Looking for the best non toxic nail polish for toddlers? Here are 5 picks tried, tested, and reviewed by me and my toddler.
Nail polish is a fun way for everyone to express their style and personality. This is also true for toddlers: it can be an interesting way for your little one to express her creativity while having a world of fun!
That said, not all nail polishes are suitable for little fingers. There are some that contain harsh chemicals that can be harmful to your toddler’s health as well as the environment.
So if your kiddo loves to paint their nails, you want to make sure they use only safe and non-toxic products.
Don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered! In this guide, you will find a list of 5 of the best non-toxic nail polish brands for toddlers.
All the options included here are eco-friendly, odor-free, cruelty-free, and vegan.
They are also easy to apply and peel off and you will love the wide variety of colors that they come in!
Why should we be concerned with the toxicants in kids’ nail polish?
Nail polish may seem like a harmless cosmetic product. However, if you are not careful about the products that you use, you might end up getting something that can not only affect the environment but also your child’s health.
Some of the chemicals contained in nail polish are known toxicants, which means they are substances that can cause damage to living organisms.
Toxicants can enter the body through inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact. They can also accumulate in the environment and affect other living organisms.
These toxicants are especially dangerous for kids who may suck on their fingers or somehow ingest the nail polish on their hands accidentally.
Plus, younger kids tend to be more vulnerable to the effects of toxicants because their bodies are still developing.
This is why it is so important to choose non-toxic nail polish brands for toddlers that do not contain these harmful chemicals. Non-toxic nail polishes use natural or organic ingredients that are safer for your little one.
What are the dangerous ingredients in nail polish?
Some of the toxicants that are commonly found in regular nail polish include:
- Formaldehyde: This chemical is used as a preservative and a hardener in nail polish. Prolonged exposure to formaldehyde can cause respiratory problems and even cancer.
- Toluene: Used as a solvent and thinner in nail polish. It can affect the nervous system and cause headaches, dizziness, and nausea. It can also harm the liver and kidneys.
- Phthalates: Used as plasticizers to make nail polish flexible and durable. They can disrupt hormones (especially reproductive hormones affecting fertility later in life) and affect the reproductive system.
- Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS): These chemicals are used as water repellents, stain resistors, and surfactants in some cosmetic products, including nail polish. They can persist in the environment for a long time and contaminate water sources. They can also affect the immune system, thyroid function, and cholesterol levels.
- Parabens: Used as preservatives to prevent bacterial growth in nail polish. They can mimic estrogen and interfere with the endocrine system.
- Sulfates: These are used as detergents to clean nail polish brushes. They can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs
- Acetone: Used as a solvent to remove nail polish. It can dry out the nails and skin, causing them to crack and peel
- Bisphenol A (BPA): This chemical is used as a plasticizer to make nail polish shiny and glossy. It can leach into the body from the bottle or the brush. It can affect brain development, behavior, and metabolism
- Ethyl Acetate: This chemical is used as a solvent and a fragrance in nail polish. It can cause eye irritation, respiratory problems, and organ damage
- Camphor: This chemical is used as a plasticizer to make nail polish shiny and glossy. It can cause nausea, drowsiness, confusion, and seizures if ingested or inhaled
- Alcohol: This chemical is used as a solvent to thin out nail polish. It can dehydrate the nails and skin, making them brittle and prone to breakage
- Ethyl Tosylamide: Used as a plasticizer to make nail polish flexible and durable. It can cause allergic reactions, skin irritation, and antibiotic resistance
- Glycol Ether of Series E (EGE): This chemical is used as a solvent to dissolve other ingredients in nail polish. It can cause blood disorders, liver damage, and reproductive problems
- Nonylphenol Ethoxylate (NPE): Used as a surfactant to improve the spreadability of nail polish. It can contaminate water sources, affect aquatic life and disrupt hormones
- Triphenyl Phosphate (TPHP): This chemical is used as a flame retardant and a plasticizer in nail polish. It can absorb into the body through the nails, affect metabolism and increase obesity risk
- Xylene: Used as a solvent and a thinner in nail polish. It can irritate the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract, affect the nervous system and harm the liver and kidneys
- Styrene: Used as an adhesive agent in some gel polishes. It can cause headaches, fatigue, dizziness, and even cancer
As you can see, there are many harmful ingredients in conventional nail polishes that you should avoid for your toddler and even for yourself.
The good news is that there are non-toxic alternatives that do not contain these toxicants and can still deliver beautiful results. Let’s have a look at these in the next section:
5 Best Non-Toxic Nail Polish for Toddlers
These are the best options for non toxic nail polishes for toddlers and little kids to help you avoid toxic chemicals.
Piggy Paint is a safe, non-toxic nail polish for kids that is water-based formula, virtually odorless, and free of harsh chemicals.
Kids love it because it comes in lots of fun colors. It is also completely cruelty-free and vegan.
You can use a hair dryer for a few minutes to help it set more quickly. Water-based polishes use less toxic chemicals than traditional polishes.
It dries hard and does not wash or peel off easily. For these reasons, piggy pain nail polish is a top pick nail polish for toddlers and is highly regarded as one of the best nail polish picks for kids.
