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Why Regular Nail Polish is Not Good for You (And the Best Vegan Nail Polish You Should Try)

Posted on 23 March 2018

Habit Cosmetics nail polish Singapore

Let's dig in: 

Toxic ingredients in nail polish

Hidden in these pretty colors and fancy names is a concoction of toxic chemicals that could be messing with your nails and health in general.  A study carried out by the Duke University and the public health advocacy Organization Environmental Working Group concluded that we absorb at least one hormone-disrupting toxic chemical each time we apply nail polish.


Here are the top 5 worst ingredients found in most nail polish that you should look out for:

  • Formaldehyde

Formaldehyde is used for its nail hardening properties and wear time improvement. It is however known to be a cancer-causing agent. When inhaled it causes respiratory distress. Did you know that high levels of exposure to formaldehyde can cause asthma, nausea, and convulsions? It can also lead to skin irritation, chronic skin disorders, throat, nose and blood cancer, as well. So next time you go to buy your favorite nail brand, look out for this beast called Formaldehyde.

  • Formaldehyde resin

Formaldehyde resin is a by-product of formaldehyde that is found in most traditional nail polish brands. Some studies have shown that it can cause severe skin irritation and reactions, skin depigmentation and nerve sensation loss. Be sure to check your polish bottle for this harmful ingredient when you go for your next manicure/pedicure.

  • Toluene

This is another toxic chemical found in nail polish. It is added to nail polish to give it a smooth texture and finish. Toluene is a mild skin irritant and can easily be absorbed into the bloodstream leading to unhealthy effects in your body. It generates irritating fumes that can aggravate respiratory diseases and is linked to neurological damages, decreased brain function. Reproductive disorders, immune system toxicity, and blood cancers are some of the potential risks. Pregnant women, nursing mothers, and children should avoid this chemical.

  • DBP (Dibutyl phthalate)

Dibutyl phthalate is a plasticizer and solvent used to improve polish durability. It minimizes nail chipping. Much as you may want to maintain a perfect manicure for as long as possible, it is important to note that DBP is suspected to disrupt normal hormone function. The EU has banned its use in personal care products like nail polish linking it to reproductive fertility issues. Keep an eye out for this toxic chemical too.

  • Camphor

Camphor gives nail polish a glossy, shiny appearance. Looks, however, can be deceptive.  Camphor is linked to severe skin irritation and allergic reactions especially in contact with skin, which in most cases cannot be avoided when applying nail polish. The fumes can trigger asthma and cause nausea, headaches, and dizziness. So take note of these effects when you go for that chic manicure next time.

Is your nail polish Vegan?

I bet not.

Vegan nail polish is free of ingredients derived from animals. All ingredients in its formulation are plant-based. You probably have no idea that the nail polish you so much love and use weekly features animal substances such as:


  • Oleic Acid

Oleic Acid is got from animal oils and tallow (animal fat). It is mainly used in a variety of cosmetic creams and nail polish as a thickening solution.


  • Guanine

You see that fancy word "pearl essence" on your nail polish bottle? That is none other than "guanine." This stuff is derived from fish scales and acids found in animal tissue. It's used to give nail polish that shimmery effect. Guanine is mostly found in nail polish colors that are shiny, have glitter or the pearly effect.


  • Carmine

Red nail polish is a classic color and almost on everyone's must-have polish list. But did you know that these red hues contain carmine? That hot red color is created by boiling and crushing poor little beetles. So the next time you think of getting a manicure, check if the polish used is vegan-friendly, cruelty-free and gluten-free.



You must be wondering:


"Can I still have a fabulous chic manicure without putting my life at risk?"


Yes, you can.


There are some safe vegan nail polish brands out there that are created for you and me so that we can still enjoy our manicure and pedicure without putting our lives at risk. Our number one recommendation and best nail polish brand for you is Habit cosmetics vegan cruelty-free nail polish!




Habit is a more health-conscious nail brand and absolute best alternative to toxic traditional nail polish that damages and weakens your nails.


Habit was founded in June 2013 by the fabulous Aja Frierson, a former fashion industry colorist, and now a ‘green' beauty guru. Aja was inspired by her love for fashion, art and, beauty to create a beautiful nail polish brand that boosts the self-confidence of every woman.


"Beauty inspires me: beauty in art and nature, in people and in everyday objects. Bringing more beauty into the world of the every day was a major part of my inspiration to create Habit." Aja Frierson


Habit cosmetics is an LA-based company that strives to create the best organic nail polish for their customers. Habit is vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free.  Each bottle of this cruelty-free nail polish was uniquely made with sustainable packaging.


