Some phrases might initially jump out at you when you’re shopping for nontoxic nail polish for the first time. To help you get better acquainted, here's a glossary on the most common terms you should know:
3-free indicates that a product is made without the three most toxic chemicals most often found in traditional nail polishes: formaldehyde (an ingredient that prevents polish chipping but is a potential carcinogen); toluene (a polish solvent that may also be a neurotoxin); and dibutyl phthalate (a chemical that makes polish flexible and chip-free but is banned by the EU for possible reproductive harm).
7-free polishes don't contain the "toxic trio," along with controversial additives like formaldehyde resin (which forms a strong coating on your nails but could cause respiratory issues); camphor (a chemical that creates a glossy sheen but could cause headaches or dizziness); ethyl tosylamide (which acts as a film former but is also antibiotic-resistant); and xylene (an ingredient which thins out nail polish that could cause damage to the central nervous system).
10-free polish not only excludes the harmful chemicals mentioned above, but bur they also leave out parabens (preservatives that prevent bacteria growth but can mimic estrogen in the body, causing reproductive harm) along with tert-butyl hydroperoxide (which aids in the plasticization process and can be toxic if it enters your bloodstream) and animal by-products from their formulas.
Plant-based nail polishes are made with 100% natural ingredients. Many brands even make sure the polish brush is all-natural, too.
Leaping Bunny certified is a trusted label that goes to products and brands that have strict cruelty-free procedures and policies in place, including verifying that they never test on animals.