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5 Tips for Natural Nail Care & How to Avoid Toxins

Nail polish is one of the last products in the beauty industry to go natural, and for many of us it's the last thing on our shelf we stop to think about. Traditionally it has been filled with toxins, however more and more companies are now starting to eliminate some of those toxins. It can be confusing when looking for a safer option because some polishes are marketed to sound like they are the more toxin free option but similar to the rest of the beauty industry, there are not strict regulations so there can be a lack of transparency. So here are 5 tips for natural nail care and how to avoid toxins...

Photographed by Taylor McKay Smith

1) Detox 

Its important to give your nails a little detox every now and then by going without polish. Winter is the perfect time to do this while your toes are hidden under some cosy warm socks. 

2) Exfoliate + Hydrate 

Have a hot bath and let your feet soak. You can use an exfoliator to give your feet a good scrub (I like Little Barn Apothecary body scrub from the Detox Market). Apply Vitamin E oil on your finger and toe nails after your shower/bath or before bed. I like to lather my feet in Coconut oil or Shea butter as well.

3) Nourish

I love Hum Nutrition Killer Nails supplements (biotin) for strengthening my nails. 

4) Polishes that are labeled 3-free or five-free eliminate the following harmful toxins that can be unhealthy to inhale, touch, and therefor have on your nails... 


  1. pthlalates (DBP is one of them)
  2. formaldehyde
  3. toluene

Most polishes out there today are 3-Free but its still good to check. 


  1. pthlalates (DBP is one of them)
  2. formaldehyde
  3. toluene
  4. formaldehyde resin
  5. camphor

OPI, Sally Hansen, Chanel, and Dior all make 5-free options.  

My favorite polishes are by Kure Bazaar and Ella + Mila and I've also heard great things about ten over ten.

Beyond 5-free it becomes questionable, and can be a marketing tactic where companies claim they don't contain toxic ingredients that aren't normally be used in nail polish to begin with, but as long as they are free of the 5 toxins and more, it can't hurt. 

5) Removers

Look for nail polish removers that don't use acetone, which has traditionally been the key ingredient, and still is in most mainstream brands. Unfortunately its very toxic, and can strip your nails of their natural moisture and oils leaving them feeling super dry and brittle.

My favorite non-toxic remover is by Kure Bazaar which is 100% natural and completely safe and clean. Full disclosure: non-acetone removers can take a lot longer to remove the polish so patience is required. I usually soak cotton pads with the remover, put it on the nail and wrap it in tin foil to let them soak for a few minutes. 

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