Clean nail polish brands define clean beauty differently. Discover everything you need to know about clean nail polish and different types of formulas from 5-free to 16-free. Learn why nail polish formulas matter and the difference between gluten free, cruelty free, and vegan nail products.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links (at no extra cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Cruelty free, gluten free, and vegan formulas vary in the way they are labeled and certified. This post will cover everything you need to find the perfect formula and understand the way clean beauty nail polish is rated and identified.
The ingredients a brand chooses to exclude are determined by each brand, making it more important than ever to review ingredient lists. One brand’s 10-free formula may be different than other brand’s 10-free formula. First, please review the graphic below to see similarities and differences between different nail polish formulas. Brands that are gluten free, PETA-certified cruelty free, and vegan are labeled as such below.
7-free nail polish formulas vary by brand, meaning there is not a standard ingredient list for 7-free nail polish. Each brand takes a different approach to 7-free. Here are some top-rated 7-free brands to be aware of this season.
Mow nails is a 7-free nail polish brand founded in 2016 by Clarissa and Alesia Morrison in an effort to provide safer alternatives to popular nail products.
NCLA offers a 7-free PETA certified cruelty free nail polish brand. The brand was founded in 2010, and the company aims to help customers feel good in their skin. According to NCLA, the brand creates “clean, feel-good beauty products that are effective, colorful and sense-ational.” You can review the PETA cruelty-free certification page here.
Pacifica 7-free nail polish excludes parabens, phthalates, toluene, xylene, camphor, formaldehyde, and formaldehyde resin. However, Pacifica also released a 16-free formula for consumers (more below).
Olive and June 7-free formulas is a gel-alternative polish with a shiny finish. The brand offers nail kits by color and season. If you need a new set for any season, you can buy several polished updated for seasonal trends of the year. The formula excludes the following: dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, and xylene.
Ani Michele 7-free polish is a brand centered on positive karma, and a lifestyle of positivity. The formula is free of dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, Triphenyl Phosphare (TPHP), and xylene.
Static nail polish is designed for long wear. The formula includes rosehip, coconut oil, and green tea to nourish the nails. According to the brand, this A breakthrough formula loaded with rich pigments and natural antioxidants for a healthy manicure that actually lasts up to 10+ days without chipping when paired with Static Nails Liquid Glass Primer and Top Coat.”
Smith and Cult offers high-gloss, chip-resistant formulas for any season. If you like a shiny manicure, this is the brand for you.
Zoya offers cream, metallic, neon and glitter polish for statement nails. If you want to make a statement or prefer cream finishes, this is the ideal brand for you.
Terra Beauty is a 10-free PETA certified cruelty free brand that is commonly identified as 10-free. However according to the brand, they could be considered 11-free due to the lack of fragrance in the nail polish formulas offered by Terra Beauty. The brand offers a Fall Nail Set in addition to colors for every season. You can review the PETA cruelty free certification page here.
Habit Cosmetics is a peta certified vegan and cruelty free brand. The formulas are also gluten free. The product above is Santa Sangre, and as you can see the brand offers highly pigmented nail colors. The bold colors are perfect for a full-coverage look. You can review the PETA vegan and cruelty-free certification here.
Habit cosmetics also offers a cruelty-free base coat to use with nail products that can be found here if you are looking for a gluten free, cruelty-free, vegan formula.
Butter London is also a PETA cruelty-free certified nail polish brand. This is a 10 free formula. You can review the PETA certification page here. The brand has many different types of nail polish formulas for different purposes. Some formulas contain argan oil or acacia berry to nourish the nail. The brand also offers a moisturizing polish (here), and a top coat with UV protection (here).
Mineral Fusion offers a 10-free formula that has a cruelty-free certification by Leaping Bunny. You can access the Mineral Fusion Leaping Bunny certification page here. The nail polish comes with a thick application brush and the brand partnered with Carbonfund.org to reduce its carbon footprint. The products are also gluten free (please read more about the brand’s ingredient policy here).
Kure Baazar is a 10-free nail polish formula inspired by Parisian fashion colors. The full ingredient list is available here. I personally use this with the base coat from Dr.’s Remedy and the nail polish lasts for approximately a week on hands and two weeks on toes. The Dr.’s Remedy base coat can also be used as a top coat and offers UV protection for your nails.
Cote nail polish is a 10-free formula that excludes formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, camphor, formaldehyde resin, and triphenyl phosphate (TPHP). The polish comes in glass bottles and is chip-resistant according to Cote. The brand offers a top and base coat labeled as a UV absorber as well.
Gabriel Cosmetics has a 10-free formula available that excludes the following toxic chemicals: formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, camphor, formaldehyde resin, xylene, parabens, fragrances, phthalates and animal ingredients. The products are infused with minerals and are nature-themed.
Deborah Lippman’s polish is an alternative to gel and is designed to last. The 10-free formula ingredient list can be found here. If you want a long-lasting nail polish that will replace your favorite gel formulas, the brand has plenty of colors to offer for every season.
Eternal Cosmetics is a 12-free brand available at CVS. The nail products are also gluten free.. The brand offers many unique collections for every season and nail style. The complete list of nail polish collections can be found here.
Emma Beauty Nail Polish is a a 12-free PETA-certified cruelty free and vegan brand. The brand also offers a color guarantee, allowing consumers to return colors if needed. The brand supports each consumer in finding the perfect color match.
Pacific 16-free Plant Magic polish is infused with vegetable-derived ingredients. The products are PETA certified vegan and cruelty free. You can review the PETA certification page here.
Londontown is a PETA certified cruelty-free nail polish brand that is moisturizing and highly-pigmented,. This is ideal for full coverage polish. You can review the PETA certification page for LondonTown here.
Sally Hansen launched a 16-free polish, and if you’re ever in need of a clean drug store brand this is ideal. However, the instructions do recommend completing the manicure with a top coat with harder (see directions here). This is good to keep in mind as results may vary if the instructions for this brand aren’t followed (I learned this from experience).
Ella and Mila is a PETA certified vegan and cruelty free brand. You can review the PETA certification page for Ella and Mila here. If you are looking for a quick-drying nail polish this is a great option. The brand offers many different pigments of chip-resistant polish to try.
Non-toxic nail polish brand formulas vary by brand. There is not a standardized ingredient list for different types of nail polish formulas. Reviewing ingredient lists and understanding how different brands define “clean” and “non-toxic” will help you find products you love.