Glue. Embalming Fluid. Nail Polish.
One of these things is not like the others. Or is
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
Not only is Zoya Nail Polish formaldehyde-free, the collection
offers over 300 colors that go well beyond basics, like “Casey”
a deep eggplant and “Austine” a metallic gold.
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 two decades later,
the Zoya collection offers up high fashion hues with a healthy
We’re fans of Zoya’s Color Lock System, available
in a five-step kit that promises to protect nail color while
preventing flaking and chipping. The kit includes Remove,
Anchor Basecoat, Armor Topcoat and Hurry
Up Speed Dry Drops ($36 at artofbeauty.com)
and promises “50% longer polish wear guaranteed.”
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 “Geisha
Blaze,” a striking hot pink; “Autumn Sunset,”
a shimmering russet; and “Blackberry” a must have
berry-black for fall. Nubar nail lacquers are available online
for $6.99 at bynubar.com.
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.
Citra Formaldehyde Free by Nail Tek ($15 at nailtek.com)
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,
No need to break the bank to stay pretty and healthy.
We found a few formaldehyde-free polishes that are so
affordable you have no excuse not to kick that nasty
carcinogenic color habit:
- Beauty Department Store Ulta boasts their own formaldehyde-free,
private-label polish called Shimmer
Finish Salon Formula Nail Laquer ($5 at ulta.com).
Keep an eye out for special offers such as buy one
get one free or complimentary shipping for online
- L'Oreal Pro Manicure Nail Polish ($3.49
comes in a variety of shades, all formaldehyde-free
of course. We like “Trust Fund Baby,”
a classic pink.