Since high school, I’ve loved OPI nail polish. The cheeky color names make me chuckle, and more importantly the polish doesn’t chip. But now that I’m committed to safe cosmetics, I had to know: is OPI nail polish nontoxic? Well, it depends. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which monitors ingredients in cosmetics, some polishes from OPI get a safe rating, while others are best to avoid.
EWG evaluates each specific products from a brand separately. Since different colors or types of polish can contain a different mix of chemicals, they get different raitings. Based on their research, EWG says these OPI nail products are safe to use:
Nontoxic OPI Nail Polish
- OPI Touring America Collection Nail Lacquer, I Eat Mainely Lobster (2 from EWG): A bright shade of red that borders on coral (to the left of the top pic). This color would look great on your toes or your fingers.
- OPI Touring America Collection Nail Lacquer, My Address is Hollywood (2 from EWG) A grown-up pink with a bit of shimmer (to the right of the top pic). You could easily wear this year round.
The other OPI nail polishes in EWG’s Skindeep Database get ratings ranging from 3-9, which means they contain potentially harmful ingredients. So if you’re going to use OPI, you should stick to those two colors.
Why You Should Use Nontoxic Nail Polish
Nail polish often includes bad ingredients like benzophenone-1, malic acid, and CI 15850, which may cause endocrine disruption, irritation, and cancer, respectively. Even if a polish is marketed as free from high-profile chemicals like formaldehyde, DBP, or triphenyl phosphate they can still disrupt our body’s normal function. According to EWG, OPI nail polishes not listed above do include some of these red-flag chemicals.
To make sure you’re safe, either use the OPI colors above, which EWG backs up as nontoxic, or check out safe nail polish brands like SOPHi by Piggy Paint. Originally a safe polish for children, Piggy Paint decided to branch out into safe products for adults. With these options, there’s no reason you should have to decide between pretty nails and a healthy body.