The first nail-focused beauty blog

The Big 3 (toxic chemicals that is)

By on May 11, 2007
in Big 3 Free

Ok so there has been a lot of talk about toxic chemicals in nail polish. Established brands have changed their formulas to be free of these chemicals which raises a lot of questions. What are they? What do they do? Why are they so bad? Are polishes just as good without them? Who makes polishes free of the Big 3? I’m going to try and answer those questions here.

What are the Big 3 toxic chemicals?
The chemicals we’re talking about are Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP), Formaldehyde and Toluene.

What do they do?
Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP) is a plasticiser to prevent chips and cracks. DBP is an oily liquid that is soluble in fat and slightly soluble in water. It is not very volatile so it does not evaporate readily into the atmosphere.

Over 75% of DBP is used as a plasticiser in polymers such as PVC, 14% is used in adhesives, 7% in printing inks and 3% in other miscellaneous uses, including sealants and grouting agents used in construction as well as consumer products such as cosmetics.

Formaldehyde does not exist in nail polish. It is used in some nail hardeners but not in the actual polish. A resin,tosylamide/formaldehyde resin, makes the polish tough and resilient. While the resin is manufactured from formaldehyde, once the product becomes a resin, the formaldehyde is chemically changed and essentially no longer present. So while formaldehyde is grouped in with toluene and DBP in marketing statements and considered one of the Big 3, it isn’t actually an issue unless you have a reaction to the formaldehyde resin.

The bottom line, you should be aware of formaldehyde in your treatment products, not polish.

Toluene (methylbenzene, toluol, phenylmethane) is a solvent that makes the polish easy to apply. It is an aromatic hydrocarbon commonly used as an industrial solvent for the manufacturing of paints, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and rubber.

Toluene is found in gasoline, acrylic paints, varnishes, lacquers, paint thinners, adhesives, glues, rubber cement, airplane glue, and shoe polish. At room temperature, toluene is a colorless, sweet smelling, volatile liquid.

Why are they bad?
I’m not convinced that they are bad. I really think this is something each person should decide for themselves. There are risks and effects caused by exposure to each of these chemicals. But, whether or not limited exposure to polish will actually result in those effects is yet to be determined. I don’t feel it is my place to make that call so I choose to present you with the info I’ve found so you can make up your own mind.

US FDA Office of Cosmetics and Color’s report on Using Nail Products
Professional Beauty Association’s Facts About Salon Nail Polish Products for Consumers
Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
Environmental Working Group’s report The Dangers Of Phthalates Industry Spin vs. Fact
California Proposition 65

Are Polishes Just As Good Without Them?
The not so fun answer is, it depends. While some brands have been Big 3 free for years and have top notch formulas, some of the brands jumping on the band wagon don’t have it quite right yet. The best thing I can tell you is to experiment. I’ve noticed that with OPI’s newest collection, Night Brights, it’s hit or miss.

Who makes polishes free of the Big 3?
Avon, Butter London, Dashing Diva “Extra Virgin”, HoneyBee Gardens, Lippmann Collection (newer collections), NailTini, NARS (new formula), Nocti, Nubar, OPI (Australia collection & newer), Revlon, Sally Hansen, Vinyl Deborah Lippmann, Zoya

DBP free but still contain toluene: Creative Nail Design, Misa, Orly

UPDATE: Please check out this post for a more current list of Big 3 Free polish brands – Celebrate Earth Day – Check Your Ingredients

Are there brands I left out? Please email me or post a comment, I want to keep this listing as accurate as possible. Thank you!

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I’m glad to hear that Sally Hansen polishes are “Big 3″ free. I just tried their No Chip 10 Day polish, and I love it–it’s super-smooth to apply and dries streak-free. And it does last an awfully long time, though not quite 10 days–but that’s okay since I always want to change my polish before then anyway!

    • silvermist says:

      Not true many sally hansen products contain the big 3 specially there cheaper ones

  2. Jeda21 says:

    Thank you for this enlightening coverage of the companies who are proactively trying to keep their customers safer.
    I’d rather use something that doesn’t have petrochemicals or potentially harmful irritants, than something that does. You never know what the long term effects of exposure can be, or if any genetic mutations, or excessive built up inflamation is being caused — they don’t necessarily do much research on the effects of all the abuses we put our body through on a daily basis.
    By the way I’m so hooked on your blog, you’re so fun to read, and provide the best and most updated info on nail care trends and colors. I’ve searched high and low and finally find your blog for all the info I was looking for on nails and trends. Thank you!!
    Keep up the awesome job!

  3. Jessica says:

    L’Oreal (“Pro Manicure” line – not sure about others) is free of all three. I’d love to know if Rimmel polishes are free of these chemicals, too!

  4. Jessica says:

    Rimmel polishes are also free of all the nasties. I emailed Coty (Rimmel’s parent brand) to find out. Here’s the response I got:

    “All RIMMEL® nail enamels are free of dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, formaldehyde, and formaldehyde resin, with the exception of RIMMEL® Nail Rescue, which contains trace amounts of formaldehyde and formaldehyde resin.”


  5. Jen says:

    Glad to see a fellow beauty blogger informing everyone about DBP, Formaldehyde and Toluene in nailpolish. Great to read the info on which brands are free of these chemicals! Comes in handy, especially for the pregnant crowd. LOVE your blog, BTW!

  6. Anonymous says:

    another one that is free of all 3 is Sparitual……72 colors and treatments + they are also vegan.

  7. linda says:

    Please add Color Club to your list, their polishes are free of the big 3 as well.

  8. Anonymous says:

    It’s wonderful to see so many people paying attention to these chemicals and their inclusion into products that we use every day. I am a nail technician, and I inform my clients that the nails are about 100 times more absorbent than skin, so be careful what you put on them! I use Spa Ritual exclusively, which is from the UK. (the EU is far ahead of the US in banning chemicals and have banned the “Big 3″) DBP in particular is a reproductive system toxin and has recently been linked to birth defects. Spa Ritual has eliminated these 3, and in place of it have incorporated rubber polymers. My pedi clients typically add 2 weeks onto the pedicure when they use Spa Ritual, rebooking in 6 wks instead of 4! They are also vegan and have lots of fantastic colors. I would suggest this line to anyone looking to eliminate these toxins from their beauty routine!

    • Laura says:

      Thx so much for the info. I have been looking at the Sparitual brand so now I know!! I will be giving this brand a try.

  9. Anonymous says:

    The National Research Council is currently doing a study on the Phthalates and it’s possible health risks. I’ll wait for the verdict, but I don’t think it will be good.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I see you mentioned Sally Hansen when listing the polishes that don’t have the Big 3. I’m allergic to formaldehyde, so I always check and most Sally Hansen polishes do have formaldehyde resin in them. I have even emailed them about it but received not response.

    • irene grek says:

      I was told my allergy is to toluene formaldehyde resin so I’ve only used clinique polish for years. As they don’t make it any more, I’m wondering which one to try now. I don’t want to turn into Elephant Man again.

      • AJM says:

        I’m terribly allergic to formaldehyde/toluene resin – my face swells up (from nail polish)! I buy this brand called Pure Ice from Walmart. It’s only $1.99/bottle and they have fabulous, vibrant colours that STAY! I take my own polish to pedicures and this stuff stays on for at least a month if not six weeks. My aesthetician has to really scrub to get the colour off. I’ve worn it on holiday (with flip-flops for shoes) and it’s stayed on, no chips, no flakes, nothing. Why pay more?

        • AJS says:

          I also usd the Pure Ice brand and so far have loved them all. I use their bottom line base coat which is 3 free to protect my nails all the time. It is cheap and a great product.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Zoya and Sparitual are 2 major brands that don’t use the big 3!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I believe Adoree nail polish also big 3 free. I don’t see those big 3 words in the ingredients list. Check out the detail here:

  13. Anonymous says:

    The cheapest polishes (Wet n Wild, NYC) have been big 3 free for a long time.

    While I know nothing about DBP, I know that formaldehyde is a potent toxin, but at the levels in polish, I doubt they are too harmful. Toluene, on the other hand, well, I work in a lab with toluene all the time. It can really give you headaches and is a potent toxin.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Sinful nail polish, available at Walgreens, is also big 3 free. These wear very well too! :)

  15. Eleanor says:

    They don’t make polishes, but if you are looking for non-toxic nail CARE treatments, Nail-Aid’s stuff is awesome. I use their liquid bandage for broken nails embarrassingly often, and their brush-on wrap is also great. Nothing they make contains chemicals from the “lacquer axis of evil” and everything in their supply chain is cruelty free. Their customer service is also fantastic.

  16. Rachel says:

    What about Chanel brand nail polish or all the other “high end” cosmetic counter brands?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Sally Hansen is not big 3 free. They make great nail polish, but as someone who is allergic to the Tosylamide/Formaldehyde Resin (my eyes swell shut) . . . I found out the hard way that they still use the resin in their formulas. Thanks for the other information though.

  18. Anonymous says:

    . . . and Estee Lauder is big 3 free (although I don’t know about Chanel), but they wear terribly – chip instantly.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Orly Nail polish and of SpaRitual is 3 free. SpaRitual is also the first Vegan nail polish line…its awesome! You have to check it out.

  20. Ermendurr says:

    NYC makes nail polish line that is free the big free :) they’ve got cute names like time square, china town etc. :)

    and thanks for informing me about the chemicals :)

  21. regalatrocity says:

    My whole confusion is with the big 3 is the smell. You know what I'm talking about? That head-achy intense smell that is specifically characterized with nail polish. I have yet to come across a nail polish brand that doesn't carry that sudden wave of chemical smell. Now if these nail polishes are free of the big 3, why do they still smell the way they do? It makes me wonder if they really are as healthy as they seem to be.

    Like some commentors before me, I'm also very concerned about the accumulated result of repeated exposure to nail polish. Sure these 'trace amounts' won't show any damage after a couple of years. But if you're like me, you probably have been using nail polish for 7+ years. What happens after all those years? Am I going to find tumors in my body? That is my main concern.

  22. Tina says:


    I am new to this website but just wanted to add my own experience.

    I was recently patch tested cause I had an awful rash all over my face, eyelids and neck. My Mum and then my dermatologist though it might be my nail polish – always used OPI polishes (until now).

    I tested positive to formaldehyde resin – so now avoid any polishes with this in it – so I have written off to a lot of suppliers:

    Rimmell – does not contain formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, or DBP – the same with Butter London, Nubar and am waiting for a reply from Avon. OPI, Leighton denny and Nails inc – DO contain these – so avoid if you have a reaction to any of them.

    Formaldehyde apparently is okay with me but not formaldehyde resin (weird!!!). Keep you posted cause I know there is a lot out there with the same allergic reaction I had to nail polishes. Love the dark colours so bought Nubar – so far so good – fingers crossed.

    Please note that Sparitual DOES contain formaldehyde resin – so that polish is out for me. Some nail polish manufacturers are saying that their products do not contain the Big 3's but always check as in the case of Sparitual.

    Tina, 6th July, 2009 at 7.30 p.m.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I have a sally Hansen nail polish in front of me right now and the 5th ingredient is FORMALDEHYDE RESIN…so I do not think they belong on the list of products without the big 3!

  24. All Lacquered Up says:

    Anon – The term Big 3 Free refers to Toluene, DBP (dibutyl phthalate) and Formaldehyde. Not Formaldehyde Resin. The resin is different and as I stated in the article, not considered toxic. There are people with allergies to Formaldehyde Resin and that is why I included a link to my updated post, categorizing polishes by their ingredient list.

    Check Your Ingredients

  25. Tina says:

    Hi, It's been a long journey trying and sourcing the safest nail polishes out there – well really ones that I am not allergic to.

    I am allergic to touelene, formaldehyde resin and also all acrylates that go into nail polishes – if you feel that you are like me and are allergic to these products – then email the nail polish company and insist that they send you a list of ingredients – to be honest the only ones that did this for me was Nubar and I have stuck with them through Lindsay in ebay – what a gem – she knows her stuff and will answer any questions about the polish that you have and if she does not know, then she will find it out for you.

    Happy hunting people but be careful when nail polishes say that they are free from the big 3's – they may have other things in the polishes that give you bad reactions and rashes. I see someone found this out through Sally Hansens products!!

    Tina X

  26. claudia says:

    Just for you to be aware of certain facts: I recently went on nail polish shopping and discovered that Avon and Opi do include in their formula and. I was shocked, since I am constantly checking safe products lists and data bases and Avon and Opi were one of the "safe" nail products. Just take time to read carefully the ingredients list printed on each bottle/package, even if it's micro size; you can avoid a great damage to your body.

  27. Tina says:

    I could give you a list of companies that say that their polishes do not contain the big 3's but like yourself I do scan the wee writing (even bought a magnifying glass) – because I have found that they may not contain formaldehyde but DO contain formaldehyde resin – WHICH IS WHAT ME AND PROBABLY A MAJORITY OF US IS ALLERGIC TO -

    Please please please read the tiny print and what I do now is I write to say NYC to find out the ingredients in their polishes – cause I really have to be sure !!!

