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Best (Safe, Natural) Nail Polish For Kids

Looking for safe nail polish for your little girls, tweens, and even teens?

Smart of you.

Best Safe, Natural Nail Polish For Kids

There are some pretty toxic ingredients in conventional nail polish, and it’s actually pretty hard to find brands that are truly making an effort to be safer for your family.

I’ve already shared our review results of about 20 “non-toxic” nail polish options after a group of women and girls spent a few weeks testing nail polishes for durability, application, scent and more. You can read the review online at that link, and we have the results in a Google spreadsheet as well and can email that to you for reference:

Send Me Access to the Spreadsheet

The results were interesting!

It scares me, however, knowing that just as little girls’ clothing has started to look just like adult clothing, it’s seen as totally acceptable for kids, tweens, and teens to wear adult nail polish, without one thought for safety (by most — you’re smarter than most, which is why you’re here!).

Can’t see the video? Watch my Non-Toxic Nail Polish for Kids Review on YouTube.

Non-Toxic Nail Polish that’s Great for Kids

As I mentioned in my non-toxic nail polish review, the water-based formulas are by far the safest, but Prim & Pure is the only one that has a chance of being tolerated for an adult.

For kids I would definitely also use Prim & Pure, but colors are pretty limited with that brand, so let’s dive into other water-based nail colors that are great for little girls.

Prim & Pure is a “peel off” nail polish, removed by peeling off, which ironically removes another source of potential toxins, the nail polish remover itself. Suncoat Girl is also a really fun “peel-off” option with a bunch of color in tiny, child-friendly bottles. The box even comes with stickers!

Suncoat Girl is definitely just for kids as it’s almost too easy to peel off and sometimes only lasts a day, especially if you have daughters who are “pickers.”

We tested these nail colors extensively and took a ton of notes; I know our reviews will help you decide on the perfect stocking stuffer, Easter basket addition, party favor, or girls’ night gift!

Quick links to purchase:

Real Reviews of Natural, Safe Nail Polish for Little Girls

Prim and Pure
Overall
5
  • Ease of Application
  • Staying Power
  • Product Smell
  • Ingredient Safety

Details:

Prim & Pure is on my left hand in the picture above.

5-Free and beyond

Shop: Online pricing ranges from $8.50 for 1 or up to $25 for a 3-pack. Check for details on Amazon or the company’s website.
Prim and Pure Nail Polish Review

Ingredients: 

Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Water, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Juice, Beta Vulgaris (Beet) Root Powder, Daucus Carota Sativa (Carrot) Root Powder, Sucrose, Spinacia Oleracea (Spinach) Leaf Powder, Ribes Nigrum (Black Currant) Fruit Powder, Maldighia Glabra (Acerola Cherry) Fruit Powder, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, (May Contain +/-: Mica, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxide, Manganese Violet, Ultramarine Blue, Chromium Oxide Green)

EWG Rating: N/A

From the company:

  • Our polish is designed to wash and peel off without the need for nail polish removers that are often filled with harmful chemicals or drying to the nails.The polishes are formulated in a fruit and vegetable base and are quick to dry, odorless, and last until you decide to wash it off!
  • Safe and Effective Peel Off Polish ~ Odorless, Made in the USA, Cruelty Free, Vegan, Gluten Free, Non-Toxic, No Nanoparticles

Other notes:

  • Ingredients on Amazon in response to customer question, also very evident on homepage of website.
  • Also has kids’ polish – I found one labeled for kids and one not, so think they market to both.

Smell: If there’s any scent, it’s incredibly light!

Application: It’s very smooth and entirely opaque and unexpectedly shimmery. It’s not shiny like glass, but shimmery like a matte metal. It’s very pretty in its unique way! Prim & Pure is very easy to apply without streaks and doesn’t need a second coat if you don’t want to bother.

Long-lasting: It’s all in your own self-discipline! If you pick and peel, it will be gone in 2 days. If you can leave your nails alone, there are hardly any chips after 3 days. My neighbor said with a surprised tone, “I would buy this! I use a lot of nail polish and this is one of the best I’ve ever seen.”

Katie’s Notes: This is one of the most interesting and surprising nail polishes of the field. Some sniffers, myself included, said Prim & Pure had literally no smell at all. And it continued to impress!

Pros

  • Easy application
  • Only one coat needed
  • Long-lasting
  • NO SMELL!!!

