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Why We Said ‘No, Thank You’ and Went 8-Free

What it means to be 8-free, gluten-free, cruelty-free and vegan-friendly.

Would you like some toxins with that mani? Yeah, neither would we.

There’s no getting around it – fabulous nail lacquer will never be “all natural.” Even the “best” polishes may contain chemicals, pigments, and bonding agents. We, however, believe that an honestly great polish should be healthy for you while providing you with fantastic looking nails.

SScience has shown us the dangers of the following chemicals, which is why our Pure Polish was engineered to be 8-Free. Here’s a list of what’s not for us and why:

We Are Formaldehyde–Free

Why: May cause cancer, asthma, nausea

Formaldehyde has been used for decades by polish brands to harden and strengthen nail polish and help increase its shelf life. But this chemical is seriously harmful. Not only is it carcinogenic (cancer-causing), it can cause asthma and issues for pregnant women.

We Are Toluene–Free

Why: May cause neurological damage and respiratory problems

AAka paint thinner, toluene has long been added to polish to help thin and smooth it for easier application. This also means potential neurological damage, respiratory issues, and abnormal fetal development. Let’s leave the toluene in the paint — not the polish.

We Are Dibutyl Phthalate–Free

Why: May impair fetal development and cause early onset menopause

We call this “DBP” since we honestly can’t pronounce it. What we do know is DBP is often used in polish to reduce chipping. But DBP joins formaldehyde as a possible carcinogen, and has documented effects of reproductive toxicity. Trust us, we’d rather our nails chip.

We Are Formaldehyde Resin–Free

Why: May cause nerve damage and hormone imbalances

Formaldehyde Resin is used in polishes to make them more durable but the trade-off is the risk of allergic reaction. This toxin can also cause yellowing nails and as formaldehyde’s cousin, it is a possible carcinogen, and long-term exposure can damage the liver. A better way to achieve a yellow tone? Check out our sunny shades.

“Great polish should be healthy for you while providing you with fantastic-looking nails.”

We Are Camphor–Free

Why: May cause allergic reactions and skin irritations

Does camphor sound familiar? It’s a common ingredient in cold medicine, like vapor rubs and nasal sprays. Camphor is used to give polish its high gloss shine. Though less toxic than the other additives on this list, studies show it can trigger severe skin irritation. Inhaling it can cause nausea, dizziness, and headaches; long term exposure has been linked to liver dysfunction and organ damage. Camphor might help you fight a cold, but we have our 8-Free Pure Shine Top Coat to make our nails look like glass.


We Are Triphenyl Phosphate–Free

Why: May affect hormones, metabolism, and reproduction

In polish, TPhP is used as a plasticizer, making it flexible on the nail. What else can you use it for? Flame retardant for furniture. This chemical is an endocrine disruptor — meaning it can alter your hormones and metabolism. Studies show significant absorption of this chemical after just one coat of polish. No thank you, TPhP.

We Are Ethyl Tosylamide–Free

Why: May cause skin irritation 

BFFs with TPhP, Ethyl T. is used in polishes to increase durability and adhesion but can cause severe allergic reactions, and is a hormone disruptor. It’s completely banned from use in Europe in cosmetics, and we completely agree with that decision.

We Are Xylene–Free

Why: May cause headaches in addition to eye and skin irritation. 

Xylene’s a trickster, emitting a sweet smell but also causing some nasty side effects. It’s used to keep polish from thickening and make nail polish last longer. But that just means more time for it to cause headaches, dizziness and nausea, not to mention, potential kidney failure, respiratory issues and gastrointestinal toxicity with long-term exposure. We prefer a different type of longevity.

Besides being 8-free, don’t forget all our polishes are gluten-free, cruelty-free and vegan-friendly. That means they’re not tested on animals, and don’t contain any animal-derived ingredients, by-products, fat or wheat.