Tag: non-toxic

Best Non-Toxic Nail Polish Guide

This post contains affiliate links. You can read about my disclosure policy here.

Best Non-Toxic Nail Polish Guide

I start researching non-toxic products when they become relevant in my life. Truthfully, before I had children, I never once thought – oh, this nail polish smells terrible, maybe it’s off-gassing VOCs and has other toxic chemicals that I shouldn’t inhale or have near my body. I just, you know, thought that’s how nail polishes are supposed to smell and it’s the price I had to pay for wanting painted nails.

How things change after we have kids…

Anyway, I am very minimalist when it comes to makeup and the last time I got a manicure was before either of my kids were born. So let’s just say I was more than a little surprised when Max came home from school telling me he wanted to wear nail polish. But here we are and, after extensive research, it’s time for me to share what I’ve learned about non-toxic nail polish.

Serious health issues related to exposure to nail polish have come into sharp focus recently. Multiple studies have found that nail salon workers may be more susceptible to respiratory ailments, reproductive health issues, and cancer. And, even if you are not a manicurist, working with nail polish fumes on a daily basis, there is still cause for concern because another study has found that nail polish chemicals can leach into the body.

In this post, I have compiled a list of some of the safest and most non-toxic nail polish brands that I could find. In the writing of this post, I consulted with Debra Lynn Dadd, who I consider to be one of the leading non-toxic bloggers in the community and an actual authority on the matter. While she found my analysis of the nail polishes and its ingredients to be sound, she felt that extra emphasis must be placed on the fact that no nail polish is truly non-toxic.

We are actually in complete agreement on this issue. But we do not live in a bubble and it is impossible to live a completely non-toxic life unless you do, in fact, live in one.

I am a mommy blogger so, of course, this guide was created with children in mind. However, it is certainly worth highlighting that children are far more vulnerable to toxics than adults. Handle your children’s exposure to even “non-toxic nail polish” as you would to other toxics, i.e., avoid altogether or with careful consideration.

Nowadays, you will hear about a nail polish being marketed as 5-Free, 7-Free, 9-Free, etc. What that means is that it does not contain many of the ingredients that I will list below.

Editor’s Note: The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is my favorite resource to use when researching cosmetic ingredients. I have included the score for nail polish ingredients from EWG with a score of 10 considered to be the most toxic. I have also attempted to list the ingredients in an order such that if a nail polish says 3-Free, for instance, it does not contain the first three listed chemicals (a.k.a. toxic trio).

Top Nail Polish Chemicals to Avoid:

1. Formaldehyde [EWG Score=10] – a known human carcinogen. Its vapors can be irritating and trigger asthma.

2. Toluene [EWG Score=10]  a volatile petrochemical solvent and paint thinner. Toluene is a potent neurotoxicant that acts as an irritant, impairs breathing, and causes nausea. A woman’s exposure to toluene vapors during pregnancy may cause developmental damage in the fetus. In human epidemiological studies and in animal studies, toluene has been also associated with toxicity to the immune system and a possible link to blood cancer such as malignant lymphoma.

3. Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) [EWG Score=10] – a reproductive and developmental toxicant. The European Union banned the use of this ingredient in cosmetics and personal care products. In animal studies, exposure to DBP during gestation causes infertility, cryptorchidism and problems in sperm development, adverse effects similar to human testicular dysgenesis syndrome. Prenatal exposure to DBP has been associated with anatomical changes in the reproductive system development in baby boys. In adult men, DBP has been correlated with changes in serum hormone levels, lower sperm concentration and motility, and decreased fertility.

4. Formaldehyde resin [EWG Score=4] – a derivative of formaldehyde. Although it is not nearly as toxic as formaldehyde it can be an allergen.

5. Camphor[EWG Score=2] – a poison that can cause seizures and disorientation if used in large doses. This chemical acts as a cover on your nails, depriving them of nutrients and causing yellow staining on your nails. (Yes, I know it has a low EWG score but it is considered one of the ingredients to avoid in nail polish.)

6. Ethyl Tosylamide[EWG Score=3] – a sulfur-based antibiotic. It has been banned in Europe or use in cosmetics since it can cause mild to severe allergic reactions. It is also known to be an endocrine disrupter.

7. Xylene [EWG Score=8] – an irritant to the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract. Xylene can cause systemic toxicity by ingestion or inhalation. The most common route of exposure is via inhalation. Symptoms of xylene poisoning include central nervous system effects (headache, dizziness, ataxia, drowsiness, excitement, tremor, and coma), ventricular arrythmias, acute pulmonary edema, respiratory depression, nausea, vomiting, and reversible hepatic impairment.

8. Triphenyl Phosphate (TPHP) [EWG Score=5] – a chemical used in plastics to improve flexibility and as a flame retardant. A handful of animal studies and in vitro studies have suggested that it could be an endocrine disrupter which could potentially affect reproductive health and lipid metabolism.