Cons

  • Will come off if you pick at it.


Honeybee Gardens
Overall
3.8
  • Ease of Application
  • Staying Power
  • Product Smell
  • Ingredient Safety

Details:


Honeybee Gardens is the pinkish purple color in the photo above.

5-Free: contains NO FD&C colors, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, xylene, or formaldehyde.
Honeybee Gardens Nail Polish Review

Shop Average online is $12-18 but you might find some colors under $10. Worth price checking Amazon and the brand site.

Ingredients (from Amazon):

Water, water-miscible acrylic, polyurethane formers and thickeners, non-ionic soaps. May contain: ultramarine blue, carmine, mica, iron oxides, and/or titanium dioxide.

EWG Rating: 2 on “WaterColors Vintage Merlot” Data limited

From the company:

  • Our unique water-based polish is free from harsh chemical odors
  • No more nasty fumes!
  • No need for toxic smelly nail polish remover – this product removes with rubbing alcohol, vodka/grain alcohol or our Nail Polish Remover!
  • Contains NO: FD&C colors, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, xylene, or formaldehyde.

Other notes: Manufacturer recommends removing within a week because it gets harder to take off the longer you wear it

Smell: Although it received many 2s, I thought Honeybee Gardens had literally no smell at all.

Application: This nail polish has a very nice consistency and goes on beautifully smooth! It doesn’t need a second coat as far as opaque goes; in fact, it doesn’t even visually change anything if you add one. However, for longevity’s sake, a second coat is recommended.

Long-lasting: With one coat, Honeybee is about half gone on each nail after just 2 days. With two coats, it’s much better, still chipping at the tip. After 3 days, the entire tip of the fingernail was empty of color, but I am wondering if a top coat would help this brand a lot for adults. I still wear it, but only if I have an event on day one. ?

Katie’s Notes: This is another brand that I’d call great for little girls and slightly disappointing (although tolerable, I think) for adults.

Pros

  • Smooth application
  • Only needs one coat
  • Don’t need nail polish remover
  • Little to no scent

Cons

  • Chips and wears off easily


Suncoat Girl
Overall
4.5
  • Ease of Application
  • Staying Power
  • Product Smell
  • Ingredient Safety

Details:

Suncoat Girls Nail Polish Testing

Shop: I recommend checking for the multi-pack, which makes this one of the most inexpensive brands out there (possibly less than $1.50/color)! The bottles ARE tiny, but fun. Try Amazon.

Ingredients (from company website):
Suncoat Girls Nail Polish Review

Aqua (water), polyurethane, acrylate polymer. May contain: mica, iron oxides, titanium dioxide, ferric ferrocyanide, carmine, chromium oxide green, ultramarines, polyethylene terephthalate (plastic glitter).

EWG Rating: 1, Data fair

From the company:

  • SuncoatGirl water-based nail polishes are uniquely formulated by our chemists without using any of the following chemicals: Phthalate plasticizers, Toluene, Formaldehyde, Acetates, Alcohol, Glycol ethers, FD&C dyes.
  • SuncoatGirl nail polishes are not tested on animals.
  • Virtually odor-free. Releases water vapor when applied, not toxic chemical fumes. These water-based children’s nail polishes are truly the most natural nail polishes in the market place.
  • Created by a chemist and a mom of two girls, Suncoatgirl natural nail polish is water-based, odourless, 100% VOC free (chemical solvent free) and peels off when ready. No remover is needed.
  • Suncoatgirl nail polish complies with Health Canada, US FDA cosmetics regulations and European Cosmetics legislation (REGULATION (EC) 1223/2009 RELATING TO COSMETIC PRODUCTS).
  • Suncoatgirl conforms to ASTM D4236: Extra step has also been taken to ensure product safety for children: Suncoatgirl natural nail polish colors have been evaluated by board-certified toxicologist (Diplomat, American Board of Toxicology), at a US FDA recommended consumer product safety lab.
  • The result: Suncoatgirl nail polish conforms to the health requirements of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard D4236 and meet the criteria defined in the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) Regulations 16 CFR 1500.14 (described in the Federal Register Announcement 57:197 pp. 46626-46674, dated Friday, October 9, 1992).

Smell: A very nice aroma, such a nice surprise to open the bottles.

