Doing your nails, whether at home or in a salon, can be super fun and relaxing, and make you feel more confident about your appearance. But what happens when you get pregnant?
Can this seemingly harmless beauty routine hurt your baby?
To help you steer clear of nasty chemicals and keep yourself and your baby healthy, there are numerous pregnancy-safe nail polish brands creating gorgeous colors you’ll definitely want to try!
What sets these brands apart from others is that they don’t contain a number of harmful ingredients such as dibutyl phthalate (DBP), formaldehyde, and toluene.
You’ll notice that some brands mention they are 3-free, 5-free, or in some cases, even 16-free! The number refers to the amount of potentially dangerous chemicals the polish doesn’t contain.
Whichever polish you choose, it’s key that, at the very least, it doesn’t contain the 3 chemicals mentioned above.
Luckily, none of the non-toxic pregnancy-safe nail polishes I’ve selected are inferior to their more toxic counterparts – you can still have the manicure of your dreams, even while you’re pregnant!
For all of you busy moms, here’s a quick list of our top picks!
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18 Best Pregnancy-Safe Nail Polishes
Here are the best of the best nail lacquers that are safe for pregnant women.
1. Côte Nail Polish No. 6
While Côte pregnancy-safe nail polish is less affordable than the brands sold at your local supermarket, there is a good reason why they come at a higher price point.
Their polishes are free from toxins such as camphor, formaldehyde, triphenyl phosphate (TPHP), toluene, formaldehyde resin, and DBP. As such, the ingredients are as clean as they could be. Plus, it’s made in the US.
This polish is also a fantastic choice for moms-to-be who are vegan and are looking for cruelty-free polishes to add to their collection!
The formula is chip-resistant, so you don’t have to worry about having to reapply it every other day to hide chipping.
I love neutral shades, especially for everyday wear, and this nude color is perfect for both manicures and pedicures.
The Côte brushes are well-designed, allowing you to quickly and evenly apply the polish to your nails. And the bottle comes in a super-sleek design, which is always a bonus.
2. ILNP Juliette
Who says you need to go to the nail salon to have beautiful, attention-grabbing holographic nails? ILNP Cosmetics is the brand behind this gorgeous rose gold shade that will have everyone asking, “Where did you get your nails done?”
This pregnancy-safe nail polish is vegan and hasn’t been tested on animals, in addition to the fact that its formula is free from 7 different toxic chemicals.
For the best results, apply two coats and finish it off with a top coat to make your mani last longer.
When it’s time to remove it, you’ll find that it comes off easily as it doesn’t have any glitter in it.
3. Sally Hansen Color Therapy
The Color Therapy line by Sally Hansen includes more than 40 colors, but I’m quite partial to this gorgeous, rich blue shade.
It’s perfect for a fancy dinner out yet also when you want to add a pop of color to your everyday look.
When I shop for new shades to add to my nail polish collection, one of the most important things I look for in a brand (apart from being free of toxic chemicals) is the brush – the wider, the better! It makes the application ten times easier and more even.
Luckily, this polish comes with such a brush!
The polish contains argan oil to strengthen your natural nail. For the best look, apply two coats and let the polish dry for a couple of minutes.
I also prefer to apply an extra layer of top coat nail polish as it prevents the polish from chipping too soon and makes your nails glossier.
4. Ella+Mila Nail Care Quick Dry Top Coat
Speaking of top coats, this polish by Ella+Mila is created with a formula that allows the polish to dry quickly so you can go back to your day without worrying that you’ll ruin your fresh mani.
It seals and protects the polish underneath, allowing your manicure to last longer, even if you work with your hands a lot.
What’s more, this polish includes an anti-yellowing UV inhibitor.
This polish has been approved by the animal rights organization PETA, making this a great choice for vegan moms-to-be and anyone who’d like to opt for a nail product that isn’t tested on animals.
5. Cirque Colors
The first thing you should know about Cirque Colors is that their polishes are free from as many as 10 different chemicals.
Furthermore, they are vegan and haven’t been tested on animals, so Cirque Colors are covering all of their bases.
The polish is very pigmented, so two coats are all that’s needed to get a beautiful look.
6. Piggy Paint 100% Non-Toxic Girls Nail Polish
Admittedly, Piggy Paint isn’t going to be your number one choice if you’re looking for a long-lasting polish that you can wear on a daily basis. After all, this is a kids’ polish.
But it’s a lovely choice if you have a tot at home who is soon going to be a big sister, and you’d like to spend some precious time bonding one-on-one before the new baby arrives.
And what better way is there to do that than paint each other’s nails?
Sure, your mani-pedi will look far from professional, but these polishes by Piggy Paint are safe for kids and don’t include any harsh chemicals – which means they’re safe for pregnant women too.
