I love treating myself to at-home manicures. It’s a fun indulgence for whenever I have the time. Unfortunately, the effects of chemical-laden nail polish ingredients can be quite damaging on nails, as well as your health. Common nail polish ingredients include toluene, which helps polish brush on smoothly; formaldehyde, a hardener; and dibutyl phthalate, a plasticizer that helps keep polishes from chipping. This trio of toxic ingredients has been linked to nausea, allergies, thyroid disorders, reproductive problems and cancer.
If you apply nail polish, you will eventually have to remove nail polish. Nail polish removers are limited—store-bought products are either made with acetone or nonacetone. Either ingredient can be damaging to the nail, although acetone is the more harmful of the two. It dries out nails and has been linked to problems with the heart, lungs and liver.
Science has yet to catch up with our manicure habits, so it can be difficult to find a pretty nail polish that is safe and effective. But as the green beauty market expands, the closer we get to a better alternative. Thankfully, Scotch Naturals is one of those companies who are dead set on pushing the boundaries of the green beauty market.
Scotch Naturals prides itself on being the nontoxic, eco-friendly alternative to the “three-free” solvent-based polishes on the market. Instead, the polishes are made from a water-based formula. With its wide selection of color options—43 as of right now—you are sure to find a color that works with your preferred palette. Let’s take a look at the ingredients Scotch Naturals employs.
Of the ingredients used, a couple of the colorants were flagged for moderate concern by the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database (3 to 4).
Scotch Naturals also offers a soy-based nail polish remover that works well on all nail polishes, not just the water-based formulas offered by their company. Here’s a breakdown of its ingredients, none of which raised more than a low concern (1) by the EWG’s cosmetics database.
methyl soyate, dimethyl adipate, dimethyl glutarate
As a nail polish, this formula is still not perfect. The polish doesn’t last for very long—give it a day or two and it will start to chip or wear away. However, when you think of the alternative, this nail polish is absolutely amazing in that it is free of so many harmful toxins. Here’s what I did like about it:
+ It’s completely odorless. I couldn’t believe that no one noticed me trying the nail polish on at my desk when I first received it. Not even my husband, who loudly complains about toxic nail polish fumes, said anything when I used it at home.
+ The packaging is stunning. Maybe this shouldn’t be such a large factor for me, but I am a sucker for pretty packaging. Scotch Naturals looks chic and trendy, which is a standard I try to achieve.
+ The formula is super safe. Although there are other nail polishes on the market that are safer than more mainstream polishes (think OPI or Essie), this water-based formula is completely safe.
+ It dries fast. You still can’t dig into your purse right away, but after a few minutes, a small bump isn’t going to force you to reapply. However, the formula really doesn’t “set” for a couple of hours.
+ Scotch Naturals offers a great range of colors. I would love to see them expand this selection even more, but in the meantime this is a wonderful start. From Seething Jealousy, a rich teal green, to Stiletto, a vibrant pink-red, there are a lot of options.
In order to achieve a clean-looking manicure from Scotch Naturals, here’s what you need to do:
1. Remove any existing nail polish and shape as usual.
2. Add a drop of jojoba oil to each nail and buff gently.
3. Wash hands with soap and water to rinse remover reside and buffing dust. (You must do this, or the nail polish does not apply evenly.)
4. Apply one coat of their fortifying base coats.
5. Follow with two coats of polish, allowing one to three minutes in between coats.
6. Finish with their top coat for a high gloss shine.
Buy a Scotch Naturals nail polish for $15 each. Alternatively, you can choose the Cocktail Trio and stock up on three of your favorites, along with a deluxe top coat, for $48. The soy-based nail polish remover is $12. Buy Scotch Naturals online.
Gina DeBacker is the associate editor at Mother Earth Living. She loves that part of her job entails testing beauty products enriched with natural ingredients.