Last Updated on January 7, 2020 by Sarah
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When my daughter was born I proudly announced she would never wear nail polish before the age of 10.
Well that didn’t happen. So instead, I opted for the best non toxic nail polish for kids I could find (this is our favourite).
So I really wasn’t happy with my daughter smothering these all over her growing little nails.
There were 3 particular chemicals that rang the biggest alarm bells:
1 – Toluene
A cheap adhesive, toluene is found in products such as paints, adhesives, nail polish and gasoline. It evaporates rapidly from these materials and becomes mixed with the air you breathe. Toluene has been linked with a host of potential health issues, including nervous system and reproductive issues.
2 – Formaldehyde
This suspected carcinogen is typically used as a preservative and steriliser. It’s often added to nail hardeners and coloured nail polishes.
3 – Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
The European Union bans DBP in cosmetics, as well as in childcare articles and toys, as it is one of a range of phthalates linked to a host of possible adverse health effects, including asthma and male fertility issues.
Other chemicals often lurking in nail polish, which have been raised as ‘chemicals of concern’ by the California Safe Cosmetics Program, include:
- Carbon Black (Airborne)
- Cocamide DEA
- Methylene Glycol
Whist many brands are getting better and starting to remove ingredients such as formaldehyde, you’ll still find some of the chemicals above in many nail polishes.
In fact, whatever claims a nail polish brand may make about their ‘natural’ or ‘non-toxic’ credentials, it’s best to do your research and check for the 3 ingredients above, (in particular), before you buy.
There’s actually very little governmental review, or control, over the ingredients companies can use in their cosmetic products, so many brands add what they like – especially chemical additives that make the product ‘better’ and more sellable, with promises of faster drying times and longer lasting polish.
Ever noticed that overwhelming (and very unnatural) smell when you pass by a nail salon?
It’s the chemicals. It’s also the reason many nail salon staff wear masks over their mouths.
And it’s these very same chemicals that release a host of stinky VOCS into the air, which we then inhale.
5 Of The Best Non-Toxic Nail Polishes For Kids
The good news though is that there are a variety of non toxic nail polishes out there, which are either made specifically for kids, or cut out a lot of the chemicals of concern, making them safer to use. Keep in mind though, although safer, all nail polishes contain some chemicals, so we still use them quite sparingly.
Here are 5 of the best non toxic nail polishes for kids and young teens, which are all free of DBP, formaldehyde and toluene. We use Piggy Paint in our house – it does usually start to peel off after a day or 2, but for a non toxic nail polish for kids, it’s our favourite.
1 – Piggy Paint
Piggy Paint is a non-toxic, hypoallergenic nail polish aimed at kids. Free of formaldehyde, toluene, phthalates, Bisphenol A, ethyl acetate and acetone, Piggy Paint dries quickly to a hard, durable finish that tends to peel off naturally after a couple of days. A favourite with my daughter, Piggy Paint is low odour and comes in a range of fun, child friendly colours.
I love the fact that Piggy Paint was started by Melanie Hurley after she watched traditional nail polish bubble and eat through a foam plate!
2 – Karma Organic
Karma Organic nail polish is listed as free from TPHP, Toluene, Formaldehyde & DBP.
They’ve got a wide range of adult colours and also a nail polish box set specifically for kids. This includes 4 assorted colours, including a fun, glitter nail polish (check box details to ensure the glitter one is included, as there is more than one box set available).
Karma Organic also produce a very popular Natural Nail Polish Remover, made from Soybean and Tee Tree Oils.
You can also view some of adult non toxic nail polish colours in the short video below:
3 – Honeybee Gardens
Honeybee Gardens non toxic, water-based polish is free from harsh chemical odours and fumes and comes in a wide range of colourful shades. Free from the most common toxic nail polish ingredients, it’s also PETA Certified Cruelty Free, non GMO and vegan.
It’s also easy to remove the polish with rubbing alcohol or Honeybee’s own nail polish remover, if you want to avoid the more traditional smelly (and chemical laden) nail varnish remover.
Whilst it’s not aimed solely at kids, this non toxic nail polish can easily be used by children and teens.
4 – ella+mila
ella+mila product details state their nail polish is free from 7 of the main common chemical culprits – namely Formaldehyde, Toluene, DiButyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde Resin and Camphor. It’s also listed as PETA certified and vegan.
Available in a wide range of colours, the nail polish is aimed at all ages – however, the fun elephant design on the bottles is likely to appeal to most kids!
BONTIME Non-Toxic Nail Polish
This quick dry, water based, organic non toxic nail polish is suitable for both adults and kids. Listed as free from Formaldehyde, toluene and DBP, there are 5 shades to choose from.
The polish only lasts 2-3 days (a separate base coat is also recommended for best results), but to remove it, you simply need to peel polish off (so you shouldn’t need any nail polish remover). Not the cheapest option, but one to consider if you want a non toxic polish that peels off easily/you change nail polish regularly.
The Bottom Line – Best Non Toxic Nail Polish For Kids
I’m a huge advocate of reducing the chemical load in our household, wherever I can.
Non toxic nail polish has now also been added to the list, since I believe the water based and non toxic nail polishes suitable for kids above are safer options both for you and your little ones – who let’s face it, are quite likely to want to paint their nails now and again!
Plus, of course, whilst not perfect, they’re better for the environment than the more chemical laden polishes.
If you’re ever unsure about a personal care product’s ingredients (nail polish or otherwise), a good place to look is the Environmental Working Group Database (EWG). The site offers a rating for products based on ingredient content and can prove really helpful in informing your decisions on what to buy.
Do you have any of your recommendations for the best non toxic nail polishes for kids?