The Best Pregnancy Safe Nail Polish of 2023

Is ella and mila nail polish safe during pregnancy

Women are often surprised to find their favorite brands may contain harsh and potentially dangerous chemicals like formaldehyde, DBP, and toluene, which have all been linked to reproductive harm.

Even though there’s a low risk of dangerous side effects, it’s always best to err on the side of caution.  Always consult with your obstetrician before starting the use of any product.

We ranked some of the best nail polish brands below. They are free of dangerous chemicals and will leave your nails shiny and healthy. 

Best Pregnancy Safe Nail Polish

ZOYA Nail Polish

The ZOYA Nail Polish is big 10-free and comes in a wide variety of colors. You can wear the colors alone or buy them as part of the ZOYA mini color lock manicure set. This contains everything you need to get up to 14 days of wear out of your nail polish and is pregnancy safe. It’s a great alternative to the salon with similar results. 

One of the things I like about the ZOYA brand is that each bottle of nail polish gives information about the color family, color intensity, and tone. Nail polish doesn’t always look the same on the nails as it does in the bottle, so this makes it easier to determine how sheer or opaque the color is. You’ll also learn more about the texture/finish, which may be holographic, textured, matte, or glossy. 

ZOYA has dozens of colors to choose from, so there are plenty of options for whatever fits your mood. Each color is big-10 free and doesn’t contain the ingredients formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, dibutyl phthalate, TPHP, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, toluene, lead, and parabens. 

This doesn’t have an especially strong odor, but it does have the same odor you would expect from regular nail polish. Fortunately, it offers long-lasting wear so you won’t have to paint your nails as often. 


  • Big 10 free
  • Available in a wide variety of colors
  • Color descriptions make it easy to know what color you are buying
  • Long-lasting wear
  • Smooth application
  • Can last for 14 days when used with the ZOYA manicure kit


  • Same odor as regular nail polish
  • Contains Benzophenone, which can cause allergies/irritation and moderate risk of cancers according to EWG
  • Contains ingredients which are potential irritants/allergens and are linked to potential organ toxicities

ella+mila Nail Care Quick Dry Top Coat

The ella+mila Nail Care, Quick Dry Top Coat – In a Rush (high glossy shine, UV inhibitor which prevents yellowing) is designed to work with up to four coats of enamel nail polish. You paint it over top and it dries in just three minutes.

The formula for this ella + mila nail polish is free of formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, camphor, xylene, and TPHP. It is certified by PETA. 

In addition to being a nontoxic nail polish, this contains UV inhibitors that prevent yellowing. The formula also dries with a glossy shine and resists chipping and peeling. This is great for long-lasting wear, especially so you don’t have to paint your nails as often while you’re pregnant. It has a nice texture and spreads easily over the nail. 

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Something to note is that this nail polish is made to use with enamel nail polish underneath. If you apply it to bare nails, the polish peels away when you shower or wash your hands. 


  • Free of 7 harmful ingredients
  • Certified by PETA 
  • UV inhibitors that prevent yellowing
  • Creates a shiny, glossy topcoat
  • Texture spreads well over the nail
  • Dries in just three minutes


  • Peels when applied directly to bare nails
  • Contains Acrylates, which can cause allergic reactions 
  • Contains N-butyl alcohol, which can be potentially toxic to skin and lungs according to EWG
  • It is rated 3 by EWG (Environmental Work Group)

BONTIME Non-Toxic Nail Polish

The BONTIME Non-Toxic Nail Polish is a 2-in-1 formula that puts the base coat and top coat on your nail when you apply. This set comes with six different shades and there is a set with more gray tones available as well. 

These BONTIME nail polishes are water-based and made using polyurethane resin and mineral pigments. While the colors are a little more muted than pictured, they still offer a solid coating on your nails. They do not contain harsh ingredients like toluene, formaldehyde, DBP, or plasticizers. It is also vegan and cruelty-free.

With the water-based formula, this doesn’t have a strong odor like traditional nail polish. You also won’t need to use nail polish remover to take it off because this peels off. This makes it perfect for expectant mothers who struggle with the odor of most nail polish brands. 

