Polish and Pearls

How to Choose Safe Products for Healthy Nails during Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a special time in a woman’s life, and it’s important to prioritize her health and well-being during this period. Many expectant mothers may wonder about the safety of using nail products during pregnancy, as certain chemicals and ingredients commonly found in nail polishes and treatments could potentially pose risks to both the mother and the developing baby.

How to Choose Safe Products for Healthy Nails during Pregnancy

In this article, we will provide you with valuable information and tips to help you make informed choices when it comes to selecting pregnancy-safe nail products. We believe that with the right knowledge, you can enjoy beautiful nails without compromising your health or that of your baby.

Common Chemicals to Avoid

During pregnancy, it’s crucial to be aware of the common chemicals found in nail products that can potentially pose risks to both the mother and the developing baby. By understanding these harmful substances, you can make informed choices and avoid products that contain them. Here are some of the key chemicals to be cautious of when choosing pregnancy-safe nail products:

Harmful Chemicals Found in Nail Products


Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and can be found in some nail hardeners and nail polishes. It is also used as a preservative in cosmetic products. Exposure to formaldehyde during pregnancy can increase the risk of developmental issues and harm the baby’s respiratory system. It is advisable to steer clear of any nail products that contain formaldehyde.


Toluene is a solvent commonly found in nail polishes and nail polish removers. Prolonged exposure to toluene can have adverse effects on fetal development and may lead to developmental delays or birth defects. It is best to choose nail products that are labeled as toluene-free.

Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP)

DBP is used as a plasticizer in nail polishes to increase their flexibility and durability. However, it is a reproductive toxicant that has been linked to hormonal disruptions and developmental issues in babies. When selecting nail products, opt for those that explicitly state they are DBP-free.

Potential Risks and Side Effects during Pregnancy

Allergies and Skin Irritation

Pregnancy hormones can make the skin more sensitive, increasing the likelihood of developing allergic reactions or skin irritation when exposed to certain chemicals in nail products. It’s important to choose pregnancy-safe nail products that minimize the risk of triggering any adverse skin reactions.

Respiratory Issues

Many nail products contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs), such as formaldehyde and toluene, which can release harmful fumes. Inhaling these fumes during pregnancy may lead to respiratory problems for both the mother and the baby. Pregnant women should opt for well-ventilated areas or consider using nail products with lower VOC content.

Hormonal Disruptions

Certain chemicals, such as phthalates, found in nail products can interfere with hormonal balance. Hormonal disruptions during pregnancy can have detrimental effects on the developing baby’s growth and development. It is advisable to choose pregnancy-safe nail products that are free from hormone-disrupting chemicals.

Identifying Pregnancy-Safe Nail Products

When it comes to choosing pregnancy-safe nail products, it’s essential to be able to identify the right options that prioritize the health and well-being of both the expectant mother and the developing baby. By reading labels and understanding certifications, you can make informed choices. Here are some key strategies to help you identify pregnancy-safe nail products:

Reading Labels and Ingredient Lists

Key Ingredients to Look for

When examining the labels of nail products, keep an eye out for ingredients that are known to be safe during pregnancy. Look for products that are formulated without harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, and other potentially toxic substances. Instead, search for labels that indicate the use of natural and pregnancy-safe ingredients.

Red Flags to Avoid

Pay attention to any ingredients that are known to be harmful or have uncertain safety profiles during pregnancy. Common red flags include chemicals like formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, camphor, and parabens. If these substances are listed in the ingredient list, it’s best to avoid those products.

Recognizing Certifications and Safety Labels

Recognized Certifications for Pregnancy-Safe Products

Look for certifications or labels on nail products that indicate they are specifically designed to be safe for pregnancy. Some recognized certifications to watch for include “Pregnancy-Safe,” “Pregnancy-Friendly,” or “Maternity-Safe.” These certifications provide an added level of assurance that the product has undergone testing and meets stringent safety standards for use during pregnancy.

