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You've probably seen the term "5-free" on some of your nail polish bottles, and that's a very good thing. It means that it's free of the five known carcinogens (formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde resin and camphor) that are typically found in lacquers. Luckily, many brands have eliminated these toxic ingredients from their formulas while finding ways to maintain the quality and wear of their conventional counterparts. Here are our seven favorites.

RELATED: THE REAL REASON YOUR NAILS KEEP SPLITTING

nails inc

Nails Inc. NailKale Polish

Infused with Kale extract, this antioxidant- and vitamin-rich polish is the closest you can get to dunking your digits in green juice. Its nail-strengthening effects take time to see, but the intense color payoff gives you instant gratification.

$14; netaporter.com

kure bazaar

Kure Bazaar Nail Polish

This French brand looks to nature for nail-strengthening ingredients like wood pulp, wheat and cotton--and to fashion trends for color inspiration. (Hello, perfectly subtle gold.)

$16; spiritbeautylounge.com

zoya

Zoya Professional Lacquer

With a new range of colors released every season, there are endless 5-free options (over 300 and counting) to choose from. And here you thought it'd be hard to find a clean version of obscure shades like the gold-flecked olive green above.

$10; zoya.com

occ

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Nail Lacquer

Here’s another 5-free option. But purity aside, this irreverent beauty brand is one of the first (and best) to offer bold, creative colors beyond your typical nudes and reds. And since we’re talking about healthier options here, it’s important to note that all of its polishes are 100-percent vegan and cruelty-free.

$10; nordstrom.com

tenoverten

Tenoverten Nail Polish

A fashion industry favorite, this 8-free line of lacquers offers everything you’d ever want in a nail polish: timeless shades (like this not-too-orangey red), a smooth and easy application and a long-wearing, shiny finish.

$18; tenoverten.com

rms

RMS Beauty Nail Polish

Fans of the cult-favorite brand can now wear some of its most iconic hues (like Living Luminizer here) on their fingertips, too. The lacquers are every bit as pigmented as their cosmetic counterparts--and glide on easily without streaking. 

$15; rmsbeauty.com

orly

Orly Breathable Treatment + Color

While nails don’t necessarily need to "breathe" to stay healthy, Orly does make permeable polishes that allow oxygen through to keep your tips hydrated for good measure. And if that doesn't convince you, there's also vitamin B5 and argan oil in the formula to help seal the deal.

$9; ulta.com

RELATED: HOW TO INSTANTLY BRIGHTEN UP YELLOW NAILS

 

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