It is also a good quick-drying nail polish for people who like to color coordinate with their outfits. It dries in just 90 seconds. Additionally, it applies evenly so you only need 1-2 coats. Something to note, however, is that the manufacturer recommends you don’t get your nails wet for four hours after applying to avoid chipping for the first few days. 

Since this is designed to peel off, it doesn’t last as long as some other nail polishes. You can still expect it to last 2-4 days. 


  • Comes in several different colors
  • Smooth application
  • Dries in 90 seconds
  • Free of many harsh chemicals
  • No nail polish smell 
  • Peels off so you don’t need to use polish remover
  • Only need 1-2 coats
  • Base color and top coat 2-in-1 formula


  • Only lasts 2-4 days
  • Need to avoid water for 4 hours after application
  • Shades are not as vibrant as the bottle
  • Contains Acrylates, which can cause allergic reactions
  • Contains Phenoxyethanol, which can potentially cause neurologic problems and is an irritant to skin according to EWG

Karma Organic Natural Nontoxic Nail Polish

The Karma Organic Natural Nontoxic Nail polish is 7-free of the chemicals moms should avoid when shopping for nail polish. It is also vegan and cruelty-free, meaning it does not contain any animal ingredients or byproducts. Glass bottles and soy-based ink also show the company’s commitment to more eco-friendly nail polish. 

In addition to the red pictured here, this is available in more than 100 different shades. All these shades are organic, being 100% natural and derived from ingredients found in nature. As an added benefit, this is an American-based company that sources the ingredients and packaging from local farmers and businesses. 

Karma Organic nail polish also nourishes your nails. It has been enriched with vitamins and minerals, including calcium and coffee extract that prevent peeling. This also makes the nail polish chip-resistant so it offers long wear. It does have a slight odor when applied, but it’s not as strong as regular nail polish. 

This nail polish is thick coming out of the bottle. While this is great for coverage, it also makes this nail polish take a little longer to dry. The color when dry also is not the same as you’d imagine from what is pictured in many of the hues. 

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  • Doesn’t have an especially strong chemical smell
  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Seven-free
  • Uses glass bottles and soy-based ink, sustainable
  • Works with American businesses and farmers
  • Enriched with vitamins and minerals that prevent peeling
  • Great coverage


  • Takes a while to dry
  • Color isn’t true to the picture
  • Contains titanium dioxide, which has been linked to cancer according to EWG
  • Contains ferric ammonium ferrocyanide, which may be toxic according to EWG
  • Contains potential irritants

Comparing the Best Pregnancy Safe Nail Polish

The table below compares only the recommended products on this page. A low or high Price means it is low or high compared to the other products listed. The Popularity Score reflects how often readers click on and buy the product. The Quality Score is our assessment of the overall performance and satisfaction with the product compared to others in the table.

Buying Criteria for Pregnancy Safe Nail Polish


When shopping for the best pregnancy-safe nail polish, you’ll want to look for something that is free of dangerous chemicals. Some of the most harmful additives found in nail polish include formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde resin, TPHP, ethyl tosylamide, xylene, parabens, lead and camphor.

Many non-toxic brands are at minimum free of these five. Some may also advertise as being 7-free or 10-free, depending on how many toxic ingredients they have eliminated from a traditional nail polish formula. 


Something else you’ll want to consider is the odor. Even non-toxic nail polish brands may have a smell similar to regular nail polish. If you find the odor too strong, you can try sitting outside or in a well-ventilated room.


You’ll want the nail polish you choose to be easy to apply. The shape of the brush and texture of the nail polish and how easily it spreads usually affects the application. If it is uneven, you’ll likely need to apply extra coats and be around the nail polish smell longer. 

Longevity and Removal

If you don’t want to paint your nails often, you’ll want something with long-lasting wear. Some brands last just a few days, while others may last a week or longer without chipping. Once you’re done with the color, you don’t want it to be too difficult to remove. While some brands require nail polish remover, others might peel off. 

