If you grew up in the French manicure era of the 2000s (hello, ’90s babies), you know just how far nail art has progressed. There are many nail polish options available from top brands. There are many options for how to apply nail polishes, such as basic or gel and dip powder. Of course, there’s the usual sheer and matte finishes, but you can try switching it up with metallic, holographic, or textured finishes as well. A few top-quality nail varnishes can help you achieve salon-quality manicures from home.
Why is nail polish so unique? “nontoxic”?
With the clean beauty movement on the rise, your options don’t just stop at nail colors. Companies now market their nail polish formulas as non-toxic, labeling them as 5-free, 7-free 7, 10-free, 23-free and 23-free. The brand’s manufacturing process is what really matters.
If you’ve ever wondered where nail polish gets its strong odor, take a scan of the ingredients list. Many chemicals are found in nail varnish, some with adverse health effects. Research has proven this. That said, the connection between certain nail polish ingredients and their potential health effects aren’t fully understood and require further study, per Harvard Health experts.
According to U.S. Food and Drug Administration(FDA), The top five ingredients in nail products that are most frequently found include formaldehyde/formalin, formaldehyde epoxy for nail polish coatings, methacrylic nail primers, phthalates, toluene, and dibutylphthalate. In a 2018 survey, this was the case. StudyThe journal Environmental Study & Technology published a 2000 article that stated nail polish manufacturers had begun to list their products with a 3-free label to avoid formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate. It has doubled in size since 2000. “free” labeling. But because this labeling is not required to be validated by a third-party or approved by the FDA, it’s up to the nail polish brand to be explicit about which ingredients are used or in this case withheld—and sometimes when an ingredient is excluded it can be replaced with a similar potentially questionable ingredient, the study authors note.
The gist: Nontoxic labeling isn’t standardized, so it’s tough to figure out what, exactly, is excluded from your nail polish unless you dig deep into its ingredients list. A brand that does not label certain ingredients is good evidence that they know and are actively trying to eliminate them from their products. But because most of us don’t have a background in chemistry, familiarizing yourself with the brand’s mission and ethos is another way to ensure you’re buying a product that’s aligned with your personal preferences.
Is there another term for nail polish?
It was simple to choose 21 nail colors to add to your collection after examining many. You’ll note cult-favorite brands like Essie and OPI but we also found some lesser-known brands like Kokoist and OOO Polish. Many Black communities value this form of art and self-expression. From the companies we selected to highlight, to the colors that were used, we made sure the list covered the whole nail care industry. Here’s to healthy nails and mastering home manicures!