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On the hunt for an eco-friendly nail polish that is better for people, the planet, and animals?
In this post, I’m sharing 10+ eco-friendly nail polish brands offering cruelty-free, vegan, and sustainable nail lacquers that were consciously and ethically made while reducing their impact on the environment.
All the nail polish brands mentioned in this post are Cruelty-Free, Vegan, 5-Free, and Eco-Friendly in the sense that they were produced responsibly and ethically while respecting people, the planet, and animals.
Eco-Friendly Nail Polish Standards
Here’s how I chose brands to be included in this list of eco-friendly nail polish:
Cruelty-Free – the company must not conduct or commission any animal testing on its ingredients, formulations, or finished products, anywhere in the world. We verify a company’s animal testing policy against our Cruelty-Free Checklist.
Vegan – nail polish formulated without any animal-derived ingredients or by-products. Some common animal products that can be found in nail polish include guanine (fish scales), shellac, and animal-derived keratin.
5-Free – nail polish formulated without Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, and Camphor.
Note: There are nail polish claims of ’10-Free’ and up to ’21-Free’ but upon my research, I found there are no regulations on these free-from claims. And to make it more confusing, brands don’t seem to have the same 10-free-from ingredient list. Also, it’s important to know that there is no such thing as ‘organic’ nail polish or ‘chemical-free’ nail polish.
Eco-Conscious Packaging or Materials – nail polish brands that use eco-friendly packing materials and/or sustainable materials for their nail polish bottles like recycled plastic and glass or compostable lids made with wood or bamboo. I would also recommend supporting nail polish brands that offer a recycling program where you can send in your bottles to be responsibly recycled.
Environmentally-Friendly Production – nail polish brands that are actively and continuously doing more to reduce their impact on the environment whether that’s offsetting their carbon footprint, keeping their production local, using renewable energy in their office or warehouses, or planting a tree for every polish purchased.
Ethically-Sourced Mica – Mica is a shimmery natural mineral commonly used in cosmetics and nail polish. But it’s been reported that mica is traditionally mined using child labor and exploitation. Therefore, I try asking brands whether their mica is ethically-sourced without the use of child labor and have included my findings, if available, in the descriptions.
Eco-Friendly Vegan Nail Polish Brands
Here are my personal recommendations for the best vegan and eco-friendly nail polish brands available on the market today!
Based in Australia, Sienna is a B Corp, 100% vegan and cruelty-free nail polish brand. The company has banned micro-plastics and glitter from their production and their head office and warehouse is powered by 100% renewable energy.
Sienna’s eco-friendly nail polish is produced locally in Australia to minimize the company’s carbon footprint. All of their packaging is 100% recyclable. And the sustainable nail polish brand also has an in-house recycling program where customers can return empty nail polish bottles to be recycled.
What I love most about Sienna is their use of local, non-native weed wood timber caps as opposed to conventional plastic caps for their nail polish bottles. And I also love that Sienna is an inclusive gender-neutral brand showcasing diversity in their product swatches, as well as, using male models.
Sienna has confirmed to me in an email response that their mica supplier has child-labor-free certifications and they perform regular audits to ensure compliance.
Another B Corp, Kester Black is based in Australia and their colorful line of cruelty-free, vegan, and carbon-neutral nail polish is a great sustainable and eco-friendly alternative for those who care about people, the planet, and animals.
Kester Black designs with the end-life of their products in mind, striving to be as sustainable as possible in the manufacturing of their products. They also use recyclable packing materials like their shipping boxes made from 100% uncoated recycled stock that’s printed using soy inks.
Kester Black manufactures their nail polish collection in France and confirmed their products are ethically-made without the use of child labor. In addition, Kester Black donates 2% of their revenue to social causes.
Habit is a black-owned and female-founded vegan cosmetics brand based in the US. All of their 10-free and vegan nail polish are sustainably made in the US. And their luxurious nail polish bottles are sustainably packaged with a removable bamboo cap and all of the plastic components are made with recycled plastic materials. Habit also requires documents from their mica suppliers to ensure the natural mineral was ethically-sourced and without the use of child labor.
OZN’s eco-friendly nail polish formulas are plant-based and vegan. All of OZN nail care products and their ingredients are made in Germany where they claim 90% of the ingredients they use are derived from sustainably grown, plant-based raw materials such as wood, potato, beet, spelt, sugar cane, cassava or corn.
OZN nail polish bottles are made of 70% recycled glass and the lids are made with compostable material. In addition, OZN parcel shipments are climate-neutral and plastic-free and their office is run on 100% green electricity from renewable sources in Germany.
