7 Pregnancy Safe Nail Polishes
There’s nothing like the feeling of a fresh manicure, and you can still keep your nails polished even with a little one on the way, but taking a few precautions can give you peace of mind. A pregnancy-safe nail polish comes in just as many cute colors as traditional polishes, but contains fewer toxins, including three of the most notorious ingredients — formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate.
While nail polishes in general haven't officially been ruled unsafe for use by pregnant women, some ingredients — like the aforementioned three which have been coined the "Toxic 3" — have been scrutinized lately. Here's why: Formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate all have been linked to possibly causing birth defects. Therefore, shopping for nontoxic nail polish means looking for what’s not in the polishes; they’re often labeled according to the number of potentially concerning ingredients they leave out, and polishes can range from three-free all the way up to ten-free.
As you move up higher up on the "free-from" list, the same three-free ingredients will be absent, but some of the other ones that are excluded may not pose the same pregnancy-specific concerns (Example: gluten, fragrance). Therefore, it's up to you what ingredients you want to avoid.
To help you make that choice, here is a breakdown of those ingredients:
- Seven-free: Polishes with this label are free of the toxic three, as well as formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide and xylene. Some might also skip the triphenyl phosphate, or TPHP, a suspected endocrine disruptor.
- Eight and nine-free: In addition to skipping the ingredients above, eight and nine-free nail polishes may avoid additional ingredients like acetone and parabens.
- Ten-free: And then there are ten-free formulas, which also avoid fragrance, parabens, and animal by-products. You’ll find that some nontoxic polishes are also cruelty-free or entirely vegan.
With all this in mind, below is a list of pregnancy-safe nail polishes to suit your ingredient preference. I've also listed a nontoxic cuticle oil and nail polish remover, so you can keep rocking your nails while pregnant, without any worries.
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1. A Set Of 10-Free Nail Polishes To Replace Your Old Bottles
Zoya is a top brand in nontoxic nail polish, and this set of four makes it easy to update your existing bottle collection with pregnancy-safe nail polish. Their 10-free formulas are free of formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutl, toluene, camphor, triphenyl phosphate, xylene, ethyl, tosylamide, and lead, as well as parabens.
This highly rated set, with more than 700 reviews, includes a hot pink, sparkly pink, orangey-red with shimmer, and a classic red; it's also available in four-packs of all reds, purples and greens, and whites and blacks. Though the majority of nail polishes on the market are now three-free, Zoya was a pioneer in removing toxins from its formulas.
A helpful review: "This nail polish is beautiful ... I have spent several weeks looking for a nail polish brand that is free of the top ten toxins and has long wear ... This nail polish held up for several days without chipping even a little bit ... I used regular nail polish remover and it came right off ... I was surprised that after several days of wearing this nail polish, my nails didn't turn yellow."
2. A Non-Toxic 9-Free Nail Polish In More Than 50 Colors
You can't go wrong with true blue, but this nine-free nail polish also comes in more than 50 other hues that range from classic reds to silvery grey, each with cheeky British-inspired names.
In addition to forgoing nine toxins and chemicals found in traditional polishes, this highly pigmented polish is vegan, cruelty-free, and free of gluten. It's also enriched with botanicals and oils that help keep nails moisturized and create a shiny finish. Reviews say the polish goes on flawlessly and lasts a long time without chipping.
A helpful review: “I LOVE this stuff! Finally a non-toxic, non-drying solution for nails that stays true to color and lasts for a whole month. I used it with the base and top coat. When I removed the polish with a non-toxic remover, of course, my toenails didn't look all white and nasty like other polishes. I will continue to use this brand!!"
3. The Best Sparkly 8-Free Nail Polish
For beautiful nail polishes that are shimmery and glittery, look no further than Smith & Cult nail polish. Their eight-free formulas are available in six sparkly hues in pinks, golds, and blacks.
This polish is vegan, cruelty-free, and free of parabens and gluten. Reviewers commented they love how long this polish lasts and many say it's "worth every penny." Plus, the luxe packaging is pretty enough to keep on display.
