Bree Crowder
November 08, 2014 2:00 pm

We’ve all heard that nail polish isn’t good for you, that bottles are filled to the brim with chemicals that could ruin our nails and potentially be bad for our bodies. Manicurists wear face masks to prevent long-term health issues, and pregnant women are advised against wearing polish during pregnancy. Why then, are we so willing to wear nail polish that contains these harsh, potentially cancer-causing chemicals?

Don’t worry though, there is a way to safely (and stylishly) paint your nails. Articles have been springing up about 3-free and 5-free nail polishes. Haven’t heard of these? Here’s a primer (ha!): 3-free nail polish is typically free of dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, and formaldehyde. 5-free nail polish is free of even more harsh chemicals: DBP, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, and camphor.

Thankfully, there is actually a wide selection of 3-free, 5-free, and even organic nail polish alternatives. Just like when buying food, it’s important to read the label on nail polishes as well. Below are some 3-free and 5-free brands every polish advocate should consider trying (some of these brands may even surprise you).

Designer Brands

1. Givenchy’s Le Vernis Intense Color Nail Lacquer, $18

With 13  gorgeous color options, Givenchy provides polish free of harsh chemicals and a complete list of polish ingredients.

Guaranteed to be free of: DBP, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, and camphor.

2. Dior’s Vernis, $25-$31

Dior polish is also free of some of these carcinogenic chemicals. A perfect mix of style and progression.

Guaranteed to be free of: DBP, toluene, formaldehyde, and camphor.

3. Chanel’s Le Vernis, $27

Even though Chanel is more expensive than drugstore brands, or mostly any brands really, you’re getting quality polish and chemical-free assurance.

Guaranteed to be free of: DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde.

5-Free Polishes

1. L’Oréal Paris’ Colour Riche, $5.99

Incredibly cost-effective and chemically aware, L’Oréal Paris has produced nail polish everyone should try.

Guaranteed to be free of: DBP, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, and camphor.

2. Zoya, $9

Not only is Zoya the same price as many drugstore brands, but there is an insane collection of colors to choose from. Zoya has everything from pastels, sparkles, seasonals, bolds, and mermaidesque colors. Zoya has something for everyone.

Guaranteed to be free of: DBP, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, and camphor.

3. RGB’s Five Free Nail Color, $18

Another fantastic nail polish that has made a conscious effort to rid its ingredients list of carcinogens. While a little more expensive than drugstore brands, RGB has an impressive collection of bold and pastel colors.

Guaranteed to be free of: DBP, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, and camphor.

3-Free Polishes

1. American Apparel’s Nail Lacquer, $7

With 28 awesome color options, American Apparel makes for an easy, fun polish.

Guaranteed to be free of: DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde.

2. Essie, $8.50

Found in most drugstores and Target, Essie nail polish has an expansive color collection, including many adorable pastel colors that aren’t available from other brands.

Guaranteed to be free of: DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde.

3. M.A.C. Studio Nail Lacquer, $12

M.A.C. doesn’t just provide the perfect matte lipsticks — they also offer a selection of bold polishes for professional shine.

Guaranteed to be free of: DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde.

We love all of these lovely polishes because they won’t damage our nails, or our skin. Plus. . .it doesn’t hurt that all these brands offer some of the coolest colors, ever!

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