Application: This will never win any prizes for vibrancy, but for little girls who love pastels, it’s great. On the first application, Leah said, “It was like I didn’t even put anything on!” Remember that some of the colors are a clear polish with glitter, while others are pastels. Suncoat Girl goes on plenty smoothly and looks good with 2 coats, just on the thin side.

Long-lasting: With as thin as Suncoat Girl presented itself, we were all very impressed by how well it stayed on. It is “peel-off” so it can come off easily and quickly, but if you can resist the urge to pick, you’ll only have a bit of chipping after 3 days and passable at a week.

Katie’s Notes: Same company as Suncoat – this is their children’s line – interesting to note that it has fewer ingredients than the adult line.

This set of tiny nail polishes is our number one pick for little girls. Not only do you get a bunch of colors and glitters for a very reasonable price, but there’s hardly any scent and an impressive staying power. Plus, nail stickers as a bonus!

 

Pros

  • Low price point
  • Little to no scent
  • Stays on well

Cons

  • Thin paint needs multiple coats
  • Only pastel colors


Piggy Paint
Overall
3.5
  • Ease of Application
  • Staying Power
  • Product Smell
  • Ingredient Safety

Details:

5-Free or 7-Free depending on the color

Shop: Typically found online in the $5-10 range. Price check at Amazon or Thrive Market.

Ingredients: 

Water, acrylates copolymer, neem oil. May contain the following colorants (depending on shade):  Red 34 Lake, ultramarines, iron oxide, titanium dioxide, mica, red 28, yellow 10, violet 2, zinc sulfide/copper, copper flake, orange 5, and red 22. View the MSDS.

EWG Rating: 1-2 depending on colorpiggy paint nail polish

From the company:

  • NON-TOXIC WATER-BASED FORMULA – 100% Chemical Free & eco-friendly. 5 Free, 7 Free, Vegan & animal cruelty free, All Free. NO Formaldehyde, NO Toluene, NO DiButyl Phthalate (DBP), NO Formaldehyde resin, NO Bisphenol A, NO ethyl acetate and acetone or Camphor.
  • ODORLESS – Natural ingredients make Piggy Paint nail polish virtually odorless compared to solvent-based alternatives.
  • KID-FRIENDLY, SAFE FOR PREGNANCY – Made in the USA, you can rest assured that all of the natural ingredients are safe for pregnant & nursing moms, for use on babies, toddlers and young children.
  • This water-based, hypoallergenic formula makes it safe to use on all piggies!
  • From God’s natural ingredients, dries to a hard, durable finish that can easily be removed with our planet-friendly, low odor Piggy Paint nail polish remover.

From the public: Doesn’t smell strong like “regular” polish, comes off quickly – lasts days at most on kids

Other Comments: This blog said they got a different ingredient list when they called (2004)

  • She says the colors are not “natural” – can any be? Nope. She has found zero as of 2014. So it’s impossible to be perfect – but what’s the next best thing? (and then the next to next best thing?) That’s my job for you and your daughters today!
  • I don’t love that the colors are made of petroleum, which is the same as food dyes.
  • It’s something that if my kid was sensitive to food dyes, I’d be wary 100% .
  • Ingredients listed on website, not on Amazon.

Smell: Testers said Piggy Paints had a “slight smell” or a “subtle scent” which is why it could not get a “1” rating. But it’s not an offensive smell.

Application: Piggy Paints are nicely opaque after 2 coats but wouldn’t pass muster with one coat.

Long-lasting: With 2 coats, Piggy Paint stayed on quite well after 3 days and wasn’t too bad after 5 days, but nothing an adult would really want to tolerate in my opinion.

Katie’s Notes: My prior experience with natural, safer nail polish was almost exclusively Piggy Paint, so I was expecting it to be one of the best (and have the least scent), so its performance overall was a surprise. The good news is that Piggy Paints are good, safe nail polishes for kids, and the great news is that there are even better ones that don’t market as well (so you might not have heard of them!).

