5 Hot Nude Nail Polish Shades For Spring Without Nasty Chemicals

Bottle of nude nail polish on a white background

Easy to wear nude nail polish shades you can’t go wrong with for spring, without the harsh chemicals.

If you haven’t heard of 5-Free, it is a new label given to nail polish brands which have the same luxurious look of traditional nail polish, minus the harsh chemicals generally found in them.

As our nails are porous, nail polish ingredients are able to merge into our bodies through our fingernails and toenails, especially when the polish is wet. Cuticles can also be entry points for these toxic ingredients.

At first glance, it may be tempting to opt for the cheapest brand of nail polish you can find. But by investing some time and research into brands, and the chemicals they use within the nail polishes you can ensure your nails will benefit rather than be damaged by the nail polish you choose.

How can you tell if a nail polish is 5-Free?

When looking for ‘5-Free’ formulas, ensure they do not have the 5 serious toxins that are contained in traditional nail polish ingredients. These are toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate and synthetic camphor.

Learning to distinguish between the safe and potentially toxic and harmful ingredients in nail polish is the most important step to finding your signature brand and even bottle. 2019 research from the Harvard Medical School suggests ingredients to avoid in nail polish are:

  • Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) – makes the nail polish more flexible but can lead to chronic toxicity and damaging effects on the reproductive system.
  • Toluene – a paint thinner often found in glue that can have short-term effects on the body such as causing irritation, dizziness and numbness.
  • Formaldehyde – can be found in common foods like fruit but its levels being too low to be dangerous. However in nail polish, it has been recognised by the National Cancer Institute as a potential cancer-causing preservative.  

Experts say your choice of nail polish says a lot about your personality and self-expression.

Essie’s celebrity manicurist and nail expert Michelle Saunders says women who opt for nude manis are usually “low maintenance and unfussy”.

For fans of more subtle and skin-complimenting tones, nudes give a clean-cut yet feminine and classy look.

Hands posing showing nude nail polish
Nude nail polish compliments a wide array of outfits and makeup looks.

Here are some hot nude polishes from brands who don’t use nasty chemicals.

Sally Hansen – Colour Therapy Re-nude ($13.99)

Finish: Crème

Using an Argan Oil Formula that promotes nail nourishment and moisture, this nail polish keeps the nails looking faultless for up to a week. 9 in 10 women according to Sally Hansen saw a noticeable improvement in their nail health while using the Colour Therapy range. Get it here

Dazzle Dry – Mind Your Mani ($40.00)

Finish: Crème

Dazzle Dry’s formula is ideal for applying thin layers of nail polish, still giving the nail room to breathe. Created by bio-chemist Dr Vivian Valenty, Dazzle Dry’s lacquers are scientifically created for application on natural nails. Through Valenty’s research and lab-work, she discovered the harmful side of cosmetics, creating her own line of polish that provided a more natural alternative to beauty. Get it here

Essie – Buy Me A Cameo ($14.95)

Finish: Metallic

For a little shimmer, this shade from Essie is vegan and paraben free. Upholding strict testing requirements, all Essie (who is owned by L’Oréal) products go through a rigorous safety evaluation procedure that is backed by scientific research. Its metallic taupe-mocha colour will give a pop of colour to spring outfits, straying from the subtle and nearly unnoticeable traditional nude. Get it here

IANS (I Am Natural Store) – Namaste ($21.25)

Finish: Shimmer

Giving a mocha vibe with a soft glimmer, the shade name and colour suggest a gesture of love and respect, reminding the wearer to take a moment to breathe and “Namaste”. Its formula is chip-resistant, super shiny and long lasting. Get it here

Zoya – Ana ($19.00)

Finish: Satin

This satin nail polish is a mixture of matte and glossy, not requiring a topcoat to finalise the look. Apart from giving the nail a great look and feel, its nutrient-rich formula increases cellular renewal, oxygenation and hydration. Get it here

PRO TIP: Though nude nail polishes are highly forgiving when it comes to self-application, to get a cleanly painted nail, celebrity nail artist Simcha Whitehill recommends only using three simple strokes to apply the polish. Simply “start at the base of your nail, stroke to the left, to the right, and down the centre” she says, letting the rest of the polish spread across the nail on its own.

Phoebe Tran

Phoebe is an early riser who always starts her day with a cup of coffee, waiting for the postman to deliver her latest online purchase. She is very passionate when it comes to shopping, writing and social media. During her spare time she is searching for the latest online trends in beauty and fashion to try, which adds to her online shopping addiction. When not surfing the internet, you will find her head in a novel (either crime, thriller and even classics), or doing puzzles that take hours on end.

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