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What Exactly Is 10-Free Nail Polish?

Hey Beauty Besties!  Quick question for you….  Have you ever thought about the ingredients in your nail polish? Me neither. But, in 2022, nail health is on the rise, and...

Hey Beauty Besties! 

Quick question for you…. 

Have you ever thought about the ingredients in your nail polish? Me neither. But, in 2022, nail health is on the rise, and now more than ever, 10-free polishes are popping up again and again. But, what exactly does that mean and why should you care?

I’m here to answer those questions. So, let’s get into it!


We’re In The Clear
We provide chemical-free colors…

The idea behind a nail polish being “free” of certain ingredients really just means it's made to purposely exclude any chemicals. When you see the 10-free label, it means the polish in your hands is made without the ten most common toxic chemicals found in traditional polishes. 


What Chemicals Should I Look Out For?
Easy info at your fingertips…


Now, you may be thinking, “I had no idea nail polish even contained potentially harmful ingredients!” It’s okay, we’re all learning here. The 10 chemicals typically excluded from 10-free polishes are as follows:

  1. Dibutyl Phthalate: A plasticizer that helps dissolve dyes and prevents polishes from becoming brittle and chipping. It has been cited to cause hormone disruption as the chemical mimics estrogen.
  2. Toluene: Typically, this chemical creates a smooth finish in polishes. However, Toluene is classified as a neurotoxin (AKA toxins that are destructive to nerve tissue) and even in small doses can cause headaches, dizziness and nausea.
  3. Formaldehyde: A common preservative that creates a strong odor, usually associated with nail polishes, and is known to prevent bacteria. When used in large doses, it can impact fertility and breathing and can cause a build-up of fluid in the lungs.
  4. Xylene: This solvent is used to thin the nail polish, ensuring the product doesn’t turn thick over time. It has been said to cause eye irritation, nausea, and dizziness. 
  5. Ethyl Tosylamide: A plasticizer used to increase the durability of said product on the nails. It has been banned in personal care products in Europe due to an increasing concern surrounding antibiotic resistance.
  6. Camphor: A common plasticizer nutrient used to create the shine typically associated with nail polish. When used in large doses, it is said to cause nausea or dizziness. 
  7. Formaldehyde Resin: A chemical that helps the polish adhere to your nail. It is usually a byproduct of formaldehyde itself and is now classified as a skin allergen.
  8. Triphenyl Phosphate (TPHP): This is used in most polishes to help with the flexibility of the product. It is also known to cause skin irritation and rashes. 
  9. Tert-Butyl Hydroperoxide: Known as an organic peroxide, it can be really flammable for one. It is also linked to respiratory system damage and can be toxic to your body.
  10. Parabens and fragrance: Most of the time, the fragrance is an unknown factor in polishes, and can mask the smell of other chemicals, which makes it sketchy. Parabens, also known as preservatives, keep mold and fungi from growing within the product. But, they can also mimic the effects of estrogen, and have been cited as “endocrine disruptors”. 
Where Can I Find 10-Free Polishes?
Closer than you think…

Source: ME Nails

Well, on SlateLand of course! In a fun variety of pastel colors, ME Nails is free of toxins and ready to work double-time with a quick drying, two-in-one formula. (There’s no need for a top coat as it’s already incorporated into the polish!)

Create endlessly fun designs with a smooth, easy application that also protects the health of your nails. Paint away worry-free, reassured that your chosen nail polish is made without any of the above chemicals. We can’t wait to see what you create. And remember, have fun!

PS: Send us snapshots of your nail designs on Instagram


Each of the 10-free chemicals listed have been researched and cited below. While skincare and beauty choices can seem overwhelming sometimes, we’re here to demystify those decisions to find what works best for you. Every single person is unique and any medical questions or concerns should always be consulted by a doctor. 



  1. David Suzuki
  2. Safe Cosmetics
  3. Harvard Health Publishing and PubMed 
  4. The Healthy
  5. Prevention
  6. The Healthy
  7. Harvard Health Publishing
  8. NCBI
  9. Environmental Science and Technology and Know Life Better
  10. NCBI and EWG



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