What is 12-Free nail polish?

What is 12-Free nail polish?

18 April 2023 – 3 min read

Traditional nail polish is packed with seriously harmful chemicals. The weird thing is, there’s actually no need for them to be there. So why aren’t we all wearing nail polish you can feel good about?

What is 'non-toxic' nail polish?

It’s totally made of mung beans. Jk, not even close.

The truth is, terms like ‘non-toxic’ and ‘clean’ don’t have a clear definition. They’re used to provide a shortcut for consumers looking for formulations without potentially irritating or harmful ingredients. Kester Black nail polish (and the rest of our range!) meets the strictest standards of safety, but as non-toxic is an unregulated term held to different standards around the world, we choose not to use it. We would never want to fear monger or be misleading; though free of ‘nasties’, we don’t want you to go drinking our nail polish!

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Why bother with 'non-toxic' nail polish?

Though the term is fuzzy, there are tons of reasons to seek out better-for-you nail polish. ‘Normal’ nail polish contains a bunch of full-on chemicals that you really don’t want anywhere near you. The three worst culprits are formaldehyde, toluene and DBP (dibutyl phthalate). Because your nails are made up of around 100 layers of keratin cells, it’s unlikely for any ingredients to be absorbed into the bloodstream when applied properly. But this nasty little trio has serious health effects that range from asthma to fertility issues to cancer. No. Thank. You.

Other commonly used chemicals include camphor, xylene, phthalates, parabens and heavy metals, which have their own list of unpleasant health concerns like skin allergies, nausea or liver damage.

What is 12-Free?

'Non-toxic' nail polish will be labeled 3, 5, 7, 10 or 12-Free. This refers to the number of chemicals your nail polish is free from.

Technically Kester Black is a gazillion-free because of all the ingredients we don’t include. But for the time being ‘12-Free’ is the best shorthand we have for letting customers know that our nail polish is made without some of the most commonly used and possibly harmful chemicals.

For all those who are feeling a little confused and would like to know the difference, here’s a little easy-to-understand breakdown:

3-Free polish does not contain dibutyl phthalate, toluene or formaldehyde.

4-Free polish does not contain the above or formaldehyde resin.

5-Free polish does not contain the above or camphor.

6-Free polish does not contain the above or parabens.

7-Free polish does not contain the above or xylene.

10-Free polish does not contain the above or fragrances, phthalates, and animal ingredients.

12-Free polish does not contain the above or ethyl tosylamide and triphenyl phosphate.

Is 'non-toxic' nail polish better quality?

'Non-toxic' products can still carry the stigma of being a bit crap. But you don’t have to sacrifice quality just because you want a polish that's kinder on your nails.

Call us high maintenance, but we love high standards. We want our nail polish to look amazing. We also want to be healthy and safe. That’s why we did a LOT of research and found a way to have it all.

As a result, all Kester Black products are 12-Free and they look freakin' awesome to boot. We’ve put a lot of thought into our nail polishes so you don’t have to.

All you need to worry about is which colours you’re going to wear. Best problem ever.

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CRUELTY FREE • VEGAN • CARBON NEUTRAL • B CORP • 2% OF REVENUE TO CHARITY • CRUELTY FREE • VEGAN • CARBON NEUTRAL

CRUELTY FREE • VEGAN • CARBON NEUTRAL • B CORP • 2% OF REVENUE TO CHARITY • CRUELTY FREE • VEGAN • CARBON NEUTRAL

CRUELTY FREE • VEGAN • CARBON NEUTRAL • B CORP • 2% OF REVENUE TO CHARITY • CRUELTY FREE • VEGAN • CARBON NEUTRAL

CRUELTY FREE • VEGAN • CARBON NEUTRAL • B CORP • 2% OF REVENUE TO CHARITY • CRUELTY FREE • VEGAN • CARBON NEUTRAL

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Shipping & returns

Orders placed Monday to Friday before 9am are shipped the same day. Orders placed on weekends are shipped the following Monday.

Express delivery: $5, typically 1 - 2 business days

Our returns are easy. If you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase, we offer 30 day returns. Read more in our shipping & returns policy.