Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
Looking for a non toxic nail polish for kids or teens?
There’s very little governmental review, or control, over the ingredients companies use in their cosmetic products. So nail polishes often contain chemical additives that make the product ‘better’ and more sell-able, often with promises of faster drying times and longer lasting polish.
Here are some of the main chemicals of concern, which are often found in nail polishes.
1 – Toluene
A cheap adhesive, toluene is found in products such as paints, adhesives, nail polishes 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. It’s been banned, recalled or restricted from use in cosmetics in some countries outside the US.
3 – Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
The European Union bans DBP in cosmetics, as it’s one of a range of phthalates linked to a range 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 have now removed ingredients such as formaldehyde, it’s still common to find harsh chemicals in many nail polishes.
Ever wondered why staff in nail salons wear masks, that’s the chemicals. The very same chemicals that release a host of harmful VOCS into the air, which we then inhale.
So it’s usually best to do your research and check nail polish ingredients before you buy. Especially the 3 key chemicals above.
7 Of The Best Non-Toxic Nail Polishes For Kids
The good news is there’s a now range of non toxic nail polishes available, which are either made specifically for kids, or cut out the harsher chemicals. Much more eco-friendly, these nail polishes tend to be water based (i.e they use water as the base, rather than an oil or other chemical solvent). This is considered safer & more environmentally friendly. Non toxic nail polishes are often vegan friendly too.
Keep in mind, some non toxic nail polishes (especially ones aimed at kids) don’t always last as long as more standard brands. Check reviews & product details, so you know what to expect.
For a fun non toxic polish for toddlers or young kids, Piggy Paint is a popular choice, as it peels off on its own after a few days. For a longer lasting eco option for older children & teens, try ella+mila.
Here are 7 of the best non toxic nail polish sets & brands for kids & teens.
1 – Piggy Paint
Piggy Paint was started after it’s founder watched traditional nail polish bubble and eat through a foam plate. Specifically designed as a non toxic nail polish for kids, Piggy Paint is free of formaldehyde, toluene, phthalates, Bisphenol A, ethyl acetate & acetone. One of the most popular non toxic nail polish brands for kids, Piggy Paint polish dries quickly to a hard, durable finish & tends to peel off naturally after a couple of days. It’s also low odour & comes in a range of fun, child friendly colours. They also do an adult range.
Vegan & animal cruelty free.
2 – Karma Organic
Karma Organic non toxic nail polish is listed as free from TPHP, Toluene, Formaldehyde & DBP. With over 100 nail polish colours to choose from, there’s loads of choice for both adults & kids. Nail polish colours are soy based and the Karma Kids Nail Polish Box Set contains 4 assorted child friendly eco polishes designed to be easy & gentle on nails.
Karma Organic also produce a popular Natural Nail Polish Remover, made from Soybean and Tee Tree Oils.
Vegan friendly & cruelty free. Packaging is 100% recyclable.
3 – Abitzon
Abitzon’s eco friendly nail polish is free from formaldehyde, toluene & DBP chemicals. It comes as a set of 10 ‘quick drying’ nail polish shades in a range of fun colours. The pots of polish are on the smaller side, but for a good value, non toxic option, Abitzon is a popular choice. Easy to remove by soaking in warm water and peeling off, there’s no need for nail polish removers, but keep in mind, the nail polish doesn’t last all that long. A good eco choice for younger kids & teens who don’t mind if their polish peels off after a day or so.
4 – BONTIME
The BONTIME quick dry, water based, non toxic nail polish set is suitable for kids, teens or adults. Listed as free from Formaldehyde, toluene and DBP, the eco-friendly set contains 5 colourful nail polish shades + a base coat. The polish is designed to peel off easily without the need for harsh nail polish removers. On average, a layer of the BONTIME polish should last you 2-4 days (a separate base coat is recommended for best results). A good choice if you change your nail polish colour often or want to avoid nail polish removers.
Vegan & cruelty free.
5 – Honeybee Gardens
Honeybee Gardens water based, non toxic nail polish is free from harsh odours & comes in a wide range of shades. Free from the most common toxic nail polish ingredients, it’s also vegan friendly, cruelty free & quick drying. Easy to remove with rubbing alcohol or Honeybee’s own nail varnish remover, for best results it’s recommended you use a Primer first before applying the actual polish. Whilst not aimed solely at kids, this environmentally friendly nail polish can easily be used by children and teens. It also degrades cleanly, leaving no toxins or contaminants behind.
6 – ella+mila
If you’ve got a long list of chemicals you want to avoid, ella+mila non toxic nail polish is ’17 Free‘. This means it’s free of 17 of the most common chemicals of concern in nail polishes. Quick drying, the range of colour choices & appealing elephant logo on the bottles is likely to appeal to kids & teens of all ages. ella+milla nail polish is also designed & tested to last for 10-14 days. So whilst it doesn’t peel off on its own (like some eco polishes), if you want a non toxic nail polish for older kids or teenagers, that lasts, this could be a good choice.
7 – Disney Princess
If you still can’t quite ‘Let It Go’ or your child loves a Disney Princess, there’s always the option of a Frozen or princess inspired nail polish set. This Disney Princess set is labelled as non toxic for kids and contains 18 water based nail polishes, including glittery & opaque. The polishes are quick drying, recommended for age 3+ and peel off naturally. The set is an exceptionally popular choice with many parents, toddlers & younger kid, but keep in mind, the polish is listed as ‘bubble gum scented’, so it’s likely to contain an artificial fragrance.
Conclusion – Non Toxic Nail Polish For Kids
If you want to limit your child’s exposure to harsh chemicals, as they start to show an interest in make up and nail polishes, switching to a non toxic nail polish is a great start. There are now a variety of popular non toxic nail polishes for kids available, which ditch some of the harsher chemicals, in place of safer, more environmentally friendly ingredients.
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 product ratings based on ingredient content and may help you decide what feels the most environmentally friendly options to buy.