Apart from the 7-free formula, these polishes are suitable for vegans and anyone who’d like to avoid products that have been tested on animals.
This polish is water-based, without any chemical solvents that are usually found in conventional nail polish brands and the main culprit behind the strong smell of certain polishes. As a result, Piggy Paint is mostly odor-free.
This is a set of four polishes in different shades of pink and purple that comes with fun nail stickers.
7. Mineral Fusion Base Coat
A good quality base coat will not only strengthen your natural nail and keep it from breaking but also prevent the ugly yellowing that happens with frequent polish use.
That’s why I definitely recommend always applying a base coat before your regular polish.
Mineral Fusion base coat is perfectly safe for pregnant women, and suitable for vegans. What’s more, their polish is cruelty-free!
8. Ella+Mila Mommy Collection – Lights Out
The non-toxic nail polish by Ella+Mila includes a special mommy line that is also free from 7 toxic chemicals such as camphor and DBP.
Apart from being non-toxic, this pregnancy-safe nail polish is a fantastic choice for vegan moms and anyone who wants to make sure their cosmetics are cruelty-free.
I love this glam black shade – for an extra layer of gloss, apply a top coat.
9. Ella+Mila Nail Polish Dream Collection – Bronze Me Baby
Glitter polish is the bane of my existence – it looks gorgeous, especially on top of darker shades such as the black one above, but I wish removing it was as fun as wearing it! (Keep reading if you’re interested in recommendations for pregnancy-safe polish remover.)
But pregnant ladies who’d like to add a pop of glitter to their nails for a special night out will love this fun polish by Ella+Mila. Like the other polishes by this brand, it’s non-toxic and safe for pregnant women.
10. ZOYA All Snuggled Up Quad
The Zoya brand is a pioneer of the 3-free nail polish, and it’s another fantastic choice for soon-to-be moms who don’t want to let go of a good manicure while they’re pregnant.
Right now, Zoya has a 10-free formula – it’s free from parabens, ethyl tosylamide, and xylene, among other harmful chemicals.
And since four polishes are always better than just one, you’ll love this set that includes different shades of nude and plum colors.
For the best results, apply two coats. You can also apply their base coat first and finish your mani off with a top coat.
11. OPI Infinite Shine Long-Wear Lacquer
OPI is another popular and affordable brand you can rely on during your pregnancy.
Their Infinite Shine line includes more than a dozen different metallic shades that will add a luxurious touch to your hands.
For the best results, apply OPI’s primer first, follow it up with an Infinite Shine polish of your choosing, and finish it off with an Infinite Shine Gloss top coat. This way, your mani will last for more than a week!
12. Essie Celebration Love Moments Collection
I love Essie nail products because they’re really long-lasting and have a shiny finish very similar to gel polish, while being affordable.
This gift set includes six different shades, from dark red to soft pink, so there’s a shade for every occasion.
The brush is designed in a way to make application quick and simple without streaking. Of course, the polishes don’t contain any harmful chemicals such as toluene, formaldehyde, and DBP.
13. Sundays Glossy Shine Finish Cherry Red
If you’re looking for a rich color suitable for any occasion, you’ll love this cherry shade by the brand Sundays.
It has a shiny finish, but it’s best to seal it off with a layer of transparent polish for extra gloss.
This polish is labeled as being 10-free – it’s perfect for expectant moms and anyone who’d like to keep their cosmetics as clean as possible!
14. Heroine.NYC Pastel Collection
There’s something so romantic about pastel shades, whether it’s light pink or mint green. And because you can never have just one pastel color in your collection, here’s a set of five!
The 9-free formula makes this a safe nail polish when pregnant – even your kiddos can wear it! The products aren’t tested on animals and are vegan.
Thanks to the brush design, the application is smooth and simple. Two coats of polish are recommended for the best results.
15. Karma Organic Natural Nail Polish
Karma Organic makes really gorgeous polishes in all sorts of colors. And the best part is, their ingredients are so clean, even kids can wear them!
You won’t find any toluene, DBP, TPHP, or formaldehyde in their products. What’s more, they are very affordable, so feel free to indulge in as many shades as you’d like.
None of the polishes have been tested on animals and they are vegan too. There’s no need to worry about durability as Karma Organic polishes last a long time without chipping.
I also love that they don’t have a very intense scent – this is pretty important if you’ve been very sensitive to odors during your pregnancy or are currently in your first trimester when your sense of smell is in overdrive.
Finally, all of you who are very environmentally-conscious will love that the packaging can be recycled.
16. Smith & Cult
The Smith & Cult polish comes in a luxurious bottle that will make for a great addition to your beauty cabinet!
