When you head into the salon, chances are you’re probably not reaching for the bottle of nail polish to check ingredient lists. But as the clean beauty movement spreads its (taloned) wings, more and more nail polish brands are finding their pedicured footing, naturally.
Claims of “toxic” and “non-toxic” in the beauty space are notoriously hard to quantify – namely because these terms don’t have concrete definitions. But in the world of nail polish, ingredients are slightly more transparent, and brands have agreed upon a list of potentially harmful chemicals to avoid – most notably formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate and toluene.
So next time you’re looking to put your hands in the air (and show that you care), reach for these nifty natural nail products.
Conceptualised midway through 2020 by Destiny Flaherty, SAMA is a vegan, plant-based, halal, gender-neutral and inclusive nail polish brand. Acknowledging the beauty industry’s troubled past regarding inclusivity, Destiny set out to create a brand that both celebrates the fun and joy of nail polish – without the formaldehyde, tosylamide, toluene and animal products – while also working to break down harmful stereotyping. “For us, our polishes are ultimately about being able to express yourself however you want and feel great about doing it,” Destiny says. “I think that’s really hard to do unless you also make people feel empowered and included at the same time.”
Created by naturopath Hannah Jones, Hanami is known for its nail polishes made from 82% plant-based natural ingredients – all vegan and certified cruelty-free. The brand also stocks vegan, water-based and biodegradable cotton pads with aloe vera and vitamin E to remove polish and nourish nails, and gives one percent of its profits to Pay the Rent.
The organic 12-free nail polish brand Kester Black is certified B Corp, Cruelty Free and Carbon Neutral, and donates two percent of all revenue to social causes. With an impressive ethos, the company slings a dreamy colour range sure to tickle your fancy and a 12-free top coat that locks in nail colour with Certified Organic passionflower and UV filters.
Danielle Egan has been reshaping the world of nail care for the last decade with her brand Sienna – a 100% vegan and cruelty-free polish made with a plant-based formula that includes raw ingredients like sugar cane and corn. Born in Byron Bay, Sienna polishes are now stocked around the world with more than 70 gorgeous colours to choose from alongside nail care products made from durable glass meaning your file will last for years and never go blunt.
Pssst! Sienna is just one of our lovely Marketplace partners from Issue 58 offering discounts galore to the Peppermint community – that’s you! Snap up the code here before it expires 24 August. Happy ethical shopping!
THE BODY SHOP
Back in the 70s, the notion that business could be a force for good was pretty revolutionary. But along came The Body Shop, founded in 1976 by Anita Roddick, and it’s still going strong today. Get your mitts on their community fair trade and organic Almond Nail and Cuticle Oil for soft, healthy cuticles.
GLOSS & CO
Feeling lost in the corporate world after the loss of her mother, Simone Henderson set out to pay homage to the love and learning she found in her maternal relationships with Gloss & Co. Offering nail care packs, rainbow colour bundles and quite possibly every shade under the sun, each cruelty-free, vegan and eight-free polish is made in Australia.
Embrace life in colour with Raww, the certified natural and vegan cosmetics range that includes a pretty palette of polishes. Patrial to a pun, the 10-free formulation of Kale’d It Nail Lacquer contains kale protein to promote strong and healthy nails, alongside açai berry and nourishing coconut, sweet orange and pomegranate oils for extra shine.
Producing ethically hand-made brushes in Sri Lanka, EcoMax works with local communities to empower women (with fair wages for work, fair access to markets and fair environmental standards) while offering plastic-free alternatives for homes around the world. Scrub plastic out of your nail care routine with their double-sided, biodegradable nail brush made from sustainable rubberwood and tampico cactus.
You’d be forgiven for wandering past a LUSH store and mistaking the colourful goodies inside for confectionery. The pretty soaps and cosmetics – handmade, environmentally sustainable, animal friendly and responsibly packaged – certainly look near good enough to eat (DON’T, they’re still soaps!), and the Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter fits the brief. It’ll feel top-tier on your cuticles thanks to the organic avocado oil, fresh lemon infusion and vitamin-rich mango butter.
Supercharge your self-care with Nourished Hands’ all-in-one nail polish. Designed for busy babes, the polish applies smoothly and dries quickly with no top coat or base required. Its innovative, non-toxic formula allows your nails to breathe, while hydrating and promoting growth, leaving your hands happier than ever.