triphenyl phosphate (TPHP), toluene, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, parabens, and tert-butyl hydroperoxide (TBHP), and/or gluten. ten-free formulas are also usually vegan. Ummmmm, yes please!

Switch to Safer

The more you know!

Judgement free zone. Do you use whatever a salon has or do you bring a safer option with you?

Truth be told, the contact that nail polish makes with your skin is relatively minor when compared to other skincare and beauty products. If you’re at the beginning stages of switching-to-safer and feeling overwhelmed by all of the swaps you could make, I recommend prioritizing products that make the most regular contact with your skin (think: lotion or makeup or deodorant). 

If clean beauty is your thing … or if 2021 is your year to try to make it more of your thing, check out some of my other favorite cleaner beauty products here! Or click below to take my skincare quiz!

Hey there!


I design curriculum and am a self proclaimed tech nerd! I love designing resources to make teachers’ lives easier. In addition, I blog all things education. Let’s get to know each other and connect!