Pros

  • Low if any scent
  • Pretty safe ingredients

Cons

  • Dyes made with petroleum
  • Not long-lasting


Emosa Water-Based Nail Polish
Overall
2.5
  • Ease of Application
  • Staying Power
  • Product Smell
  • Ingredient Safety

Details:

Emosa Water-Based Nail Polish Review

No formaldehyde, toluene or DBP chemicals

Shop: Zebbacare or Amazon – it’s a multi-pack in the low teens, 6 peel-off colors and top coat

Ingredients:

water, styrene/acrylates, Copolymer/polyurethane, propylene Glycol, phenoxyethanol, polyethylene, nylon-6, octane-1, 2-diol

EWG Rating: N/A

From the company:

  • 100% Non-Toxic – These nail polish kit are water-based, Natural ingredients, No formaldehyde, toluene and DBP chemicals, Odorless. It is environmental protection, Best choice for your kids.
  • Easy to Remove – Soak nail in warm water 1-2 minutes, Peel off the nail polish from one corner. No need for any nail polish remover.

From the public: Very positive reviews, designed to come off in a day or two for little kids

Smell: The scent of Emosa is unlike any other polish. It’s very light but not jolting; my daughter describes it as “fishy!”

Application: This brand definitely needs 2 coats, and even with 2, you can still sort of see the nails through. The girls thought the bright colors were the bomb, which is the only reason I recommend Emosa. It dries so quickly it’s hard to spread evenly and just can’t quite get smooth. 

Long-lasting: Marketed as “peel-off,” this brand has very accurate marketing. Unfortunately, almost as soon as Emosa polish dries, it looks “peely.” I found the edges very unattractive and un-classy.

Katie’s Notes: People were very split on the scent of this one, and I’d say it’s “fun” for little girls, but a waste of money for any real purpose.

Pros

  • no remover necessary
  • light smell
  • fun, bright colors

Cons

  • lasts only a short time
  • not attractive on hands
  • needs 2-3 coats


Bottom Line: Should Little Girls Paint Their Nails?

This is a question each family should answer based on their ethics about beauty for children, but I think most Americans seem 100% on board with it being ok for little girls to paint their nails.

If that’s true, let’s at least get safer polish on their tiny bodies!

NO adult nail polish should be used on or around children, in my opinion. It’s just too toxic.

But I’m pretty happy with some of these options and so glad we reviewed them so thoroughly because we have new favs for our family too! Piggy Paint isn’t the only natural option anymore. 🙂

How about you? Do you allow your kids to paint their nails?
The Best Non-Toxic Nail Polishes For Kids

I’m well known for honest, thorough product reviews…

reviewed and recommended
 

…and you can always tell a real family has run these products through the gauntlet.

When I review a type of item, I try to review a LOT of different brands! From over a dozen reusable sandwich bags to over 120 natural mineral sunscreens, I’m your girl for straight-up info about natural, real foodie items you’re considering buying.

Click here to see more product reviews and you’ll also love my resources page, with REAL products that have passed my rigorous testing enough to be “regulars” in the Kimball household, plus some other comprehensive reviews. Updated at least once a year to boot the losers and add new gems!

5 thoughts on “Best (Safe, Natural) Nail Polish For Kids”

  1. Hi, Katie!!!
    I read your very informative article on nail polish and supposed “safe, non-toxic” nail polish and it made my jaw drop. I happen to have an appointment with an Endocrinologist for an unrelated matter, however, I plan on bringing in a bottle of polish so I can ask if it could be responsible for how I’ve been feeling lately.
    I happen to stumble upon your article as I was doing research if a 100% safe nail polish could be made at home. I’ve been brainstorming these past few weeks of a potential business I could start from home and nail polish was on my mind. I’d love to be able to get a safe nail polish along with safe soap, safe lip balm, safe lipstick, safe cuticle cream, safe lotion, and safe candles into hospital gift shops. I live in Massachusetts, 20 minutes away from world renowned Dana-Farber in Boston. It would be wonderful if I could make these items especially after loosing my 37 year young cousin to breast cancer and having another cousin, my age-54, newly diagnosed with AML, a very aggressive, non-curable but treatable form of Leukemia. I know that the word “safe” was repeatedly used but that’s the name of the game! God bless you and all of your hard work that you put into watching out for us all. Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Best,
    Rita S.

  2. I don’t let my girls paint their nails until they start their period. Then as a reward/treat/part of growing up I let them start painting them. I’d only heard of Piggy Paint so that’s what they use. I think girls should be girls. They have most of their lives to paint nails, etc. Let them be girls for as long as possible.

  3. I let my littles paint their toenails, but not fingernails. Reason? I think little girls should do little girl stuff, they are not mini adults.

    Thanks so much for the reviews!

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