It matters what you use for your mani-pedi when you’re pregnant.
It’s smart to avoid toxins.
You don’t want to breathe them in or absorb them into your body.
The best pregnancy-safe nail polishes make it okay to paint nails while you’re expecting.
What makes nail polish safe during pregnancy?
As the world woke up to the fact that there are far too many harsh chemicals around us, someone had a bright idea.
They invented 3-free nail polishes (1).
These lacked toluene, formaldehyde, and DBP (dibutyl phthalate).
That’s good news as each chemical is linked to serious health problems for babies and mamas.
Then the list of unwanted ingredients grew longer.
It expanded from three to sixteen.
So now, there are non-toxic nail polishes galore.
Many are odorless, water-based, and vegan (2).
They use natural solvents derived from fruit (3). And you don’t need to dry them with UV lights.
It’s even possible to purchase nail polish remover that’s free of acetone. Not only does it not stink, but it also doesn’t dry out your skin and nails.
Let’s begin with the reviews and you’ll see the best nail polishes to use while you’re expecting.
Sally Hansen Good.Kind.Pure. Nail Polish
Sally Hansen is a trusted brand with bright shades that last for days without chipping.
Now this company offers polish that’s free of sixteen harsh ingredients.
The list includes formaldehyde, toluene, xylene, but phthalates, acetone, parabens, camphor, triphenyl phosphate, bisphenol A, glycol ether, styrene, formaldehyde resin, sulfates, nonylphenol ethoxylate, and animal-derived ingredients, and ethyl tosylamide.
Even the application brush is 100% natural, made from plants.
There are two downsides.
First, so far, there are only thirty colors.
Second, they anticipate only four days of wear time. But customer comments say that using a clear top coat makes the color lasts up to ten days.
Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Regular # 2103 Clear Transparent
Speaking of clear top coats, here’s one that’s three-free.
You can wear it alone, too. It strengthens fragile nails.
If you’re curious, the ingredients list begins with butyl and ethyl acetate, the fruit-based solvents. Then, there’s isopropyl alcohol, nitrocellulose, and so on.
essie Nail Polish
essie makes 3-free polishes that avoid formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP.
They have a large palette of colors (over two hundred), including trendy shades and seasonal sets.
It’s recommended that you use base coat, then two coats of polish, and at least one layer of top coat.
OPI Infinite Shine, Long-Wear Nail Polish
OPI is 5-free. They don’t include toluene, DBP, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, or camphor in their polish.
This American-made polish wears like a gel. Your manicure can last up to eleven days.
Plus, there are hundreds of colors to choose from.
ZOYA Nail Polish, Quad: Tis The Season
ZOYA points out that they were the first manufacturer to create a Big 3 Free formula.
Now they’ve expanded to become a Big 10 Free company.
The things they leave out include lead, tosylamide, ethyl, xylene, parabens, TPHP, camphor, toluene, dibutyl, formaldehyde resin, and formaldehyde.
Seriously, this polish doesn’t even stink.
Their products are vegan-friendly and worn on fashion runways around the world.
Côte Toxin-Free Nail Polish
Cote’s polish is vegan and cruelty-free.
It also lacks DBP (also known as dibutyl phthalate), formaldehyde, toluene, formaldehyde resin, camphor, and triphenyl phosphate (also known as TPHP).
Yes, you’ll pay a little more for this polish that’s made in the USA. But it comes in attractive Italian glass bottles with brushes that make precision easy.
bliss Mini Polish Get Frenched
This adorable little set from bliss is perfect when you want to get your nails healthy.
It contains six shades total, two of which are only available here.
The polishes are free of camphor, toluene, formaldehyde resin, formaldehyde, and dibutyl phthalate.
Furthermore, they are enhanced with soy germ, wheat, and milk thistle to fortify nails.
But there’s one little detail that had me worried.
The very last ingredient is retinol (4).
As you know, retinol is a big no-no when you’re pregnant. So please, consult your doctor before you decide to try this polish.
PRITI NYC Nontoxic Nail Polish
What’s the worst part about doing your own nails? For me, it’s waiting for them to dry.
Happily, the glossy PRITI polish dries in thirty seconds.
What’s more, it’s non-toxic and free of formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, toluene, xylene, parabens, TPHP, and dibutyl phosphate.
It barely has any odor at all.
And not only that, but it has a UV-inhibitor that keeps the color from fading.
Sugar Mama – Jamberry Nail Lacquer
Sugar Mama leaves out the formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, TPHP, xylene, and ethyl tosylamide.
They use no animal-derived ingredients and are cruelty-free.
They promise to provide bright colors that require fewer coats and less dry time.
Pacifica 7 Free Nail Polish
Pacifica’s applicator brush is vegan. It’s also wide, so you can get the job done quicker.
The polish, meanwhile, is free of parabens, phthalates, toluene, xylene, formaldehyde resin, and camphor as well as animal ingredients.
Users say that it’s very low-odor.
Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish
Here’s an alternative to gel polish. It works best if you apply it over a base coat.
But you won’t need a lamp to dry it.
Deborah Lippmann is an award-winning celebrity manicurist who created this 7-free product.
Smith & Cult Nail Polish
Smith & Cult offer an eight-free formula.
It lacks animal ingredients, gluten, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, and triphenyl phosphate.
To get the most out of it, you’ll need base and top coats, too.
butter LONDON suggests two coats for best results. Then, their polish can last up to ten days of wear.
It resembles a gel finish that hardens with natural light and air.
The glossy shine disguises the fact that it strengthens your nails with bamboo extract.
It’s eight-free, which means it does not contain TPHP, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, camphor, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde, or formaldehyde resin.
It also happens to be vegan and cruelty-free, and doesn’t have parabens or gluten, either.
LONDONTOWN Lakur Nail Polish
To use the Londontown polish, you need a coat of Kur Nail Hardener first.
The two bond to prevent breakage and splitting.
They contain minerals and vitamins plus plant extracts for healthy nails. The label lists corn protein, chamomile, and cucumber, among other things.
Additionally, they are nine-free: they don’t have acetone, TPHP, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, camphor, formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, or formaldehyde resin.
Karma Organic Two-in-One Base Coat
If you’re from New Jersey, you might’ve heard of Karma Organic Spa. They have two locations in the state.
They designed each spa location with recycled, natural, and non-toxic materials. Therefore, it’s not surprising that they’ve branched out into toxin-free nail polish.
Start with this base coat that smooths the surface and preps the nail for the polish.
Both it and the top coats are seven-free. They don’t contain animal ingredients, toluene, DBP, camphor, formaldehyde, or formaldehyde resin.
Acquarella Nail Polish
This water-based nail varnish is practically odor-free and vegan.
Since it’s water-based, it’s also non-flammable.
It doesn’t have toluene, camphor, parabens, gluten, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, polyurethane, or formaldehyde.
Just apply two coats, and you’re done.
ella+mila Nail Polish
If you have little ones already, you might recognize this product. It launched with a mommy & me set that has a big bottle and a little bottle.
Interestingly, PETA itself certified the polish as cruelty-free.
Additionally, it avoids the Big Seven no-nos, including camphor, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate.
sundays 10-Free, Nontoxic Nail Polish
sundays considers the health of the salon employees and furry friends, not just clients and customers.
Their polish is ten-free, cruelty-free, and vegan.
It’s also bottled in a way that makes it quick and easy to apply.
Anjou Peel Off 12 Colors Nail Polish Set
Let’s branch out into alternative nail polishes.
If you were the kid who loved to peel sunburns or dried glue, you’re going to go crazy for this one.
Paint it on, let it dry, then peel it off when you’re ready.
It only lasts about four days, anyway.
(As you can imagine, it’s great for kids.)
It’s free of formaldehyde, benzophenone, and heavy metals. There’s basically no odor, either.
Now, for the cons.
To make sure it adheres properly, you’ll need to clean your nails with rubbing alcohol first.
Also, it contains sodium lauryl sulfate, phenoxyethanol, and polyurethane.
Cirque Colors Thermal Temperature Color-Changing Mood Nail Polish
Who can resist color-changing mood rings?
Compare yours to this nail polish. The shade alters according to the temperature.
It’s called Magic Turquoise. It turns to jade green when it’s cold in light blue when it’s warm. The little speckles of metal make it quite pretty.
Just two coats will make sure it’s opaque. If you use the base coat and top coat, it will last even longer.
The formula is vegan and cruelty-free, plus non-toxic. It lacks the Big Four, which includes toluene, DBP, formaldehyde, or formaldehyde resin.
Other colors made by this company are ten-free. They are handmade in Brooklyn.
Who can resist Piggy Paint?
It comes in a set with two colors plus acetone-free polish remover.
Choose from classics like Perfectly Pink, The Tippy Toe Show, and Jingle Nail Rock.
It’s an American-made product that’s water-based and non-toxic. It’s free of a bunch of chemicals, as well as BPA.
This is the perfect gift for the little (or big) girls who chew their nails. It’s safe for pregnant mommies, too.
UNT Ready For Takeoff Peelable Base Coat, Non-glue Based Nail Tape
If you love nail art, take a look at this peelable base coat.
Paint two or three coats, then cover it with anything you like.
For example, you can put glitter, water marbling, and stamps over the top.
It’s ten-free and water-based to be as non-toxic as possible.
Although it takes a few minutes to dry, it makes it super easy to change designs as often as you prefer.
To remove it, grab a cuticle stick and push the edge towards the tip. You might be able to lift it off with your fingers.
A little nail polish remover will take care of any residue.
COTE – TAKEOFF Wild Sea Rose Acetone-Free Polish Remover
While we’re on the topic of nail polish remover, here’s one from Cote.
It has a rose scent instead of a chemical odor.
Obviously, it’s free of acetone, so it doesn’t make your nails brittle or your skin dry.
OPI Nail Acetone-Free Polish Remover
Here’s another non-toxic polish remover.
Unfortunately, it does smell kind of strong.
But on the bright side, it makes even gel polish easy to remove. Plus, your cuticles will look decent when you’re done.
Karma Nail Polish Remover Wipes
Skip the cotton pads with these ready-to-use wipes.
They smell like lavender.
Plus, they remove even dark shades quickly.
They don’t have acetone, alcohol, or other toxic chemicals.
What about dip powder nails?
Dip powder nails are a manicure system that includes base coat, topcoat, and colored powder.
Typically, the dip powder itself is usually non-toxic. It’s often enriched with vitamins and minerals to strengthen the nail.
But it is full of acrylic.
Tests done on animals found that high concentrations cause everything from skin and nose irritation to cancer (5).
Believe it or not, the bigger problem lies with the liquid coatings.
Before you get a dip powder manicure, ask if the top and base coats are at least three-free if not better.
Also, ask for a non-acetone polish remover if possible.
Don’t hang around if the salon has poor ventilation because it’s just not worth it to risk your and your baby’s health.
You can enjoy manicures and pedicures while you’re pregnant.
There’s no need to worry as long as you’re using pregnancy-safe nail polish.
These non-toxic polishes are gorgeous and durable.
If you have a favorite brand, tell us about it in the comments below.
1. https://www.thebump.com/a/can-i-use-nail-polish-while-pregnant by Melissa Schweiger and Annette Rubin, accessed January 21, 2020
2. https://www.babycentre.co.uk/x1041410/is-it-safe-to-use-nail-polish-and-nail-polish-remover-during-pregnancy by Claudia Carmaciu, GP, published July 2019, accessed January 21, 2020
3. https://www.popsugar.co.uk/beauty/Can-I-Wear-Nail-Polish-When-Im-Pregnant-44180866 by Lauren Levinson, published 21 July 2018, accessed January 21, 2020
4. https://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredients/706889-retinol_(vitamin_a) accessed January 21, 2020
5. https://www.thezoereport.com/p/are-powder-dip-nails-harmful-pros-weigh-in-17999501 by Jessica Yarbrough, published June 14, 2019, accessed January 21, 2020