Is it okay to paint your nails when you’re pregnant?
This is a valid question. No one wants to expose their baby to toxins. Also, the pungent odor of polish may overwhelm expectant mamas with nausea.
The good news is that it’s still okay to do a mani-pedi. All you need is non-toxic nail polish.
Today, we’ll review the best pregnancy-safe nail polish. Thankfully, there are many brands with a wide range of colors and chip-free finishes.
The list includes non-toxic, odorless, and vegan nail polishes that don’t need UV light to dry.
As a bonus, we’ve included pregnancy-safe polish remover, too.
How can you tell if nail polish is safe to use during pregnancy?
The first non-toxic nail polishes to appear were labeled “3-free.” They are formulated without toluene, formaldehyde, and DBP (dibutyl phthalate) (1).
Those 3 chemicals have a direct negative impact on a developing baby and mother. For example, toluene can cause headaches and allergy symptoms. Formaldehyde leads to respiratory distress and cancer. And DBP may disrupt hormones in a baby in the womb.
You might be wondering why you’ve not experienced these effects in the past when you’ve painted your nails. That’s because polish has only small amounts of these chemicals. Infrequent, limited exposure isn’t a significant risk (2).
But as a pregnant woman, you might be more sensitive to the chemicals. If you worked in a nail salon, the danger would be much greater.
Why not avoid the problem altogether? It’s easy with pregnancy-safe nail polish. They have low to no odor and no risky ingredients.
These days, you can find 8-free and 10-free nail polish brands that exclude toxins and allergens like gluten. Some are water-based, cruelty-free, and vegan (3).
Best Pregnancy-Safe Nail Polish
Let’s review the best non-toxic nail polishes now.
ella+mila Nail Polish
Ella + Mila is an American brand that makes 7-free polishes. They don’t contain formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, formaldehyde resin, or camphor. Moreover, they are vegan and certified cruelty-free by PETA.
You can purchase the colors individually or get them in sets. There’s also an endearing mommy & me set with one bottle for mom and a little one for the child.
Scroll down to the bottom of the reviews to see the brand’s non-toxic nail polish remover.
Sally Hansen – Good. Kind. Pure. Vegan Nail Polish
Sally Hansen plays it extra safe with this 16-free polish. Although there are only 30 shades, they include classic colors and trendy ones, too.
With two coats of color followed by a top coat, your manicure will last a week or more. Even though the polish is plant-based, it’s durable and non-yellowing.
It avoids a long list of toxins, including DBP, formaldehyde, toluene, xylene, phthalates, parabens, or camphor.
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish
Here is the solution if you’re concerned about getting a gel manicure because of the UV light.
This gel look polish air-dries in a few minutes. It sets to a salon-quality finish with a high gloss shine that resists chipping and fading. You’ll need color plus top coat to get up to 8 days of wear.
On the downside, the polish is merely 3-free. But it leaves out DBP, toluene, formaldehyde, which are the worst offenders.
Moreover, the brand completes a thorough safety assessment on their products before releasing them to the market.
ZOYA Nail Polish
If you follow celebrity news and fashion shows, you’ve seen Zoya polish. Some of the world’s best spas use it for manicures.
It’s a brand that started as a small nail salon in the 80s. It grew into a spa, then a line of professional beauty products. Now, they offer vegan nail polish that’s 10-free. It’s popular with health-conscious women around the world.
We chose a set of four shimmery holiday colors for this review, but there are dozens more shades available.
butter LONDON Patent Shine 10X Nail Lacquer
Forbes featured butter London in their Best Non-toxic Nail story. The polish is 8-free, leaving out formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, DBP, xylene, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, and TPHP.
Moreover, you can get up to 10 days’ wear from only 2 coats of color. There’s no need for base or top coats.
It’s a cushiony polish that looks like a gel. It has patented Shock Resisting Polymer Technology to maintain the high gloss shine and chip resistance.
ManiPure isn’t just free of toxins like formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, but it also nourishes the nails. It contains botanicals to strengthen them. If you’ve overdone it with acrylics and gels in the past, take a break and use this product to recover.
The Stallion base coat is fortified with horsetail to make nails resist breaking and grow longer faster.
Apply one coat of base underneath two coats of color. Finish with two coats of top coat for up to 14 days of wear.
Whats Up Nails
This nail polish brand is 7-free and made in the USA. It’s vegan and not tested on animals.
In case you don’t have your list on hand, 7-free means it contains no DBP, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, triphenyl phosphate (TPHP), camphor, or xylene.
What’s more, this is one of the few nail polishes that lists all the ingredients right on the page. You don’t have to hunt through obscure MSDS sheets to find out if you’re allergic to anything in it.
Reviewers say the top coat has little odor but outstanding durability.
Karma Organic Natural Non-Toxic Nail Polish
If you’re from New Jersey, you might know Karma Organic Spa. If you’ve walked by it, you know that it smells heavenly. Herbal scents of geranium, rosemary, and mint will tell your nose that you’re nearby.
The brand ensures that their nail products are safe for sensitive skin. They leave out allergens and toxins, making their polish 7-free. Yes, it’s safe enough for children, not just expectant moms.
Furthermore, the polish is cruelty-free and vegan. You can get it in over 150 stunning colors. Each one is packaged in a glass bottle (no plastic) and labeled with soy-based ink.
Habit Cosmetics Nail Polish
If you miss gel manicures, you’ll appreciate this super shiny top coat. It’s gel-like but doesn’t need UV light to cure.
For starters, it’s gluten-free and vegan. Plus, it has no formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, camphor, DBP, TPP, xylene, isobutylphenoxy epoxy resin, or parabens. It’s made in the USA and certified cruelty-free.
