What’s Really in Your 5 Free Polishes?

If someone is totally ok with using a certain product, even after knowing the truth of its risks, I respect that as everyone is entitled to make their own choices in life. What I do care about, however, is when brands we trust deceive us. Ever since people started paying closer attention to what is in their beauty products, more and more businesses are pretending to care, inventing new ways to market their still dirty cosmetics, and that’s what I find upsetting.

Take Treat nail polish for example. Treat contains Benzophenone-1, an ingredient with links to hormone disruptions and certain cancers, which got the attention of the brand after consumers that trusted they were safe, became upset. Treat also actually claims to be Non-Toxic which shocked me even more. I get it, Treat is making polishes without many of the worst ingredients the conventional polishes contain, and that’s great, but they still contain toxins so it seems very deceptive to still label the line Non-Toxic. That’s like someone labeling ice cream Vegan, it’s ice cream, it’s not Vegan.

Be honest, say you are doing better, but to label yourself Non-Toxic? I also saw someone post a picture of a baby’s hands with AILA polish on them, claiming this is safe to use on kids of all ages, no, it certainly is not! That poor baby.

Dear Treat & AILA nail polish- In my opinion, you are very much toxic companies and just because you eliminated a handful of toxins, does not mean you are now “Non-Toxic”. This is totally deceptive, false advertising, and as a consumer I would be so pissed if I spent my hard earned money on your lines, trusting they were safer for me when really, your nail polish still contains toxins and at a premium price. So, to avoid others being fooled by these 5/7/10 Free companies here is a big list of all of the brands of nail polish that still use Benzophenone-1 so you can decide for yourself who to support.

What is Benzophenone-1?

According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, Benzophenone, and it’s derivatives, are common ingredients found in sunscreens, lip products, nail polishes, cleaning products, sunglasses and more, designed to prevent colors and scents from sun damage, aka nail polishes from fading. The risks associated with this ingredient are actual risks, and not just irritations. Various studies link both Benzophenone and Benzophenone-1 to Cancer, endocrine disruption, hormone disruptions, ecotoxicity and more!

Check out the specific research done on Benzophenone-1:

  1. Links to Breast Cancer related to Benzophenone-1
  2. Links to Prostate Cancer related to Benzophenone-1
  3. Links to Ovarian Cancer related to Benzophenone-1
  4. Benzophenone-1 Detected in Human Placental Tissues

3-5-7-10 Free Polishes that Contain Benzophenone-1-

  • AILA
  • Butter
  • Chanel
  • Ella Mia
  • Essie
  • Gabriel Cosmetics
  • Habit
  • Julep
  • Mineral Fusion
  • ncLA
  • OPI
  • Obsessive Compulsive- contains plastics.
  • Pacifica
  • Priti NYC
  • RMS Beauty
  • Zoya
  • 100% Pure

So, what can be done to stop these false claims? Not much, until we get Congress to stick up for us and put an end to this green-washing. If you are as passionate about this as I am, Au Naturale cosmetics, one of my favorite actually Organic and Non-Toxic beauty lines is challenging this very topic in Washington now. To learn more about their fight against label lies, head to this link here, and be sure to sign their petition to end this for once and for all!

Also, for those asking what polish is safe? No nail polish is truly safe, it’s paint. However, that is not the point here. The point is, I do not like brands misleading me into thinking a product is safe when it is not especially for a kid.

19 thoughts on “What’s Really in Your 5 Free Polishes?


  2. Thanks for this great post. I was really excited to see a recommended beauty brand, Au Naturale, that has the organic bunny stamp of approval. However, when I read the ingredients on a majority of their products I saw that they contain Titanium Dioxide and Mica. These two ingredients are not as natural as people think they are and actually cause a lot of harm to the body. Please look into these for future posts.

    1. Hi there! If you research these ingredients, you will find various things come into play before deciding if they are safe or risky. The risks associated with these are when they are nano-sized particles. Au Naturale uses all NON-Nano particles which means they can not enter pores. There is a risk when using a loose powder so I use pressed or cream items when possible to avoid this risk, as inhaling any makeup is a risk. Mica & TD, when in cream forms and non-nano sized particles pose no real threat 🙂

  3. wow what a bummer about all the brands that contain this ingredient – I had no idea! Do you know about Kure Bazaar, or Karma Organic Spa? I wonder if those include it as well. KB are my favorite! I’m off to check…

    stop by and chat if you like 🙂 http://storybookapothecary.com

    1. after doing more research on this, I’ve found there’s a lot of inconclusive evidence to your claims. Moreover, you would be hard-pressed to find polishes (in any market- green or mainstream) that doesn’t have this ingredient. I couldn’t find one. The point is, if you are worried about this ingredient, don’t paint your nails (or anything else for that matter).

      1. Not sure if you read this article but I am not worried about this ingredient and, to date, never claimed to be. I am mad at the green washing. This ingredient IS TOXIC and I have linked to plenty of sources that show there is a risk when using this. Do you know people also use to say smoking wasn’t a risk? And that eating Organic is pointless? And that parabens don’t cause cancer? There are always those that doubt, and want more evidence but until it comes, the above posted is MORE than enough for me, as a GREEN BEAUTY believer to avoid this ingredient. I don’t use conventional products for a reason, I want to decrease my risk of carcinogens. Using this ingredient does NOT lower my risk, it increases it.

        1. I completely agree with you about decreasing one’s exposure to carcinogens (that’s why I very rarely paint my nails). But, at this point I don’t think any rigorous study has linked parabens to breast cancer, much less causality. Having said that, I avoid parabens because they remain controversial regarding their estrogenic activity, and there are so many amazing products without them!

  4. What nail polish brand would you recomend that doesn’t have harmfull ingredients?

    1. Unfortunately, nail polish is paint, therefore, it’s near impossible to make one “safe”. 100% Pure makes a 10 Free polish which is a great line, but it does still contain this ingredient so I only wear it for special occasions.

      1. That’s what I feared, thanks for the quick response 🙂

      2. I haven’t worn nail polish in forever bc of this and will prob want to for a special event coming up. What do you use tot ake off your nail polish? Thank you!

        1. Karma Naturals makes a soy based remover!

  5. I had some folks tell me of the controversy going on here, so I chose to chime in. As someone in the world of green for many years, and who calls out greenwashers by name, I respect that you are doing the same. I think in part what is causing controversy here was the focus on one ingredient and 2 companies. When it’s not just them. Those of us in the green beauty moment and frankly, anyone who thinks about it for very long, understands that *any* paint which adheres to a surface like a nail for more than 1 minute is not going to be natural. You said it yourself in the comments, but I wish in reading this, it was clear that ALL nail polishes have chemicals in them that are not ingestible and frankly toxic. Yes, saying non-toxic is a slippery slope. That’s why terms like “3-free” were developed. I see a few products that you’ve recommended in the past which cross that line for me. And on my own site, I’ve promoted products that cross other people’s standards of what’s “safe.” As we support each other in this movement, I think it’s so important that we continue to uplift our credibility by making sure we are careful on how we tear down others and the accuracy of our statements in doing so. I agree with you that painting nails as an infrequent occurrence and reducing exposure is the way to go.

  6. Can you check safenailpolish.com please? I have used this polish for the past year because it did not stain my nails and claimed to be better, but I am interested to see if it is cleaner than the ones listed or if it is very toxic! Thank you xx.

  7. I found a polish that is Benzopenone-1 FREE!!!
    Acquarella Nail Polish!



    1. And Zao makeup

    1. What about SOPHi nails and for kids Piggy Paint?


  8. What about Mineral Fusion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *