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The Top 5 Cruelty Free Nail Polish Brands

Last updated: June 14, 2022

Getting a manicure or pedicure and applying a favorite shade of nail polish is something that seems like a simple part of a beauty routine. Today’s nail polish shades include unique options that allow you to paint your nails in stunning designs. 

Choosing a favorite nail polish color or design is easy for some people, but what about vegans? Nail polish can be dangerous if you choose a nail polish brand that has toxic chemicals. Luckily, there are cruelty-free, vegan nail polish brands. Let’s check out our picks for the top 5 cruelty-free nail polish brands. 

What Toxins are in Nail Polish? 

Do you apply your favorite nail polish brand and believe that there is nothing harmful in the ingredients? You may be surprised, perhaps shocked, to learn about the harmful chemicals that are in some nail polish brands.  

MedlinePlus reveals that there is a chance of poisoning when you use some nail polish.

Poisoning may occur when you inhale the nail polish during your mani-pedi at your favorite salon or when you apply it at home. The effects of inhaling toxic ingredients in nail polish include: 

  • Eye irritation which may include damage to the eye 
  • Chest pain or irregular heartbeat 
  • Headaches or hallucinations or coma 
  • Slowed breathing rate or other breathing difficulties 
  • Confusion or seizures 
  • Nausea or vomiting 

Ella + Mila lists some toxic chemicals that are in many nail polish brands. DBT is one of the toxic chemicals. It is a “member of the phthalate family of chemicals.” The chemical disrupts the hormonal development of male fetuses, may cause organ damage and early onset of menopause. 

Formaldehyde hardens and strengthens the polish. The chemical also may cause cancer in the blood, the nose or the throat. It may lead to asthma, miscarriages or convulsions. Some countries have banned formaldehyde in cosmetics.  

Toluene fumes are toxic. The chemical may cause immune system toxicity, impaired fetal development, decreased brain function and neurological damage. 

Is Nail Polish Vegan? 

Beware of some nail polish brands or lines of some manufacturers. What do you think is the answer to the question, “Is nail polish vegan?” The answer is “Maybe,” but do not always rely on your beliefs about a particular brand of nail polish.  

Do not believe that a nail polish is vegan just because the label declares that the nail polish is "clean"  or "non-toxic." Read the label carefully or ask the salon worker to help you find a vegan nail polish. A vegan nail polish is free of animal by-products and animal-derived ingredients.

Is All Vegan Nail Polish Cruelty Free?

A contributor to the Editorialist explains that just because a nail polish or other product is marketed as vegan does not mean that it is cruelty free. Some manufacturers still test products on animals. 

Do not assume that when a nail polish label indicates that the polish is “non-toxic” or “green” that it is vegan or cruelty free. Did you know that many types of nail polish contain ingredients from beetles or fish scales? The oleic acid is made from animal fat or tallow.  

A cruelty-free nail polish is not tested on animals. A vegan nail polish may not have any animal-based ingredients, but a cruelty-free nail polish is free of inhumane testing on animals.  

Top 5 Cruelty Free Nail Polish Brands 

These nail polish brands and lines are cruelty-free and vegan. You do not have to use dull, boring shades of nail polish. Enjoy these top five cruelty-free nail polish brands and feel confident that they do not contain any animal-based ingredients and that they were not tested on animals. 

1. Sally Hansen Good.Kind.Pure 

The Sally Hansen Good. Kind. Pure. line of nail polish is 100 percent vegan, plant-based and 16-free. Sally Hansen indicates that there is “no compromise” with this line of 30 gorgeous nail polish shades.  

Choose your favorite from options that include Meteorite, Love You Lotus, Blue Moonstone and Raisin’ The Bar. The line also features a hardener and top coat. 

2. Ella + Mila 

One of the founders of Ella + Mila named the brand after her twin daughters. There are a variety of great options for a cruelty-free nail polish with rich pigments. The nail polish remains chip-free for up to two weeks.  

The line is PETA-certified and seven free. Check out the Pour the Bubbly, Yacht Club, Blindfold Me, Dragonfly or ‘Cause I’m Happy to impress your friends with perfect nails with perfect color. 

3. Dazzle Dry 

Dazzle Dry features nail polishes that are vegan, cruelty-free, hypoallergenic and free of toxic chemicals. There are a variety of shades for every occasion. The company ships their products in eco-friendly materials, such as biodegradable packages or recycled envelopes. 

Dr. Valenty spent 35 years working as a bio-organic chemist. She learned that nail polishes contained harmful ingredients and wanted to create an alternative to dangerous nail products. She created Dazzle Dry, believing that beauty and wellness “go hand-in-hand.” 

Some Dazzle Dry nail polish shades include Party Dress, Monsoon Madness and Galactic Fire. 

4. Nails Inc. 

Get a single bottle or featured set of vegan, cruelty-free, 21-free nail polish at Nails Inc. Check out the Plant Power Line, with shades such as Alter Eco, Mindfulness Mantra and Flex My Complex. 

5. Pacifica 

All products that are manufactured and sold by Pacifica are 100 percent vegan and cruelty-free. Indulge in nail care products and nail polishes that rival that of a salon.  

The latest line is Plant Magic Polish, which is infused with ingredients that are rich in magnesium and calcium. Which one is your favorite? Perhaps you like Tangerine Pop, Star Gaze or Tourmaline Stone. 


Are there any vegan nail salons? 

Yes. Consider sundays in New York City. Get pampered with the Guided Meditation manicure. The nail polish is cruelty-free, vegan and 10-free. Enter vegan nail salon in search to find a vegan, cruelty-free nail salon near you. 

Are there other dangerous chemicals in regular nail polish? 

Yes, some nail polish contains formaldehyde resin, xylene and ethyl tosylamide. 

How do I know if a nail polish is cruelty-free? 

Read the packaging and label. Go to the company website and look for information. 





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