This is how a natural nail polish works for organic nails

What harmful substances are hidden in conventional nail polish, what does the "free label" stand for and what are the most beautiful brands for organic nails?

Organic nail polish free from harmful substances
Source & Copyright by Kester Black

Author: July Becker

  • Nail polish for organic nails polish is not entirely without chemical substances, but healthier and more environmentally friendly
  • Unhealthy pollutants can get into the body fron conventional nail polish
  • The “Free Label” shows which ingredients are not included in the polish

Product for organic nails without harmful substances can be found in more and more drugstores as well online stores. But why is does conventional nail polish has a bad reputation and is organic nail polish completely chemical-free? Here are all hacks and the best brands for organic nails.

Related topics: Zero waste bathroom: oasis of wellbeing in the name of sustainability

What's in conventional nail polish?

Conventional nail polish usually consists of synthetic ingredients, at least a few of which are very harmful to health and the environment. The use of these harmful ingredients, among others, is widespread in conventional nail polishes:

  • Phthalates - plasticizers that have been proven to be hazardous to health and may influence the hormonal balance.
  • Toluene - a solvent that may impair fertility and may damage the embryo during an existing pregnancy.
  • Formaldehyde - solvent that can cause redness and irritation.
  • Parabens - preservatives that are also suspected of influencing the hormonal balance.
  • Xylenes - solvents that may cause respiratory irritation.

Several studies have shown that chemicals can be absorbed into the body through the nails. One more reason to use organic nail polish from now on.
But not all organic nail polish are the same. Meaning that not every manufacturer applies the same standards for organic nails. Which chemical ingredients are not included are indicated by the “Free Label”.

bio nail polish

Free Label - These ingredients are not in nail polish for organic nails

  • 3-Free: no formaldehyde, toluene or dibutyl phthalate
  • 5-Free: no formaldehyde resin or camphor
  • 7-Free: no animal ingredients or animal testing
  • 10-Free: additionally no parabens, fragrances and xylenes

A natural cosmetic nail polish is only vegan if it has at least the 7-Free label. And natural nail polish cannot do without chemicals: after all, the color should still last a long time, shine brilliantly and be able to be applied without leaving streaks. Nonetheless, less chemistry is of course always healthier and more environmentally friendly. The use of natural cosmetics for nail polish is definitely worth it.

The fact that experts are now warning against Shellac and gel nails, as these pose a risk of skin cancer that should not be underestimated, motivates even more to ditch conventional nail polish. Above all, UV radiation is harmful to health and the nail cap made of gel is extremely inviting for bacteria and germs that can cause infections of the nail bed.

Top 5 brands for orahnic nails

There are alternatives to Dior, Chanel and Co., which naturally beautify the nails and at the same time miss a luxurious look. These are our favorite brands.

1. Smith & Cult

smith and cult

Smith & Cult shines with impressive, long-lasting colors as well as shapely nail polish bottles that you don't even want to banish in the cosmetics cabinet.

Key facts: 8-Free, cruelty-free, vegan, gluten-free
Does not contain: formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, methylbenzene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), camphor, ethyl tosylamides, xylene and triphenyl phosphate (TPP)
Price: approx. 24 euros per bottle

2. ButterLondon

butter london

ButterLondon has been producing organic nail polishes in beautiful colors since 2005, which are not only free from all possible harmful substances, but are also supposed to last for up to ten days.

Key facts: 10-Free, vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, paraben-free
Does not contain: formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, methylbenzene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), camphor, ethyl tosylamides, xylene and triphenyl phosphate (TPP)
Price: approx. 15 euros per bottle

3. Gitti


Gitti is a young label from Berlin, whose nail polishes are not only low in pollutants, but also care for the nails with vitamins. Caution: After applying, keep the paint away from hot water for around four hours.

Key facts: 16-Free, vegan, cruelty-free, odorless, water-based
Does not contain: formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, methylbenzene, phthalates (including DBP), camphor, ethyl tosylamides, xylene, triphenyl phosphate (TPP), ethyl acetate, butyl acetate, N-propyl acetate, cellulose nitrate, UV filters, parabens and fragrances
Price: approx. 18 euros per bottle

4. Kester Black

kester black

The label Kester Black comes from Australia and offers a very large selection of different, great colors that last a long time.

Key facts: 10-Free, vegan, cruelty-free, company supports sustainable production methods
Does not contain: formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, methylbenzene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), camphor, ethyl tosylamides, xylene and triphenyl phosphate (TPP), fragrances
Price: approx. 20 euros per bottle

5. Deborah Lippman


The nail polishes from Deborah Lippmann are a great alternative to gel manicures. In combination with the base and top coat, the nails will shine for many days.

Key facts: 7-Free, vegan, cruelty-free
Does not contain: formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, methylbenzene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), camphor, ethyl tosylamides, xylene and triphenyl phosphate (TPP), fragrances
Price: approx. 25 euros per bottle

Are there also organic nail polish removers?

If only natural nail polish comes on the nails, the nail polish remover should also be low pollutant. In fact, when it comes to nail polish removers, it's relatively easy to rely on a natural products. Conventional nail polish removers usually contain the aggressive solvent acetone. This enters the body through the skin and is also inhaled while applying the polish.

The result: irritated airways, eyes and skin. You may also experience dizziness, headaches and nausea. Last but not least, many people also find the smell of acetone nail polish remover very unpleasant. Natural cosmetics nail polish removers are water-based, sometimes completely alcohol-free, and instead of chemicals, organic nail polish removers smell like lemon, peach or nothing at all. Get your organic nails complete with these well-known brands for natural nail polish removers: Benecos, GG Naturell, Kia-Charlotta and Suncoat.


Absorb even fewer pollutants with these easy hacks while applying the polish

There is also chemistry in organic nail polish, so here are a few hacks that make the nail polish application even less harmful:

  • Nail polish should not get on the skin. When applying the polish, it is important to ensure that only the nails are actually touched.
  • Any vapours that can be inhaled might be harmless, even with natural nail polish for organic nails. So do the application on the terrace or balcony. If that is not possible, the apartment simply has to be ventilated afterwards.

Organic Nails - How can I tell whether there are harmful ingredients in a nail polish?

The “Free Label" is a very good starting point to distinguish low-pollutant from high-pollutant nail polish. However, not all manufacturers use this label. That is why it is important to look carefully when buying nail polish. In particular, any product for organic nails should not contain the following four hazardous ingredients:

  1. Dibutyl phthalate (DBT)
  2. toluene
  3. formaldehyde

If you can identify one of these four ingredients on the label of the nail polish, then you should keep your hands off it. Some apps also help to identify and avoid harmful substances in cosmetics. And when it comes to nail polish removers, it is worth to choose natural alternatives for organic nails. Even only because nail polish removers without acetone and alcohol are more gentle to your skin.


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