The Four Best Formaldehyde-free Nail Strengtheners
News that there are harmful chemicals found in many nail care products can be troubling, However, it’s good to know that there are also nail strengtheners without formaldehyde and/or other harsh or toxic ingredients.
Aside from formaldehyde, there are two other harmful ingredients commonly found in nail hardeners and polishes – dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and toluene. DBP is a chemical listed under California’s Proposition 65 because of the possibility that it can harm the reproductive system or cause birth defects. Toluene, a common ingredient in paint thinners, has been found to cause birth defects. To be safe, nail polishes and strengtheners users should look for ones without formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP.
Whether users are looking for a nail strengthener that works like hand cream, or a formaldehyde-free, DBP-free, and toluene-free product that can easily be applied to the nails like a base coat, there’s an option to fit individual preferences below.
Best Overall Nail Strengthener
Barielle Nail Strengthener Cream was initially formulated as a conditioner for million-dollar, thoroughbred racehorses. Then, the cream was reformulated to be a nail strengthener for humans. The cream is also free from harsh ingredients such as DBP, formaldehyde, toluene, xylene, formaldehyde resin, camphor, triphenyl phosphate and parabens. Its main ingredients include vegetable protein, vitamin E and glycerin.
Barielle Nail Strengthener Cream is massaged over the cuticles and nails two to three times a day. It is recommended that one of the applications is done right before going to bed to allow it to work overnight. According to the manufacturers, there should be a noticeable improvement in three to four weeks.
Introducing the Best Drugstore Nail Strengthener
Formaldehyde-, DBP-, and toluene-free Sally Hansen Hard As Nails nail strengthener is infused with green tea and provitamin B5 added nail nourishment. The product is to be applied with a brush to bare nails, just like regular nail polish. This product is not just a nail strengthener; it is also a strengthening base coat for an at-home manicure.
Best Strengthener for dry, brittle, severely-damaged nails
Gelish Vitagel Recovery Nail Strengthener is formulated for severely damaged, very thin nails. It does not contain formaldehyde, DBP and toluene. It is also enriched with vitamins A, B5, E and other nourishing natural ingredients. This product is brushed on like regular nail polish and cured in LED light for 30 seconds or in a UV light for two minutes. If desired, the product can be used as a base coat for at-home manicures.
This strengthener doesn’t specify a definite timeline for results on its website, but some Amazon reviewers share that they saw improvement in days.
Cruelty-Free Nail Strengthener for Vegans
Karma Organic Deep Nutrition Nail Strengthener is another nail strengthener that is hypoallergenic, toluene-free, formaldehyde-free and DBP-free. It’s made in the U.S. It contains amino acids and selaginella lepidophylla extract (or “resurrection plant”). The cream is also infused with coconut, passiflora, apricot, avocado, and salicornia oils. Karma Organic Spa is included on PETA’s list of vegan and cruelty-free brands.
This cream, which is applied to bare nails with a brush, can also be used as a strengthening base coat for do-it-yourself manicures at home. The manufacturer guarantees less fragile nails after a week and major results after three weeks.