What Does 5-Free Polish Mean?


What Does 5-Free Polish Mean?
What Does 5-Free Polish Mean?

What does 5-free polish mean? I'm here to tell you. If you are somebody who is passionate about makeup and nail polish in particular, then you will no doubt have heard the term ‘5-free’ being used more and more frequently across the industry of late. So, what does 5-free polish mean? Quite simply, it refers to the fact that polish in question is free of the top five potentially toxic ingredients used in some nail polishes (and other makeup products) that are linked to health concerns. These are:

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This is a preservative that you have probably heard of before, and also a very well documented carcinogen that you definitely want to be staying clear of at all costs. It can trigger bad allergic reactions, respiratory problems and even abnormal fetal development in some horrific cases.


Dibutyl Phthalate (DBP)

DBP can disrupt hormones in the human body, and it is also an endocrine disruptor, so basically bad all around!



Toluene is something that has been linked to respiratory issues and reproductive damage. A recent Campaign for Safe Cosmetics exposé revealed that workers who have been exposed to prolonged presences of toluene have reported damage to their color vision and their hearing.


Formaldehyde Resin

This is another formaldehyde based toxin that has been well known to cause skin irritation and allergic reactions for those most sensitive.



This is something that is actually used in many cold remedies, and as you might be able to guess, it can cause things like dizziness and nausea in too large a quantity, even leading to things like seizures if is ingested.

If you have any concerns at all about things you are using on your body that contain potentially harmful chemicals, always choose 5-free nail polish.

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