Beware of Endocrine Disruptor TPHP In Nail Polish

February 25, 2016By 6 Comments

TPHP In Nail Polish

As you guys probably know by now, I paint my nails weekly for VBR’s Manicure Monday feature. Needless to say, my nails have been around the block a few times and have adorned pretty much every vegan nail polish you can imagine. As I’m trying to shift VBR and my lifestyle in general to a more natural one (pink hair excluded; I’m gonna be a fuchsia-haired granny, mark my words… btw, will someone pleeeeeease make a natural pink dye for me??), I’ve become hyper aware of toxic ingredients in my beauty products.

It’s not news that many nail polishes contain potentially toxic chemicals, but a recent study conducted by researchers at Duke University and the Environmental Working Group (EWG) finds that one chemical in particular could be lingering in our bodies—yes, our bodies can absorb chemicals through nail polish! Scary, right?

The ingredient the study focused on was Triphenyl phosphate (TPHP), a plasticizer, and suspected endocrine disruptor, which makes nail polish flexible yet durable. Aiight, let’s find out who the offenders are…

TPHP nail polish

Photo courtesy of EWG. *Butter London informed EWG that it had recently removed TPHP from its products.

Nail polish brands that currently contain TPHP:

  • Beauty Without Cruelty
  • Essie
  • Maybelline
  • Milani
  • OPI
  • Orly
  • Revlon
  • Sally Hansen
  • theBalm
  • Wet n Wild

Recommended TPHP-free nail polish brands:

  • 100% Pure
  • AILA
  • Ella + Mila
  • Joshik
  • Lauren B. Beauty
  • Pacifica
  • Trust Fund Beauty
  • Zoya

Non-toxic Water-based Nail Polish

Note: Water-based nail polish brands tend to avoid FD& C synthetic dyes, so check to find out which shades are vegan before ordering; some (especially red hues) may contain carmine (crushed beetles). 

In general, when shopping for nail polishes, keep an eye out for toxic ingredients such as: triphenyl phosphate (TPHP), formaldehyde, toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), camphor, formaldehyde resin, xylene, parabens, fragrances, phthalates, and animal ingredients.

Which non-toxic nail polishes are your faves?

About Sunny ()

Longtime vegan, hardcore compassionate beauty junkie, serious cake aficionado, and lover of all things floofy and sparkly! If there's something in particular you'd like me to review, drop me a line at You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Google +.

Filed in: vegan nails

Comments (6)

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  1. I am totally loving that Jamberry Nails is 8-free, vegan, latex-free, gluten-free and not tested on animals 🙂 Thank you for show casing how awful these toxic ingredients are!

  2. Summer says:

    I’ve always really loved Wet n Wild nail polish because of the affordable prices but I never knew this chemical was in them and that it can go into your body just by being on your nails! Thanks for posting this and bringing awareness to TPHP! Now gotta find another brand, while looking may just invest in some none toxic water based polish for my future nail polish purchases!

  3. jesse.anne.o says:

    Floss Gloss looks to be safe as well, thankfully. That’s my favorite polish.

  4. secstraus says:

    I checked a couple different shades, and it looks like Mineral Fusion is a safe bet too.

  5. Lauren says:

    The fact that 100 pure is 10-free is so great!

    I would love to see a video reviewing your favorite water-based polish. How long go they last? Does top coat really work in keeping the polish on?

  6. Vivi says:

    I really want to try passing to more natural options, mostly because my eyes are very sensitive and don’t react well to many cosmetics. Problem is most times I find that organic products are either too expensive for me or don’t ship to Italy so it’s kind of difficult…

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