Non-Toxic 3 Free & 5 Free Nail Varnishes

Following my MI and Formaldehyde allergy that forced me to replace most of cosmetics I used with natural ones, the next thing was to cut off the nail polishes before I would figure out what is inside them…  just to find out that formaldehyde sometimes hides in nail products under the name of tosylamide / formaldehyde resin. Although formaldehyde resin is not as bad and concentrated as formaldehyde itself, still can cause allergic reactions to those that are sensitive to it.

3 Free 5 Free nail polishes UK toxic chemical free nail varnishes

None of the nail polishes are completely natural but many are stuffed with carcinogens such as toluene (methylbenzene, phenylmethane, toluol, anisen), dibutyl phthalate (DBP) or formaldehyde so it is important to pay attention to what we are putting on our nails especially that there are alternative products, free from toxic substances, on the market.

Those good nail varnishes are called:

– 3 Free when they are free from: toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and formaldehyde or

– 5 Free when they are additionally free from formaldehyde resin and camphor.

list of non toxic 5 free 3 free nail polishes vanishes lacquers

What confuses me a little is the fact that after carefully checking ingredients of some 3 Free nail polishes I haven’t found formaldehyde resin or camphor in them either so they should be called 5 Free really – unless I’m missing something.

non toxic Jessica OPI nail varnish

List of non-toxic nail polishes I managed to find so far below…

non toxic nail varnishes UK toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP) formaldehyde free

Nasties free nail varnishes

nasties free nail gels

5 free formaldehyde free top coat nail varnish


Please, note that companies change ingredients  and formulas often without notice so check the labels before purchase.

I will be updating this post as soon as I get hold of some other non-toxic nail varnishes, so stay tuned. Are there any 3 free or even better 5 free nail varnishes I haven’t mentioned?

More about health & beauty.

More cosmetic reviews.

DISCLOSURE: This post contain some affiliated links.

Your thoughts…

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Hi there,

    I was ‘diagnosed’ with an allergy to Tosylamide Formaldehyde Resin (toluene sulphonamide formaldehyde resin) so I’m always on the hunt for nail polishes which do not include this and have found your post very helpful. However, I urge anyone who wishes to avoid this chemical not to take companies claims at face value.

    I noticed that a retailer I often buy beauty products from, stocks Sparitual polishes and they list the ingredients which include Tosylamide/Epoxy Resin.
    I contacted them asking for clarification, considering Sparitual state that their polishes do not include this ingredient and this is the helpful response I had from the retailer:

    “Thank you for taking the time to get in touch. I have taken the following information from SpaRitual:
    SpaRitual nail lacquers are vegan and free of DBP, toluene, camphor, formaldehyde and formaldehyde resin.
    Formaldehyde is a form preservative that allows lacquer to properly adhere to the nail. Formaldehyde is also prevalent, often at much larger levels, in soft drinks, carpeting, paints and permanent press fabrics. SpaRitual does not use formaldehyde in our nail lacquers and treatments, but instead uses tosylamide/formaldehyde resin which is synthesized with 0.3% formaldehyde. This finished resin is washed thoroughly to eliminate any residual formaldehyde, and technically carries only trace amounts of formaldehyde”.

    So as far as I understand, Sparitual are NOT 100% free of Tosylamide Formaldehyde, and I think it is extremely misleading of them to state that they are!

    I hope this information helps you and others seeking healthier nail polishes.

  2. Thank you for this info Elizabeth! I will investigate.

    My Sparitual bottle clearly states: free from DBP, Toluene, Camphor, Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde resin… but then I can see in the ingredients Tosylamide / Epoxy resin. It is very misleading, indeed.

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I’m slowly going through the list (I currently use Zoya, but would like to try other brands).
    I’ve just looked at Butter London and their ingredients also have Tosylamide/Epoxy Resin :o/

    Their page below for example, in the summary states “No formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, DBP, toluene, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, or xylene” – yet when you click on the ingredients list, it shows Tosylamide/Epoxy Resin!

    I just don’t get it… it’s really frustrating :(

  4. Have you tried Jamberry lacquers? they are certified 8 Free!

  5. No, I haven’t but thanks for the tip Lynette :)

  6. Lustrabrite S, manufactured by Telechemische Inc. is a polymeric tosylamide/epoxy resin, and is perfectly safe. Telechemische exports the same resin under the Trade name Nagellite 3050.
    There should be no confusion – the tosylamide/epoxy resin has NO FORMALDEHYDE, period.

    This resin was developed to replace the tosylamide/formaldehyde resin used in the Industry since the 1920s (Santolite MHP – Monsanto) to make nail polish,
    The formaldehyde resin is banned in the European Union and Japan and maybe in some other countries, but is allowed in the USA with some restrictions.

  7. Thank you for sharing this… It’s a good news then that the tosylamide / epoxy resin has no formaldehyde.

    Sadly, despite being banned in EU (as you mentioned) I came across many products using tosylamide / formaldehyde resin.

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