Apart from their 8-free formula, this polish is suitable for vegan mamas and anyone who wants to avoid products that have been tested on animals.
I particularly love this purple shade but you can also get it in a variety of other pastel colors.
The finish is glossy and glamorous – just make sure to apply at least 2 layers. As always, it’s best to apply another coat of transparent polish to make your mani last longer.
It is a little pricier, but it’s a very durable polish that doesn’t chip easily, so it’s well worth the investment.
17. Sally Hansen – Good. Kind. Pure. Vegan Nail Polish Hardener
If you feel like the frequent polishing of your nails has left them brittle, I recommend giving this Sally Hansen hardener a try to revitalize your nails.
This polish is part of Sally Hansen’s Good. Kind. Pure. line, which is free of as many as 16 different chemicals that could potentially be harmful to you or your unborn baby. It’s vegan, as well.
This line also includes more than a dozen gorgeous shades you can try out. What’s more, they are pretty affordable! For the best results, apply two coats.
18. Butter London Patent Shine 10X Nail Lacquer
If you miss having gel nails done at the salon, you might just fall in love with Butter London’s nail lacquer which promises a finish similar to gel that will last up to ten days.
This polish is free from 8 harmful chemicals – TPHP, toluene, formaldehyde resin and formaldehyde, xylene, ethyl tosylamide, DBP, and camphor.
The brush is designed to make application quick and streak-free. Apply two coats and you’re good to go!
Butter London’s Patent Shine 10x line includes all sorts of beautiful shades, from classic red to romantic pink.
Best Pregnancy Safe Nail Polish Remover
Here are 6 of the best pregnancy-safe polish removers.
1. Mineral Fusion Polish Remover
The polish remover by Mineral Fusion is acetone-free and gentle on your skin, isn’t tested on animals, and doesn’t contain any phthalates or parabens – all a mama-to-be could ask for!
But the best part about it is that it’s super effective at removing all sorts of polish, even glitter, which can be a real nightmare.
2. Karma Organic Natural Polish Remover, Unscented
Karma Organic polish remover is another acetone-free option that you’ll love. It’s suitable for vegans and hasn’t been tested on animals.
Thanks to the vitamin E oil, it works to strengthen your natural nail and nourishes your cuticles every time you remove old polish, instead of drying them out and making your nails brittle.
The polish remover is unscented as well, so your sensitive nose won’t get irritated by any harsh odors.
If you’re mindful of buying products in plastic packaging, you’ll be happy to know that this polish remover comes in a glass bottle instead of plastic.
While it is more expensive than your regular drugstore polish remover, its quality and clean ingredients are worth the price.
Karma Organic also makes non-toxic polishes that are definitely worth considering.
3. Rippling Kindness Polish Remover
Not only is the Rippling Kindness polish remover acetone-free, but it also doesn’t contain petroleum, acetate, and ethyl lactate, making it a terrific choice if you’d like to avoid as many chemicals as possible during your pregnancy!
This product is environmentally-friendly and isn’t tested on animals. Plus, it protects your nails from becoming damaged over time.
It’s not odorless; however, the smell is light – nowhere near as intense when compared to acetone.
Keep in mind that the polish removal process with this product will take a little longer.
You can use the dropper to apply the remover to individual nails and then let it work its magic for a couple of minutes before rubbing it off. Although it’s not as quick as acetone, you’ll be repaid with healthy nails!
4. Ella+Mila Soy Polish Remover
Soy-based polish removers are a more gentle option for your skin than acetone, which can dry out your nails and cuticles.
On the other hand, acetone is really effective at removing the polish quickly – with this polish remover, you’ll need to have a bit of patience.
The first step when applying this remover is to use a cotton pad to gently dab the remover across each nail.
Then, allow it to absorb for about 30 seconds or even longer if you have multiple coats of polish. After the time is up, rub the polish off with a cotton pad as usual.
This remover has a very pleasant smell and it contains vitamins E, A, and C oils as well as lavender essential oil to nourish your nails. What’s more, it has not been tested on animals and is suitable for vegans.
If you’d like to try this remover but aren’t too crazy about scented products, this company also makes an unscented polish remover.
5. Majestic Pure Soy Polish Remover
If you’re concerned about having ethyl lactate or acetate in your polish remover, then the Majestic Pure soy-based polish remover is a great option for you to consider. Of course, it’s acetone-free.
The product also contains tea tree oil, which is commonly used to treat nail fungus, so it has plenty of benefits for your nails – and it smells great too!
If you’re trying to reduce your consumption of plastics, you’ll be happy to know that it comes in a glass bottle.
Plus, the remover is biodegradable!