  28. All Lacquered Up says:

    Tina & Claudia – Thank you for your comments. As I stated in the comment just before yours, the term 3 Free excludes Formaldehyde Resin which is why I have an updated post, that is linked to in this article, that breaks down the brands by their ingredients.

    Check Your Ingredients

  29. Jolie Y. says:

    I believe that OPI still has formaldehyde resin in their formula! Should I keep buying them or switch to other brands? I know that Zoya is big-3-free but they're even more expensive than OPI in Toronto. Is Essie big-3-free as well?

  30. Tina says:

    Hello Jolie,

    Yes I found this out that OPI still use formaldehyde resin in their polishes – this is the reason why I have stopped using them – hence my rash.

    Anyway I have discovered Nubar and also Zoya = Zoya polishes are not expensive on ebay. If you can get into ebay – please browse on both nail polish companies. A girl called Lindsay does the Nubar polishes and will help you in every way if you are not sure about the colours etc.

    Also the consistency of Nubar polishes are great as is the bottle and the brush. Brill stuff.

    Let me know how you get on and both are safe to use. No inhaling of any chemicals at night.


  31. confused! says:

    Argh! So for those of us who are not allergic to formaldehyde resin, are there any risks involved in the ingredient being in the polishes? I use a combination of essie, nails inc and opi polishes, and am now totally unsure as to whether this is a health risk or not. Please help!

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      If you are truly concerned with any of the ingredients, please seek the advice of a health professional. Since I am not a doctor or a scientist, I am not qualified to give out medical advice. All I can do is relate the information I find and share my personal experiences. I do not have an allergy to formaldehyde resin and do not know of any risks in using a product that contains it but don’t take my word for it. Because there are people with an allergy to that ingredient I point out which formulas contain it but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is harmful.

  32. Cali says:

    Just to add another update to the thread that won’t quit…

    Ref an earlier post from Anonymous on March 5th 2008
    Toluene is not banned in the EU, rather it’s use is restricted – but it is still allowed in Nail Polish in concentrations up to 25%. So please don’t assume that European polishes are Toluene free. Models Own, a UK brand, for example contains Toluene.

  33. irene grek says:

    My allergy to toluene formaldehyde resin is severe – I turn into an Elephant Man look-alike, can hardly breathe, with headache, swollen lips and tongue, a body rash etc. It was years before a clever consultant tested all my beauty products and pin-pointed what it was. I can use clinique nail polish, but as they don’t manufacture it any more, I’m wondering if anything else is safe. I’d rather have naked toes than go through all that pain again.

  34. Gina says:

    Hello. I found your site after glancing at the back of my bottle of Ruby Kisses nail polish. It contains all three. Unfortunately, it is also the best polish I’ve ever used! My thought is, whatever you put on your body somehow gets in your body, so I’ll have to find an alternative :(. Thanks for the info.

  35. Debi says:

    What about Essie? On the Ulta website it states that Essie is free of all three but on the Essie website they don’t state that. Thanks for your help!

  36. Sherie says:

    I’m curious about Essie too, has anyone found out?

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      Hi Sherie! This post is from three years ago. Since then I’ve done updates to the list of polishes that are 3 Free and linked to them in this post. Essie has switched to a 3-Free formula since this post was originally written. Essies with blue lettering on the bottle are with the new formula

  37. Verla says:

    I’ve heard that Motives Nail Polish is totally AWESOME. Have you heard about that one? I know it’s free from the three! They have beautiful colors also

  38. Jessica says:

    Thanks so much this is going to help me with my homework!!!!

  39. Susan says:

    check out Butter London.

  40. Victoria says:

    I was wondering if there were any nail polish thinners that you would recommend. I bought a random brandless one from a distributer and it smells really toxic whenever I use it. Are there any chemicals in thinners that should raise a red flag? Also are there any brands that make “safe” thinners or should I just resort to buying a new bottle?

  41. Debbie says:

    So basically Rimmel has even the resin one not in it so this has every thing removed so isn’t this the best one ?