What it does have, however, is myrrh extract. This unique ingredient fortifies the nails so that when you’re in the habit of getting manicures, they stay healthy.
Eternal Nail Polish
One of the fears is that a 12-free polish like this will start chipping after only a couple of days. But just because it’s non-toxic, doesn’t mean that it’s weak. Users say they can get five days to a week of wear from this high gloss enamel.
It’s highly pigmented, with dozens of trendy colors available. Plus, it’s compatible with gel top coats for an extra-durable manicure.
Another concern is that non-toxic nail polish takes longer to dry. But that’s also not true – this one doesn’t dry any slower than any other nail lacquer.
Check out this American brand’s related products like botanical cuticle oil, matte top coat, and fast-drying drops to make it cure even faster. Everything comes with a satisfaction guarantee.
Sundays Non-Toxic Nail Polish
Sundays makes 10-free polishes packaged in bottles that are easy to grip, open, and close while your nails are wet. The applicator inside is a professional-grade flat brush.
They explicitly state that their polish is pregnancy-safe. Not only is it toxin-free, but also odorless.
One reviewer who works in healthcare continually washes her hands yet finds that a manicure with Sundays polish can last almost two weeks.
Orly Breathable Nail Color
Orly polish is 12-free and vegan. There’s no gluten in it, either.
On the upside, it’s enriched with vitamins and argan oil to condition the nails.
But the con is it takes extra work to get a long-lasting manicure. You’ll need to use base coat, color, and top coat.
Barielle Nail Polish
Barielle’s signature top coat is Icycle Shine. It will make the nails look like they are glass-coated.
It’s a durable shield with flexible plasticizers that prevent yellowing and damage.
Furthermore, it’s 10-free and vegan.
Mineral Fusion Nail Polish
Mineral Fusion leaves out the toxins and also reduces their carbon footprint.
They call this product “Carbon Free Nail Polish.” They’ve joined up with the Carbon Fund to compensate for any carbon dioxide they released into the atmosphere with their industry.
There are 64 shades: each one is vegan, cruelty-free, and 9-free. All are made in the USA.
Cirque Colors Creme Nail Polish
If you’re into unique shades of polish, check out this palette. Each shade is opaque after 2 coats, or translucent with only one.
Each polish is vegan, cruelty-free, and 10-free. All are handcrafted in Brooklyn in small batches.
Revlon Nail Enamel
Revlon offers the best drugstore pregnancy-safe nail polish. Although there are only 47 shades, they include shimmer, chrome, and metallic colors.
They are made without toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, and dibutyl phthalate.
Jolie Vegan Nail Polish
Jolie advocates for mental health awareness by supporting organizations in the field. Their products are cruelty-free, vegan, and 10-free.
Paint on 3 coats for a hard-wearing finish. While it dries, contemplate the encouraging message on the bottle.
ILNP Nail Polish
Have you ever seen pink holographic nude polish? This gorgeous shade is called Birthday Suit.
If you try it and don’t love it, the company offers a satisfaction guarantee. They are willing to accept returns or offer exchanges free of charge.
What’s nice is that it’s 5-free, vegan, and cruelty-free. Plus, you don’t have to soak to remove the polish as it wipes off easily with remover.
SOPHi Nail Polish
If you’ve seen the children’s polish called Piggy Paint, this is the adult version. It’s a water-based, odorless nail lacquer.
Pregnant and nursing mothers appreciate the non-toxic formula. It’s 5-free and hypoallergenic.
To get the most wear from it, use the 4-step system with primer and sealer.
AZA Nail Polish
Did you know that this brand was designed by a podiatrist? That explains why it contains vitamin E and tea tree oil. They fight fungal infections.
What’s more, the polish is 10-free and quick-drying. You can see the full list of ingredients on the product listing.
786 Cosmetics Nail Polish
How about a Halal and Wudhu-approved polish? This one has no forbidden alcohol or animal derivatives in it. It’s certified halal.
Furthermore, it’s non-toxic and 11-free. It’s not been tested on animals, either.
Pregnancy-safe nail polish remover
Skip the stinky polish remover that dries out your skin and try one of these gentle products instead.
Ella+Mila Soy Nail Polish Remover
This is a soy-based polish remover. It has no acetone, and it’s unscented.
While it won’t remove gel polish, it will take off regular lacquer. Let it work for about 30 seconds.
The liquid is pleasantly moisturizing and fortified with vitamins to nourish the cuticles and nails.
ZOYA Remove Plus 3 in 1 Formula
Zoya’s formula has won several awards from a variety of places like InStyle, NailPro, and NYLON. It saves space in your manicure kit as it preps and cleans before and removes polish afterward. It conditions the nails, too.
Mineral Fusion Nail Polish Remover
Here’s another acetone-free nail polish remover that cleans up shellac and regular nail polish.
Like other products from Mineral Fusion, it’s free of parabens, artificial dyes and fragrances, phthalates, and gluten.
You have enough worries on your mind. Take a deep breath and enjoy pregnancy-safe nail polish.
All these non-toxic polishes prove that you don’t have to sacrifice your health to be beautiful.
If you found your new favorite nail product here today, come back and tell us about it. We’d love to hear your opinion as it helps us improve our recommendations.
1. https://www.thebump.com/a/can-i-use-nail-polish-while-pregnant by Melissa Schweiger and Annette Rubin, accessed December 11, 2020
2. https://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-body/pampering/pregnancy-pampering-whats-safe-whats-not by Lauren Wiener September 20, 2007. accessed December 11, 2020
3. https://www.babycentre.co.uk/x1041410/is-it-safe-to-use-nail-polish-and-nail-polish-remover-during-pregnancy by Claudia Carmaciu, GP, published July 2019, accessed December 11, 2020