Price: 15,90 €
I wouldn’t necessarily consider Nails.INC to be a sustainable cosmetics brand but they’re working on becoming a 100% vegan brand and recently produced a line of vegan and eco-friendly nail polishes. I wanted to include them on this list because their nail polishes are reasonably affordable at $10 each, so they’re a great sustainable alternative to other drugstore or affordable nail polish brands.
Nails.INC’s new nail polish collection called PLANT POWER is formulated with 75% bio-sourced ingredients and claims to be ’21-free’ but it’s not clear what those 21 ‘nasty ingredients’ are exactly. But Nails.INC has confirmed their mica is ethically-sourced without the use of child labor and they perform regular audits on their suppliers.
What makes Nails.INC worthy to be included on this list of vegan and eco-friendly nail polish is their choice to use recyclable and sustainable eco-friendly 100% FSC ash wooden cap for their bottles! I hope that by highlighting Nails.INC’s efforts in producing sustainable alternatives that they’ll release more in the future!
Zao Organic’s eco-friendly nail polishes are made in France and consciously manufactured with a low carbon footprint in mind. Their elegant nail polish caps are made from controlled harvested bamboo making them a sustainable option than plastic caps.
Zao Organic nail polishes are 10-free and formulated with vegan and bio-based ingredients and instead of petrochemical solvents, they use ‘agro-solvents’ derived from potatoes, manioc, corn, and wheat. In addition, Zao Organic has confirmed all of their ingredients are ethically-obtained without the use of child labor.
Dazzle Dry’s cruelty-free and vegan nail polish were developed by a bio-organic chemist. The nail care line with a conscious is based in the US and they continuously strive to adopt more sustainable and ethical practices. Dazzle Dry currently uses eco-conscious materials like biodegradable packing peanuts.
Also, for every Dazzle Dry purchase made, a tree is planted in partnership with WeForest. When I asked them if their mica is ethically-sourced, they responded stating all of their materials are sourced from the US with documentation.
Base Coat opened as the first non-toxic nail salon in Denver which eventually lead them to create their own line of 10-free, vegan, and eco-friendly nail polish collection with sustainability and ethics in mind.
All Base Coat products are formulated to be as clean as possible by cutting out toxins and using plant-based ingredients whenever they can. They also cut down on unnecessary packaging and use recycled, compostable materials to reduce their impact on the environment.
In addition, Base Coat offers a Polish Swap Program where for every old bottle you bring in to get responsibly disposed of, you’ll receive a discount on a Base Coat polish. Or bring in your Base Coat containers to their salon and receive a discount on a refill.
I think it was important for me to include a vegan and eco-friendly gel polish on this list and I’m happy to have finally found a sustainable gel polish brand to recommend!
manucurist’s Green Flash is known as the first clean gel nail polish on the market formulated with no allergenic monomers, CMR or hydroquinone. They’re also cruelty-free, vegan, and 9-free. The green nail polish brand is based and manufactured in France.
If you’re not a fan of gel polish or using a lamp to cure your manicure, manucurist also offers regular nail polish that claims to contain up to 84% natural ingredients!
Price: $19 for gel polish and $14 for regular nail polish
Nail Polish Recycling Programs
In addition to supporting nail polish brands that use sustainable materials for their bottles or lids, I recommend buying from brands that offer a recycling program where you can send old bottles to be responsibly recycled. Here are some brands I suggest checking out:
Tenoverten have their own salon in New York, Austin, and LA. But Tenoverten also offers its own line of 8-free, cruelty-free, and vegan nail polish. What I love most about tenoverten is their recycling program where you can drop off any used bottles of nail polish at their store and they’ll responsibly recycle them for you! Note: I’ve reached out to tenoverten to ask about their ethical sourcing of mica but never heard back.
Elle Polish also offers a recycling program where you can send in 5 empty elle polish bottles to be recycled and in return, you’ll get a special edition polish. All of Elle Polish are Leaping Bunny certified cruelty-free, vegan, and 10-free. They have also confirmed that their mica is ethically-sourced without the use of child labor and the miners are paid fairly and treated well.
Côte is another vegan and eco-friendly nail polish brand offering a recycling program where for any used bottle of polish you bring into their LA shop, you’ll receive 10% off your next côte polish purchase. All of côte nail polishes are vegan, 10-free, and they have confirmed their mica suppliers are required to obtain a government-issued statement guaranteeing that no children were used in the production.