A helpful review: “I've bought other sparkly nail polishes before and have not been thrilled with them. You have to use many coats to get the desired look you want. I was very impressed with this polish when I only had to use TWO coats and it's PERFECT!"
4. The Barely There 8-Free Nail Polish That Moisturizes Nails
The sheer coverage of this non-toxic nail polish delivers a barely-there color that enhances your natural nails, working similarly to a tinted moisturizer. This pick also moisturizes and repairs nails with vitamin E, tea tree oil, and keratin. You can even skip the base and topcoat with this one, making it really quick and easy to freshen up your look.
A helpful review: “Love this! It's the perfect treatment to strengthen your nails while also not feeling like you had totally bare nails. I'm a nurse, and using hand sanitizer constantly throughout the day really beats up my nails. They're often breaking and are very dry. I can't wear gel or acrylics, and if I wear polish, it cannot be chipped. I love wearing this because it helps me to nourish my nails while not just having them bare.”
5. The 8-Free Nail Polish That Goes With Everything
This eight-free nail polish is also vegan and cruelty free, and each color is named after a street in New York. This mulberry hue is neutral enough to go with any outfit, but you can choose from fifteen color options, including shades like this one for minimalists and classic reds and bold blues.
This brand doesn't just remove potentially harmful and irritating ingredients, it adds a few hydrating ones back in — like essential oils, vitamin E, and horsetail leaf extract.
A helpful review: “Absolutely gorgeous non-toxic nail polish that goes on smooth and has a gorgeous pigment. Can’t recommend it enough!”
6. A 7-Free Top Coat And Base Coat In One Bottle
Keep your entire mani-pedi routine nontoxic with this pregnancy-safe two-in-one basecoat and topcoat. The formula is seven-free, plus it's vegan and cruelty-free.
This pick has an impressive 4.3-star rating with more than 200 reviews, and keratin in the formula even helps strengthen nails while making your nail polish last longer.
A helpful review: “This top coat polish is the best I’ve ever tried. Very strong and very shiny. Stays on with no chips for a week. Love, love.”
7. A 7-Free Nail Polish That Will Remind You Of A Mood Ring
For something entirely different, this iridescent pregnancy safe nail polish shimmers in different colors with the lighting and movement of your hands. The seven-free formula changes color — from shades of blue and purple to oranges, yellows, reds, and greens — depending on how the light hits your nails. It has a shiny chrome finish and is also vegan and cruelty-free.
All of this brand's polishes skip toluene, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, and xylene. Reviewers commented they love the rich pigment and totally unique shade of this polish and many say the polish stays on for a long time, even after swimming and washing dishes.
A helpful review: "This nail polish is unbelievably gorgeous. It literarily shifts between 3 distinctive colors, dark blue, dark purple, and a golden orange, along with some in-between shades! ... It also has a beautiful shimmer to it. And just put black under it first and it's opaque in one coat. I normally like to do nail art and add designs and other colors, but this polish does not need it! It is a statement piece all on its own!"
Nice To Have: A Hydrating 3-Free Cuticle Oil
A nontoxic cuticle oil is an underrated part of the manicure, but it's definitely worth your consideration while you have a bump. It’s best to not cut your cuticles when pregnant to avoid infections; instead simply push them back and keep them healthy with this moisturizing oil. The nontoxic formula has no formaldehyde, toluene, or dibutyl phthalate. It's also vegan and cruelty free.
A helpful review: “Only been using it for a little while and can see a difference. I love the smell of the cuticle oil too :)”
Also Great: A Nontoxic Nail Polish Remover
Your can maintain an entirely nontoxic nail routine by following up your pregnancy safe nail polish with a pregnancy-safe nail polish remover. This cult favorite has a 4.7-star rating with more than 5,000 reviews and the formula is non-drying to protect your hands.
This formula is free of formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, toluene, triphenyl phosphate, parabens, and it's also cruelty-free, vegan, and acetone-free.
A helpful review: “This is my all-time favorite polish remover. The smell is strong but nothing compared to other polish removers, especially to a pregnant lady's nose! Not to mention it works wonders! Definitely a thumbs up from me.”