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Clean up your routine: The best non-toxic nail polishes for a healthy and sleek manicure

As many of us opt for a more eco-conscious lifestyle, people are taking a more considered approach when it comes to the products they put on their skin and in their bodies — why wouldn’t you want the same for your nails?

Give your nails some time to breathe, heal and grow, and opt for clean polish brands that don’t contain any of the harsh alcohols and chemicals found in most nail polish formulas.

That said, there are no government restrictions on what ingredients brands can or cannot contain to label themselves as ‘non-toxic’, so you’ll want to do some careful label-reading to vet the products you’re using. Generally speaking though, you should opt for brands that are free from at least seven of the most harmful chemicals in nail polishes, which includes toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, TPHP and xylene — hence why they’re commonly referred to as ‘7-free’ brands.

Below, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite nail polish brands that are at least 7-free (if not more) for a healthy, salon-level result that you can achieve from the comfort of your home.


The key to a refined looking set of nails is a great base and top coat. Smith & Cult’s Basis of Everything base coat creates a smooth and adhesive canvas, while their Above It All top coat seals in all your hard work with a glossy, bulletproof finish. The hardware-inspired design has a luxurious and weighted, ergonomic feel when you’re painting. The hammered metal finish of the bottle also makes it an edgy addition to any shelf. Design aside, Smith & Cult also has a vibrant selection of rich, coloured polishes that are well worth a look!

HK$140 from Revolve

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Jin Soon Choi is an established nail artist who debuted her eponymous nail line after years of working as a successful freelancer in New York. The shades offered in her collection range from classic creamy nudes to bright explosions of dots and speckles in all colours of the rainbow. Even better, her formulas are nine-, if not 10-free, with a UV filter to protect against colour fading. Try the shade Fab, for an effortless splash of colour with just one coat.

HK$210 from Beyorg


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Those that can’t tear themselves away from gel polish will be pleased to hear about Butter London’s 10X Nail Lacquer. This formula combines a pillowy gel-like thickness with patented Polymer Technology to deliver at least 10 days of fade-free wear. The end result is a glossy set of nails in lush and bold colours that are formulated with ingredients proven to promote stronger, healthier nails. We recommend the shade Trout Pout for a punchy coral that is certain to brighten up your day.

HK$150 from Sephora

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Not only is Habit Cosmetics a 10-free brand, it’s also vegan, cruelty free and sustainably packaged — the bottle overcap is made out of sustainable bamboo. Their long-lasting formulas come in a dazzling array of colours in glossy, pearlescent or glittery finishes. We recommend the shade Belle De Jour (a nude with iridescent pink shimmer) for an elegant twist on a classic favourite. Additionally, while their shades are long-lasting, they are also easily removed. This prevents further drying of the nail beds as you needn’t use harsh alcohols or acetone to remove their polishes.

HK$140 from Live Zero (Bulk Beauty Store)

G/F, 20 High Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong
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Nails Inc is a 100 percent vegan brand, and their NailPure line is also 10-free, cruelty free and Halal friendly. On top of this, their patented Regenerating Complex contains a blend of aldehyde, zinc and calcium that boosts keratin production for stronger, healthier nails. The shade Regents Place is a stunning cornflower blue, perfect as an individual colour or to complement a variety of other pastels on a multicoloured manicure!

HK$120 from Lane Crawford


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Carina Fischer

Carina is a writer, photographer and content creator, curious about pushing the boundaries between art, photography and fashion, all the while considering the importance of environmental sustainability, ethics and inclusion. When she’s not madly researching her latest piece, she is strolling through an art gallery or scouring the streets for the best new eats. See more of her work at www.carina-fischer.com.