Colors Available

One of the fun things about nail polish is choosing different colors, whether you lean toward favorites or like to match your outfit. We also looked at the variety of colors and textures available. While many nail polishes are offered in matte or shimmery colors, some also have holographic or 3D textures. 

FAQs About Pregnancy Safe Nail Polish

What are the toxic chemicals in nail polish?

Nail polish brands have their own formulas to create different colors and types of nail polish.

The big three chemicals to avoid are formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and toluene. All three of these are a trigger for contact dermatitis and there have even been some links to birth defects when a fetus is exposed to these chemicals. Formaldehyde has also been identified by the National Cancer Institute as a carcinogen that increases the chance of cancer. 

While these are the big three that have been studied, there are several other questionable ingredients found in many nail polish and cosmetics formulations. Some other ingredients you want to avoid include camphor, formaldehyde resin, xylene, triphenyl phosphate, sulfate, parabens, lead, and more. 

Is it safe to wear nail polish if I’m pregnant?

You may be able to paint your nails while pregnant, especially since pregnancy hormones will make them longer and stronger than before.

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Many of the ingredients included in these product are controversial, should not be used during the first trimester of pregnancy, or have limited or no data/research on use during pregnancy.  Some ingredients have been linked to other non-pregnancy related health problems.  Many products have not been evaluated by the FDA.  Always consult with your obstetrician before starting any products while you are pregnant, nursing or planning on becoming pregnant.  Since no studies have been conducted with these products on pregnant women, there is no absolute certainty that these are 100% safe.

Since the FDA does not regulate cosmetic products, the Environmental Work Group (EWG) has created a database of products.  It offers information on the most popular products and ingredients, such as whether the product is an irritant/allergen or linked to organ/reproductive toxicities.  It rates products from 1 to 10, with 1 being the least toxic.  It is best to stick to products that rate EWG verified, 1 or 2.

When you buy nail polish brands, however, you’ll want to avoid those containing the chemicals formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate, camphor, and toluene. Nail polish manufacturers often label nail polishes free of these ingredients “five-free”. Some brands are also “seven-free” or “ten-free”. These may also be free of ingredients including xylene, triphenyl phosphate (TPHP), ethyl tosylamide, tertra-butyl hydroperoxide, lead and parabens. 

You should avoid chemicals like these in your nail polish to be safe. There is no conclusive evidence that indicates these will definitely harm your baby, however, some ingredients are linked to developmental defects, cancer, skin irritation, contact dermatitis, and other conditions. However, the research that has been done reflects exposure to large amounts in an unventilated area.

While it is not conclusive, there is no such thing as being too careful while you are pregnant. This is especially true because non-toxic nail polish is an option and many work as well (or better) as some of the brands you’ve been using your whole life.

It’s worth noting that nail polish remover also has potentially dangerous ingredients. You can find our list of best pregnancy-safe nail polish removers here. 

In addition to buying nail polish free of toxins, be sure to work in a ventilated area. Not only will this reduce exposure to the ingredients, but it will also eliminate some of the smell associated with many kinds of nail polish. The odor of some brands can be overwhelming, especially to a pregnant woman. 

Can I get a gel manicure while pregnant?

Even though manicures and painting your nails is safe during pregnancy, you should avoid gel manicures. They use UV-light to set the nail polish. UV-light is dangerous during pregnancy. You’ll also want to be careful about visiting salons- they have a lot of fumes that can be overwhelming to a pregnant woman. 

Is Ella + Mila nail polish safe during pregnancy? 

The brand ella + mila is seven-free. In addition to being free of formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, dibutyl phthalate, camphor, and toluene, this brand is free of triphenyl phosphate (TPHP) and xylene. It also leaves your nails shiny and healthy.

What does 10-free, 7-free, and 5-free mean?

The “free” means that the polish is free of certain toxins.  The higher the number means the purer the polish.  If it is 10-free, it is free of 10 of the top toxic chemicals found in nail polish, while 5-free is free of 5 of the top toxic chemicals.  So while looking for any number of “free’ products is good, the higher the number, the more pure and healthy the polish will be.