Nail Polish, Not Poison.

Image via StyleTraces

Image via StyleTraces

Glue. Embalming Fluid. Nail Polish.  One of these things is not like the others. Or is it?

Actually, all three substances typically contain formaldehyde, a colorless gas compound that is also a carcinogen, meaning that it causes cancerous cell growth.   And while it’s no secret that we place a premium on looking pretty, good health is a building block of great looks.  So, to skip the carcinogens but keep the manicures, we’ve rounded up a bevy of lacquers that are long lasting, lovely and formaldehyde-free.

Zoya

Not only is Zoya Nail Polish formaldehyde-free, the collection offers hundreds of hues that go well beyond basics, like “Bevin” a dusty green with teal tones ($9 at Ulta) and “Charity” a faded mauve-purple with copper colored duochrome shimmer ($9 at Ulta).  The collection was created in 1984 when then-pregnant esthetician Zoya Reyzis foresaw the need for a nail polish free of harmful chemicals and carcinogens.  More than three decades later, the Zoya collection offers up high fashion hues with a healthy sensibility. 

Nubar

Nubar's long-lasting, fast-drying nail polish collection is free of formaldehyde.  Those looking for carcinogen-free nail color will love Nubar’s hip hues such as “BOHO," an unconventional, free-spirited fringed rouge-rose that shows off layers & trails of subtle sparkles. Nubar nail lacquers are available online for $8.40 here.

Another of our favorite Nubar products is Nail Clear ($12.99), a nail mask for whitening nails and erasing stains sometimes left behind by harsher polishes. No need to soak nails, just brush on the mask and peel away. The key ingredient is grapefruit extract, an organic whitener that is also an effective antifungal.

Nail Tek

Citra III Formaldehyde Free by Nail Tek ($15 at Ulta) is an effective nail strengthener with a natural citrus-based alternative to formaldehyde. Citra is available in three formulas, one for healthy nails, one for soft, peeling nails and another for dry, brittle nails. We like to think of the collection as the cure for whatever ails your nails, all formaldehyde-free, of course.