    D x

  42. jenni says:

    Revlon is another safe one as well (:

  43. Jo says:

    Wow, what an interesting thread. It is my understanding all nail (external) polish, enamels, lacquers, resins etc. are toxic. The big 3 is just 3 of many toxins. Maybe the beginning of a long list that needs to be regulated. For example butyl acetate and derivatives are toxic. You shouldn’t take it internal. Anything that is thinned out and then hardens has to be toxic. Look at the plastics like the thin plastic food wrap and it’s toxicity rating. The thing with polish is the fumes and whatever seeps in through your nails, skin, eyes, nostrils and even the chips and wear-off that gets into food prep etc. Fomulations of polish are going to be different for cremes as opposed to frost or glitter. Hardeners and quick drying formulas will surely have some different chemicals. One salon may be aware and more protective and another may buy old stock prior to a formulation change. So you van still buy unknowingly a color in 2011 which was made with an old formula unless you read the label. I have a ton of nail polish and love the whole manicured look. If I was pregnant or had a little girl who wanted her nails polished I would want to buy the least toxic nail polish out there. As for now, I am reading labels and am trying to phase out the polishes that concern me.
    Look online and pop into a whole foods or plum Mkt to see what’s out there. I hope we can all be healthy and have pretty nails too!

  44. Dee says:

    Blurgh! This is so frustrating. I was going to start adding acrylic paint to my nail art but this article says there’s toluene in that as well (even though the paints state that they are non-toxic). So I guess it’s safe to assume that acrylic paint is no safer than any polishes that still contain toluene?

  45. Flora says:

    any individual else absolutely adore loreal as considerably as me?

    • Athena says:

      My fav colour which I stocked for a long time was a Loreal that had a lovely turquoise shade. I

  46. Angel Rose says:

    Anyone know about the brand Pure Ice? I am trying to find the ingredients online and not having much luck. Is it Big 3 free??? Help?

    • AJS says:

      I know their bottom line base coat and their new summer line is 3free but I am unsure about older lines. I use it all the time, I love them.

  47. Athena says:

    Many thanks to the author, and the replies, for the info on what nail polish is free of the Big 3.

  48. Suzanne says:

    Oh my goodness, I have been having stomach problems and can’t seem to find out what is the problem. I gardened today and just took off my nail polish and use Rejuvacote, nail growth by Duri, immediately I felt a burning feeling in my finger. Do you think this stuff has anything to do with my stomach issues?

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      Wow, Suzanne, I wish I could help but I’m not a doctor or even a licensed nail tech so I wouldn’t even know where to begin in trying to diagnose the cause of the burning feeling. i would suggest seeing a doctor if that persists. I hope you find out what caused the problem.

    • Mikko says:

      Hi Suzanne. I get horrible stomachache (among many other things) from nail products (and I’m a straight guy so I don’t use these products on me).

      My girlfriend used nail polish yesterday in the morning (outside), and in the afternoon when she came back from work I still couldn’t be around her.

      I do have multiple chemical sensitivity, so I react to many things around me. These seem to be one of the worst triggers for me. But even people who don’t have full blown MCS do react to some of these things. Be careful and see a doctor.

  49. Gabby says:

    is essie toxic free?

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      It is now. Essie’s with blue lettering on the label are 3-Free

      • Deborah says:

        I used an essi polish which was red on my toenails about 2wks ago and still have a yellowing of my nails…is this related to the possible formaldehydes in the product? Also I hear its only the darker polishes that have these chemical s in them…true?

  50. Phalie says:

    Thanks for the info, was very informative. I searched this because a Sally Hansen extreme wear was in my house and it had formaldehye resin. I guess, some sally hansen lines can be removed from your list.

  51. Dy says:

    Hey babe,

    How about China Glaze? Is it free of Big 3?

  52. nu says:

    do you know if Rimmel is free 3?

  53. merry says:

    OPI have all those ingredients. I had to return them. the base and top coat has them and the nail polish too.

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      How old was the OPI nail polish you purchased? Their line hasn’t had formaldehyde, DBP or toluene since the India collection over three years ago. And they recently started pulling formaldehyde resin from the formula in recent collections.

  54. May says:

    If my nail base coat has formaldehyde resin… is that bad? Since it is a base coat which is supposed to protect my nails?

    And if I have nail polish which has formaldehyde, if i use a base coat will it still be okay?

    Please reply… im like full stressing now that I’ve read a lot about these three chemicals! >

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      Hi May! I wouldn’t stress. Formaldehyde is a gas and does not exist in nail polish. An offshoot of formaldehyde is in some treatment products but very few anymore. Formaldehyde resin is not toxic but some people are allergic to it so if you have a reaction to your base coat, I would switch.

  55. JOAN says:


  56. Ardis Samuels says:

    Does Shellac nail polish contain the big 3? Is it safe to use while pregnant? Thank you for your help!

