Eco-Friendly, Clean Nail Polish – Why Should You Switch?

While nail polish is an essential aspect of self-care, many contain chemical ingredients that can be detrimental to your health and the environment. On the bright side, more nail polish brands than ever before are coming up with safe and eco-friendly alternatives to your colorful favorites.

If eco-friendly nail polishes are new to you, this guide will tell you everything you need to know about why you should make the switch!

How Does Traditional Nail Polish Affect Your Health?

Traditional nail polish is a bigger problem than you might think. It contains toxic chemicals that can cause severe health problems and harm to the environment.

Chemical Ingredients In Most Nail Polishes

The ingredients in formulas that make it shiny, long-lasting, and quick-drying are often full of chemicals that have negative effects. Prolonged use of these ingredients can cause health problems such as irritation, asthma, and skin problems. Beware of a product if it contains:

  • Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
  • Toluene
  • Formaldehyde resin
  • Camphor
  • Ethyl tosylamide
  • Xylene

You’ll learn more about the adverse effects of these chemical ingredients later.

UV Exposure

To keep loyal customers from waiting, nail salons often use a curing process to speed up drying. Curing involves using a UV light that allows liquids to absorb energy quickly enough to become solid. While this will save you a few more minutes in a nail salon chair, prolonged UV exposure can cause:

  • Premature skin aging
  • Liver spots
  • Cataracts and other eye damage
  • Skin cancer (melanoma)

Further Nail Damage

Ironically, the nail polish removal process can do more harm than good. Most nail polish removers are made with acetone, which removes layers from your nail plate – making it brittle and weak. It can also cause skin irritation, dryness, and peeling.

Top Nail Polish Ingredients To Avoid

Now that you know the risks involved with traditional nail lacquer, it’s time to take a closer look at what makes this formula so dangerous.

Formaldehyde Resin

Formaldehyde resin is the key to making your polish last longer and dry faster. However, inhaling formaldehyde can cause anything from shortness of breath to severe immune system problems. Also used as embalming fluid, formaldehyde is a highly toxic poison that becomes more dangerous with prolonged use.

Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP)

Dibutyl phthalate or DBP keeps your manicure from cracking or becoming brittle. With that in mind, inhaling it can disrupt hormonal development and even cause reproductive complications.


Camphor is responsible for a nail product’s shin and elasticity, making colors look more vibrant. Camphor does, however, also cause nausea, dizziness, and even liver damage when absorbed through the skin.


This petroleum-derived ingredient is what keeps your polish smooth – in most cases, you’ll find toluene in your base coat. However, prolonged use or exposure also leads to liver and kidney damage. In severe cases, toluene can even cause reproductive damage.

Triphenyl Phosphate (TPHP)

Ironically, triphenyl phosphate or TPHP is often used as a less hazardous alternative to DBP. However, this toxic ingredient can contribute to reproductive failure.

Ethyl Tosylamide

This popular plasticizer helps your manicure dry quickly but also creates antibiotic resistance in the body. The ingredient is so hazardous you won’t find it in any European nail polish brands.


If you’ve ever opened a bottle of polish and gotten a whiff of a chemical scent, that’s xylene. While this ingredient helps prevent lumps in your manicure, it also causes dizziness, nausea, and vomiting.

Reasons To Use Eco-friendly Nail Polishes

Now that you’re well-aware of the chemicals you can find in traditional formulas, switching to organic, eco-friendly and cruelty-free nail polish colors should be a no-brainer! If you’re still on the fence, here are a few reasons why you won’t regret using organic, vegan, and cruelty-free nail polish formulas.

Reduced Odor

Most people who walk into a typical salon leave it feeling dizzy or nauseous because of the overpowering smell of chemicals. Fortunately, you’re not going to get any of that with a vegan, cruelty-free, and organic product!

With the best eco-friendly nail polish, you get ingredients that contain many organic alternatives. Instead of materials like DBP, formaldehyde resin, or ethyl tosylamide, a safe color selection includes perfectly safe plant-based materials.

Healthier Nails

No matter how much a traditional formula promises to protect your nails and nail beds, they can’t do what an eco-friendly gel nail polish can. Not only do you get the same color range as you would with a traditional collection, but eco-friendly, clean nail lacquers also protect your nails from daily wear and tear.

Beneficial ingredients such as tea tree oil and plant pigments keep your nails moisturized and even protect them against harsh weather and UV rays. After prolonged use, an organic nail lacquer can prevent your nails from peeling and breaking.

Environmentally Friendly

Eco-friendly beauty products aren’t just better for your health – they’re also beneficial to the environment! If you’re on a mission to reduce your personal waste, organic polishes can:

  • Reduce air pollution
  • Be easily recycled
  • Prevent damage to marine habitats
  • Biodegrade after a shorter period

Not to mention, many of these organic products come in environmentally-friendly packaging.

Many brands even have recycling programs.


Nail polish has long been a part of anyone’s beauty routine. When you use a cruelty-free nail product, you can look good and feel good.

Plus, polishes do wonders for your mood! Pampering yourself with different shades and colors can make you feel happier, more content, and invested in yourself. You can even find eco-friendly nail polish for kids!

Add an organic aspect to the formula, and you can enjoy a spa day with your nail artist or nail technician guilt-free.

The Bottom Line

In the long run, you can’t go wrong with eco-friendly nail polish. These products are environmentally friendly, better for your health, and come in the same stunning shades and colors.

If you’re in the market for nail polishes that are beautiful and eco-friendly, visit Greentoes in Tucson! We pride ourselves by using only nail polish brands with organic formulas. Our impressive color range looks and feels amazing!

our locations

529 N 6th Ave
Tucson, AZ 85705

greentoes North
615 W Roller Coaster Rd
Tucson, AZ 85704

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