No-Nasty Nails

You’d be surprised to know how many toxins and unethical processes are undertaken while creating nail colours (we know we were!). But worry not, we’ve done the research and found a solution already – cruelty-free, vegan nail polishes!


Taking inputs from 100% vegan and cruelty-free South African nail brand Lola Lee, we’ve put together a list of ingredients to be mindful of the next time you’re purchasing nail polishes.



Based on the ingredients in a particular polish, the beauty industry assigns three different ratings – 5-free, 7-free and 10-free; meaning that the polish is free of those many toxic ingredients. Ingredients to avoid are formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, camphor, formaldehyde resin, xylene, parabens, fragrances, phthalates and animal ingredients. Lola Lee’s nail polishes are typically ten-free or free from the toxic trio of dibutyl phthalate, toluene and formaldehyde.



Vegan polishes imply that there are no animal-derivative ingredients used in the product. Ingredients to watch out for are:

  • Guanine: Typically derived from fish scales and used for a shiny finish
  • Carmine: Procured from female cochineal insects and used as a red dye
  • Keratin: Sourced from animal feathers, hooves and horns, it is used to help strengthen damaged nails – opt for plant-derived keratin instead
  • Shellac: A resin secreted from the female lac bug used to create nail shellac



As stated by PETA, “cosmetics companies still pay for unnecessary and inhumane tests on animals, which involve dripping substances into their eyes, smearing products onto their shaved or scraped skin, or forcing them to ingest or inhale huge quantities of chemicals. After the tests are done, the animals are usually killed.” Support brands that do not test on animals and provide high-quality, cleaner alternatives.


We hope this guide helps you select a guilt-free, ethical nail routine!



Leave a comment