  57. Helen says:

    For the first time in 25 years I’ve only just been able to paint my nails sucessfully without any reaction thanks to Revlon’s recent formaldehyde & toulene free nail varnish! My only wish is they would bring out some more colours as I’m bored of using the same colours! Helen from Warwickshire

  58. Victoria says:

    I have to say I am surprised by the lack of alarm. Formaldehyde is a proven carcinogen. Toluene is harmful as well, and a potential carcinogen. The three chemicals mentioned in this article are all harmful, and that’s why there have been so many 3-free nail polish lines, even water-based nail polishes. Another thing, these chemicals are tested on animals. Women working in nail salons find that these chemicals give them headaches and health problems. Please be wary of these ingredients!

  59. G. says:

    Hey there, just came across your blog by searching 3 free nail polish on google. Super interesting post, thanks for the explanations. I made a little research and seems like ESSIE is 3 free too. It says so in the details of the ESSIE nail polishes on the ULTA website.

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      Hi G! This post is very old and I’ve updated my list since then. Essie went 3-Free a couple years ago. Check the links in this post for my updated list of brands. Thanks!

  60. Jenna says:

    Sinful polish, available at Walgreens, is free of those bad chemicals and at $1.99, you can

  61. Interested Reader says:

    Just to let you know that I received “bad-link” pages for the two links at:

    US FDA Office of Cosmetics and Color

  62. We are Big 3 free and feel this is very very important!

  63. DD says:

    I’ve been contacting the Manufacturer themselves to verify if they are 3 free. I can’t get a straight answer from KLEANCOLOR. I have the Bridal shower and it really smells toxic! It was an impulse buy and I’ve never heard of them but I liked the silvery glitter. I read that it has Camphor. I don’t know what this is.

  64. DD says:

    Correction: I read a blog that it contains Camphor. Kleancolor wrote the ingredients but it doesn’t say Camphor. If it’s not listed (3 chemicals) then we are safe to say they are 3-Free?

  65. Bea says:

    Wow, thanks to everybody who mentioned the nail polish chemicals/stomach ache connection. I was diagnosed with multiple chemical sensitivities, years ago, and have pretty much cleaned up my act. Mostly, I got dizzy around the wrong chemicals. But, recently, I got some nail strengthener to deal with my tearing nails (too much caregiving/washing), and thought, what the heck, I’ll do polish, too. And, I’ve had a really horrible stomach ache for two days since removing it. It’s all 3 Free for me, from now on. And, there’s a natural remover called sun coat I think I’ll order.

  66. Nicole says:

    *All China Glaze colours are free of DBP, Toluene and added Formaldehyde.
    straight from their website

    • All Lacquered Up says:

      This is a very old post. At the time the information about the brands was correct. I have linked to updated posts that were published after China Glaze changed their formula.

  67. Betsy says:

    Bio Sculpture Nail Polish is also free of the Big 3.

  68. Bunny Abraham says:

    Some time ago I printed out a page saying that OPI (with those gorgeous colors)is the largest distributor of nail polish in the world but the only one that still uses toxins, e.g. Toluene.

    • Michelle says:

      When was that information published? OPI used to contain toluene but it hasn’t in a few years.

  69. Hollz says:

    I have in fact found nail polish containing formadehyde resin.
    In an opi black color, and in Julie tangerine dream.

  70. Paola says:

    Through trial and error, I found that I was allergic to toluene-sulphonamide formaldehyde resin (TSAfr).
    There are only a few polish brands that I can use, like Revlon, OPI, Sally Hansen, Channel.
    Now I changed and used the soak off gel formulations without problems.

    Thanks for your article!

  71. Erika says:

    I believe that Yves Saint Laurent nailpolishes do not contain the Big Three :)

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      Thanks for letting me know Erika! This post is very old and a lot of the brands have changed their formulas since then.

  72. Sheena Gallo says:

    hello was wondering your thoughts on Cuccio colour and if you know if its free of the Big 3? I tried looking it up but couldn’t find the formula…

    • Michelle Mismas says:

      Hi Sheena! I’ve heard of Cuccio but never used it so I don’t have any ingredient information. Sorry.

  73. Kitty says:

    What do you know about Maybelline? I have a bottle of Maybelline, and the ingredient list is so small that it’s very difficult to read. I don’t think it has any one those 5, though it says it has aluminum powder.

  74. MIEMIE BURGER says:

    I have a strong positive reaction for Toluenesulphonamide Formaldehyde Resin 10 %. It was done with a patch test by a dermatologist. I noticed that the last comments on your blog was a few years ago. Any latest informationon on the Big 3 ? Nail products which are safe to use

    Which mascara is free of Colophony?