Habit's natural nail polish colors are to die for. Seriously, once you start shopping for these all-natural babies, you'll be spoilt for choice. Each color tells a story and they have really fun nail polish names like Voodoo and Creature of the Night. You'll be the envy of all your friends when they ask you what you're wearing. And did I tell you the packaging is awesome?

Habit's non- toxic natural polish comes in a beautifully designed glass bottle topped with a unique brown bamboo overcap to reduce plastic use. The green brand also has FSC Certified paperboard boxes. Yes, every single piece on this bottle is super unique, eco-friendly and sustainable.


It gets even better:


Habit chemical-free nail polish is made up of Myrrh extract which naturally strengthens your nails. So you don't have to worry about your nails breaking every time you have a manicure. Habit nail polish is not only long-lasting, but it also dries quickly (It only talks 2-3 minutes to dry) and it hardly chips (two weeks or more depending on how often your hands get busy).





  • Habit is the only nail polish brand in the U.S formulated with Mrryh extract which strengthens nails naturally and provides a long-lasting color. Mrryh extract also has anti- bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.


  • Habit nail polish 100% vegan and gluten-free. Nothing beats an organic nail polish brand.


  • It's cruelty-free. You've probably seen this label on some beauty products. It simply means that the ingredients in Habit were not tested on any animal.


  • PETA Certified as vegan, cruelty-free and gluten free.


  • It has a sustainable packaging. Habit's packaging boxes are made from sustainably forested paper boards.


  • Habit vegan nail polish is eco-friendly. Habit was the first to use, if not the only company that uses a bamboo overcap to cover their polish bottles. This means they use less plastic.


  • Habit is 5-free vegan nail polish. This means you won't find any of the 5 most harmful chemicals such as Toluene, Formaldehyde, Formaldehyde Resin, Camphor, dibutyl phthalate(DBP), and Camphor in your Habit. It is also free of TT, Isobutylphenoxy Epoxy Resin, and Xylene. And the best part? Habit is exclusive of phthalates, parabens, and fragrances.


  • No fragrances. You know that horrid nail polish smell that everyone dreads once they pop open a varnish bottle? You'll not find that awful smell in Habit's vegan chemical-free nail polish.


Want cute nails? Toxic-free nail polish? Vegan nail polish that will leave your nails pretty, strong and healthy?


Habit all natural vegan nail polish can do that for you and so much more.

Want to have a new HABIT? Grab one here.

Check out our favorite Habit's nail polishes.

Choosing the right nail polish shade can be a daunting but fun task. Habit cosmetic's nail polish includes an array of 40+ cool and chic colors. From soft, dreamy nudes to bold, dark tones. Here are our top 10. #8 is our absolute favorite.



Add a pop color to your outfit with this vibrant honey mustard. It's infused with flecks of gold shimmer that will make you stand out from the crowd.



You can't go wrong with this dreamy off-white, infused with a touch of pale pink and gray. It exudes elegance and class. It's also has a crème finish that will give you a shiny and glowing effect under sunlight.



Be Pretty in Pink with this candy-sweet pink shade. A soft pink tone with a touch of gold and fuchsia shimmer. This color is SO HOT, you'll love it.



Happiness is a bottle of Habit's DEEP SEA. A dark inky and mysterious blue. You can rock it on a night out with friends or on a dinner date with bae.


Habit Cosmetics Pearl of a Girl


Shine like a diamond with this pearly shimmer shade. Inspired by beautiful pearls, this rich color will make you look and feel like a million bucks. It's so sweet and so pretty.



Tired of boring basic colors and flashy glitter nail polish? Try this subtle metallic rose gold – it's the perfect balance between cool and warm.



Fuel your inner femme fatale with this hot number. A warm and deliciously sparkly metallic gun-metal with a metallic finish.



Keep it vampy with this perfect blend of deep purple and electric blue shimmer. A little shimmer on your nails won't hurt.



How lovely is this shade? A soft velvety pale pink with a crème finish. Pair this with a floral or print dress and slay away.



Don't be shy. Bring out your playful side with this vibrant teal topped with silver and turquoise shimmer.



Life is too short to have naked nails. Why not make your nails part of your outfit? But as you go ahead to have that much-desired fab manicure. Keep a steady eye out for toxic chemicals like Toluene, DBP, Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde resin in your nail polish. Also ensure that you buy or use only vegan, cruelty-free nail polish like Habit. Have fun painting!


Want to have fabulous looking nails, but not at the cost of your health?

Try our new collection of habit cosmetics nail polish. It is vegan. It is 5-free. And each bottle is fully packed with organic goodness.


You will love it!

Have you tried any of the above vegan, cruelty-free Habit nail polishes?

What's your new Habit?

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