Trustworthy Safety Labels and Symbols

In addition to certifications, certain safety labels and symbols can indicate that a nail product is safe for use during pregnancy. Keep an eye out for labels such as “Toxic-Free,” “Non-Toxic,” or “Safe for Expecting Mothers.” These labels are often used by reputable brands that prioritize the well-being of pregnant women.

Choosing Pregnancy-Friendly Nail Polish

During pregnancy, many expectant mothers still want to enjoy beautifully painted nails. Thankfully, there are several options for pregnancy-friendly nail polish that offer both style and safety. Consider the following options when choosing nail polish during pregnancy:

Water-Based Nail Polishes

Benefits and Features

Water-based nail polishes are an excellent choice for pregnant women as they are typically free from harmful chemicals. They are formulated with water as the main ingredient instead of solvents like acetone or toluene. These polishes are often odorless or have a minimal scent, making them a preferable option for those with heightened sensitivity during pregnancy.

Top Brands and Product Recommendations

Look for reputable brands that offer water-based nail polishes specifically designed for pregnancy-safe use. Some popular options include brands like Piggy Paint, Suncoat, and Honeybee Gardens. These brands offer a wide range of colors and finishes, allowing you to express your personal style without compromising on safety.

5-Free or 7-Free Nail Polishes

Understanding the Free-From Concept

5-Free or 7-Free nail polishes are formulations that exclude specific harmful chemicals from their ingredient lists. The number refers to the number of chemicals the polish is free from, with 5-Free excluding five common toxic substances and 7-Free excluding seven. These polishes are often formulated without harmful chemicals like formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, formaldehyde resin, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, and xylene.

Popular Brands and Varieties

Numerous reputable brands offer 5-Free or 7-Free nail polishes, providing a safer option for pregnant women. Look for brands such as Zoya, ella+mila, and Deborah Lippmann, which offer a wide range of colors and finishes. These polishes deliver the same quality and longevity as traditional formulas, ensuring you can have gorgeous, long-lasting manicures without worrying about the potential risks.

Non-Toxic Nail Care and Maintenance

Maintaining healthy nails during pregnancy goes beyond just choosing safe nail polishes. Non-toxic nail care and maintenance play a significant role in promoting strong and beautiful nails. Consider the following practices and products for maintaining pregnancy-safe nails:

Acetone-Free Nail Polish Removers

Gentle Alternatives for Safe Nail Polish Removal

Traditional nail polish removers often contain harsh chemicals like acetone, which can be drying and damaging to nails. Instead, opt for acetone-free nail polish removers that are formulated with gentler ingredients. These removers effectively remove nail polish without stripping the nails of moisture, helping to keep them healthy and strong.

DIY Natural Nail Polish Remover Recipes

If you prefer a natural approach, you can even make your own nail polish remover at home using ingredients like lemon juice, vinegar, or rubbing alcohol mixed with water. These DIY options are often gentler on the nails and minimize exposure to chemicals, providing a pregnancy-friendly alternative for nail polish removal.

Nail Strengtheners and Cuticle Oils

Essential Ingredients for Nail Strength and Health

Invest in nail strengtheners and cuticle oils that are formulated with natural and nourishing ingredients. Look for products that contain vitamins, minerals, and essential oils such as vitamin E, biotin, jojoba oil, or almond oil. These ingredients help to strengthen the nails, promote healthy growth, and maintain moisturized cuticles.

Product Recommendations for Safe Nail Care

Explore brands that offer non-toxic nail strengtheners and cuticle oils designed for pregnancy-safe use. Some reputable options include Côte Nail Care, Karma Organic Spa, and Deborah Lippmann’s line of nail care products. These products are formulated to support nail health without compromising safety.


Taking care of your nails during pregnancy doesn’t have to be a challenge, thanks to the wide variety of pregnancy-safe nail products available on the market. By understanding which chemicals and ingredients to avoid, reading product labels, and seeking out reputable brands, you can confidently maintain beautiful and healthy nails throughout your pregnancy journey.