For the best results, apply to the nails and allow it to sit for a few minutes before removing the polish with a cotton pad.
6. Acquarella Remover
Acquarella remover is made with a biodegradable formula that can successfully remove various kinds of nail lacquers, and not just those made by Acquarella.
It’s acetone-free, so it won’t damage your nails, even if you’re used to changing nail color frequently, and its smell isn’t too strong. This product is also vegan!
Harsh Chemicals To Avoid
Having healthy, polished nails is by no means a necessity – but it makes you feel more beautiful and put-together, whether you’re relaxing at home or having brunch with the girls.
That being said, there are some chemicals you should look out for when searching for pregnancy-safe nail polish.
While some polish brands boast about having a 10-free or even 16-free formula, there are several key chemicals to avoid.
If a company claims to have nail lacquers that are free of certain chemicals but doesn’t list which ones they are, definitely get in touch with their customer service to check.
This is an ingredient frequently found in nail hardening products and some regular polishes – so keep an eye out for it if you’re looking for a product to strengthen your brittle nails.
You may be allergic to formaldehyde (it might lead to skin irritation) and using such nail products for extended periods of time can actually make your nails even more brittle.
Some polishes also include formaldehyde resin, which can also cause allergic skin reactions.
Toluene is an ingredient responsible for easy application of the polish, but it can be harmful in excessive amounts.
When breathed in, it can cause headaches and throat, lung, and eye irritation, in addition to making you feel dizzy.
Extreme exposure to this chemical might be hazardous to your nervous system. There is even a possibility that the baby will be born with birth defects.
That said, doing your nails won’t have such extreme consequences. However, women who work in nail salons must take the appropriate steps to protect themselves as they are likely to be exposed to higher levels of it over time.
Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
A chemical added to polishes to prevent chipping and cracking, DBP is actually banned from being added to cosmetics in certain territories such as the European Union.
DBP belongs to a class of chemicals known as endocrine disruptors, which can cause serious health issues such as birth defects.
If you were wondering what makes nail lacquer so shiny, camphor is the answer.
When it comes to toxicity, this chemical is not as severe as the ones mentioned above.
However, it can still trigger reactions in your body such as skin rashes. When inhaled, you might feel dizzy or even sick, so it’s best to avoid it if possible.
Responsible for keeping the consistency of nail lacquer over time and preventing it from forming clumps, xylene is another very common ingredient in nail products. But it might also irritate your skin and eyes, and make you feel nauseous.
Ethyl tosylamide is an ingredient added to polishes to make them last longer and ensure the polish sticks to the surface of the nail. However, it can cause allergic reactions and as such, should be avoided.
Can You Go To The Nail Salon When Pregnant?
For many women, going to get their nails done once a month is the perfect time to relax, unwind, and practice some self-care.
This is especially important when you’re pregnant and feel stressed out more than usual. But now that you’re carrying a little bundle of joy, you might be wondering whether you should even go to a nail salon in the first place.
Generally speaking, it’s totally safe to get your nails done while you’re pregnant. What’s more important is the kind of salon you go to – its hygiene and ventilation systems.
Even if you’re not pregnant, a visit to an unsanitary salon can lead to infections.
As a preventative measure, make sure to do plenty of research on the salon you’re considering going to, such as reading online reviews.
They should be properly sanitizing all their instruments to minimize the risk of transmitting infections.
You can also get in touch with the salon and ask any questions that you might have.
A simple manicure won’t harm you, but if you’d like to get your nails polished as well, ask the salon if they have non-toxic options available (let them know you’re pregnant) or bring your own.
Things get a little more complicated when it comes to acrylic nails.
While they don’t pose a direct health hazard, they release fumes during the application process, and inhaling them could be harmful (or at the very least, make you sick). That’s why the salon should be well-ventilated.
However, since your nails (and hair) will probably get stronger during your pregnancy, you might find it easier to go acrylic-free. And caring for a new baby will certainly be easier without long nails getting in the way!
To Wrap Up
The good news is that you don’t have to say goodbye to having colorful nails while you’re pregnant!
Thanks to companies that are keeping an eye out for dangerous chemicals, there are a variety of non-toxic options available.
Whether you’re shopping online or at your local drugstore, it’s worth checking the label to see if any of the 3 most hazardous chemicals are present in the polish.
However, I recommend going for the brands that have gone the extra mile and removed more than 3 potentially dangerous ingredients.
If you like to visit the nail salon on a regular basis, you can continue doing so throughout your pregnancy.
However, it’s important that the salon is well ventilated, sterilizes their equipment, and is clean.
I hope you were able to find a couple of new shades to add to your collection! Remember to purchase an acetone-free and gentle polish remover to protect your nails and skin from irritation and dryness.
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