- Safe for kids and pregnant women
- Eco-friendly and animal-friendly
- Long-lasting and durable
- May take longer to dry than regular nail polish
- May need more coats for full coverage
Airdom is a non-toxic nail polish for kids that stands out because it is water-based and odorless. It only takes around 3 minutes to dry which is a huge pro when it comes to kids nail polish.
It comes in eight different colors as well as a top coat that is quick-drying and easy to peel off.
This nail polish is made entirely without any strong chemicals or heavy metals, which makes it completely safe for toddlers to use.
- Safe and odorless
- Quick-drying and peelable
- May not last as long as regular nail polish
- May have limited color choices
- Not recommended for under 3 years of age
Karma Kids is a natural nail polish for kids that is non-toxic, vegan, and cruelty-free.
Made using 100% organic ingredients, it is free of toxins and harmful chemicals like TPHP, toluene, formaldehyde, and DBP1.
Karma Kids nail polish comes in more than 100 exciting colors and bright colors that are easy and gentle on kids’ nails.
They also have non-toxic and safe nail polish removers that works extremely well.
- Natural and organic
- Vegan and cruelty-free
- Huge variety of colors
- May be expensive compared to other brands
- May need a special remover to take off
Kid Licks is an edible nail polish for kids that is made with food-grade and edible ingredients.
Perfect for curious toddlers, it comes in six different fruity and sweet flavors.
It is easy to apply and remove, all your little one has to do is lick it off or wash it with soap and water!
While these are made with natural ingredients and without toxic chemicals, I do feel the need to note that these use lake dyes (petroleum-based) that many parents like to avoid and titanium dioxide which is no longer recommended for consumption.
- Edible and fun
- Easy to apply and remove
- Safe for kids
- May not be suitable for vegans or vegetarians
- It is not very durable or long-lasting
Ella and Mila is a professional nail polish for kids that is 17-free, meaning it does not contain 17 harmful chemicals commonly found in other nail polishes. It’s one I like to use on my own nails as well.
It comes in a wide range of colors from vibrant colors to neutral ones, finishes, and effects that are trendy and chic. Ella and Mila is also vegan, cruelty-free, and PETA certified.
They are most similar to traditional polishes and are not specifically marketed for kids but still make a great affordable polish when you want to try a new color.
They are also readily available at retailers like Target, Walmart, Walgreens, and more.
- 17-free and safe
- Vegan, cruelty-free, and PETA certified
- Trendy and chic
- May require more coats for some shades
- May chip easily without a top coat
3-free nail polish vs 7-free nail polish and why this isn’t enough
In recent years, more and more nail polish brands have been advertising themselves as being free of certain toxic ingredients.
So what does this mean exactly? And how can you tell which nail polish is truly safe for your kids?
The most common terms you may encounter are 3-free, 5-free, 7-free, 9-free, and even 13-free. These numbers indicate how many toxic ingredients are excluded from the nail polish formula.
The most basic level is 3-free, which means that the nail polish does not contain dibutyl phthalate (DBP), formaldehyde, or toluene. These three chemicals are known as the “toxic trio” because they can cause serious health problems such as cancer, hormone disruption, and birth defects.
However, 3-free is not enough to ensure that your nail polish is safe.
As we have seen earlier, there are many other harmful ingredients that can still be present in 3-free nail polishes.
That’s why some brands have moved on to offer 5-free or 7-free nail polishes.
These formulas do not contain the toxic trio plus two or four more toxicants.
For example, a typical 5-free nail polish would also exclude formaldehyde resin and camphor, while a typical 7-free nail polish would also exclude TPHP and xylene.
But even these higher numbers are not enough to guarantee that your nail polish is non-toxic. There are still dozens of other chemicals that can be used in nail polishes that have not been tested for safety or regulated by authorities.
So some brands have taken things even further and now offer 9-free, 10-free, 11-free, or even 13-free nail polishes.
These formulas do not contain the previous toxicants plus two, three, four, or six more toxicants.
For example, a typical 9-free nail polish would also exclude parabens and sulfates, while a typical 13-free nail polish would also exclude acetone, BPA, ethyl acetate, alcohol, ethyl tosylamide, EGE, and NPE.
We have covered what these toxicants are and the effects they have a little earlier in this guide.
However, even these high numbers are not foolproof.
There may still be some hidden ingredients that are not disclosed on the label or some new ingredients that have not been studied for their effects.
That’s why it is important to also look for other certifications such as vegan, cruelty-free, organic, natural, or eco-friendly.
These labels indicate that the brand is committed to the health and safety of its products as well as ethical and sustainable practices.
Final Thoughts on Non Toxic Nail Polish For Toddlers
While nail polish can be a fun way to express yourself and bond with your kids, some brands contain toxic ingredients that can harm your little one.
Therefore, you should always go for non-toxic nail polish brands that are free of harmful chemicals and certified by reputable organizations.
In this article, we have highlighted five of the best non-toxic nail polish brands for toddlers that are safe, eco-friendly, and fun.
All these brands offer gentle formulas that are safe for your kiddo and also easy to apply and remove without damaging the nails or skin.
So why don’t you treat your little one to some non-toxic nail polish today. It is a great way for them to not only look good but also have you feeling great knowing that they are completely safe as they have fun! Happy polishing!
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