9. Parabens [EWG Score=1-8] a preservative. Parabens mimic estrogen and can act as potential hormone (endocrine) system disruptors, an effect that is linked to increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive toxicity.

10. Acetone [EWG Score=3] – a neurotoxin that can get stored in the fatty tissue in human body.


Best Non-Toxic Household Cleaning Products: ATTITUDE Living Review

Ok, I have a confession to make. Prior to discovering ATTITUDE Living, I purchased all of the toxic big name cleaning products, e.g., Palmolive, Windex, Lysol, Swiffer Wet, etc, without a second thought.

While I try my best to be conscious of toxins in my family’s life – y’all know I’ve written a lot about non-toxic baby products on my blog – one area that I was sorely lagging in, and overlooked for far too long, was the household cleaning products that our family used.

Reflecting back, I instinctively knew these products were toxic: I would always air out the room for several hours after cleaning and I wouldn’t let the kids (or dog) near an area I had just cleaned. It makes even more sense now after a recently published study found that cleaning your house may be as bad as smoking 20 cigarettes a day!!

Well, rewind to a few months ago when it was time for us to move to the house we are living in now. I suddenly felt motivated to properly research non-toxic household cleaning products. (Truth be told, I didn’t want to pack the toxic cleaning products we had accumulated over the years – a large jug of Pinesol and tubs of Lysol Disinfecting Wipes come to mind.)

I immediately checked my favorite resource for researching non-toxic products – Environmental Working Group. [See here for their guide on healthy cleaning.]

The problem was that while I found many highly-rated non-toxic products in different cleaning categories, it was exceedingly difficult to find one brand that sold A-rated products across all of the categories. (For instance, a company’s dishwashing soap will have an A rating but their all-purpose cleaner has a C rating – I’m looking at you Honest Company.)

I like to keep my life simple. I was determined to find one company that I could trust, no matter what product I bought from them.

That’s what brought me to my obsession with ATTITUDE Living household cleaning products (among other non-toxic and natural products that they sell). Every single cleaning product sold by ATTITUDE Living has the highest possible rating.


Comfort Design Play Mat Review

This is a sponsored post. Nonetheless, this post is 100% my honest opinion. You can read about my disclosure policy hereAs a result of my research and the popularity of my non-toxic play mat guide, I’ve inadvertently become a non-toxic play mat “expert.”

Which is only to say that I’ve had the privilege of being able to test and compare many different play mats. I always enjoy sharing when I’ve found a new play mat that makes my guide because the more options you have, the more likely you will find the best fit for your family.

Enter Linda from Comfort Design Mat. She offered to send me a play mat for testing and after asking some preliminary questions, I gladly accepted.

At a minimum, I need to know that the play mat has been tested for and/or is free of flame-retardants, formamide, formaldehyde, VOCs and azo dyes.


The Ultimate Guide to the Best Non-Toxic Toys

This post contains affiliate links. You can read about my disclosure policy here.

Over the years, I have done a lot of research into the best non-toxic toy companies for babies and toddlers. I have also had the opportunity to accumulate toys from most of the brands featured.

Several factors that I use to evaluate safe non-toxic toy brands include, among other things, whether the toy company is reputable, has a proven safety track record, uses non-toxic finishes and materials, or is based in the USA. (Note that I did not disqualify a company solely because their toys might be produced in another country.)

I have broken down my list into companies that focus primarily on wooden toys versus other safe materials.

Non-toxic wooden toy brands:
Other non-toxic toy brands:


Best Non-Toxic Crayons for Toddler Guide [UPDATED 2020]

Veggie Baby Crayonsbest-non-toxic-crayons-for-toddler-guide
I recently started researching non-toxic crayons because Max, the toddler, loves to draw with crayons and Alexa, the baby, loves to put said crayons in her mouth.

Let’s just say I was more than appalled to learn that crayons have been a source of lead (1994), mercury (2013, Philippines), and asbestos (2000 and as recently as 2015)!

Most commercial crayons (e.g. Crayola) are made mainly from paraffin wax, which is derived from petroleum byproducts. It starts as a grayish-black sludge that is left over after the petroleum refining process, once all of the other petroleum-based products (gas, pavement, oil) have been extracted. It is then bleached and processed, both steps that require the use of toxic chemicals. Paraffin is generally considered to be non-toxic but the process of making it certainly is not!

With that being said, these are the three main waxes from natural and renewable resources that can be used to make crayons:

Beeswax – made from the honeycomb. It can be a little sticky but pure beeswax crayons smell delicious!

Soy wax – made from soybeans. Soy wax is the softest of the three waxes and may be less durable. It is also worth noting that soybean wax is likely non-GMO and may contain pesticide residue.

Carnauba wax – made from the leaves of a Brazilian palm tree. It is the hardest of the three waxes so it may be more brittle and prone to breakage.

Keep in mind that the main drawback to these natural waxes is that they will not perform as well as paraffin wax. You’re not going to be an art major drawing with these crayons. But, for babies and toddlers, they are the safest options.

List of Best Non-Toxic Crayons: