Is Sally Hansen Nail Polish Good? Full Safety Guide

Sally Hansen nail polish

Sally Hansen is one of the most famous nail care brands. It offers nail polishes in over 500 amazing, unique shades! Sally Hansen nail colors are particularly known for being chip-resistant, quick-drying, and long-lasting.

But wondering if the brand is worth the hype? 

Here is the short answer: Well, Sally Hansen has a wide range of nail colors and the quality is moderately good according to the customer reviews.

Interested to know about what chemicals are present in the nail paints and their toxicity? Please continue reading. 

What are the ingredients in Sally Hansen nail polish?

Sally Hansen has loads of special types of nail polish for all kinds of special occasions. They range from Miracle Gel It Takes Two to Miracle Gel, Good. Kind. Pure, Insta-Dri, Color Foil, Color Therapy, Mega Strength, Xtreme Wear, and Salon Gel Polish. 

The main ingredients in all of the Sally Hansen nail polishes are Butyl and Ethyl Acetate, Nitrocellulose, Aqua, Isopropyl Alcohol, Calcium Aluminum Borosilicate, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, and Silica.

There are tons of other ingredients in nail polish, but these are some of the base ingredients. 

Is Sally Hansen nail polish toxic?

Most of the Sally Hansen nail colors are considered ‘3-free’. That is, they do not contain dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, or formaldehyde.  This does seem promising at first glance, but the nail colors do contain some unsafe chemicals, like triphenyl phosphate (TPHP) and some parabens. 

More importantly, the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetic report gives Sally Hansen’s nail polish a score of 8.

This means the Sally Hansen nail colors fall within the extremely hazardous or toxic category. 

In 2020, Sally Hansen finally launched a range of nail colors that are toxins-free and are 100% vegan. Yes, we are talking about Sally Hansen’s 16-free Good. Kind. Pure collection. 

Consisting of 30 amazing shades of color, the “Good. Kind. Pure” nail polish range does not contain 16 harmful chemicals including parabens, xylene, ethyl tosylamide/ epoxy resin, TPHP, camphor, toluene, Bisphenol A, and sulfate. The nail color brush also contains 100% natural fibers! 

Does Sally Hansen nail polish have formaldehyde?

Sally Hansen claims on its website that all its nail paints are free of formaldehyde. We have checked other websites and we can assure you that Sally Hansen nail polish does not contain formaldehyde.

Formaldehyde is sometimes added to nail paints as an antimicrobial preservative. 

Why is formaldehyde bad, you might think? Well, for starters it is a carcinogen. Repeated exposure to this chemical can cause skin allergies and trigger asthma. It is particularly toxic to pregnant women, as studies have shown that pregnant women exposed to formaldehyde are more likely to have a miscarriage.

Does Sally Hansen have toluene?

 Again, Sally Hansen claims on its website that all its nail polishes are toluene-free. We have certified from our trusted source that Sally Hansen nail colors indeed do NOT have toluene.

Toluene is a chemical used in nail polish to create a smooth application and finish. But its fumes are highly toxic and can affect brain function, impair breathing, cause hearing loss and nausea. It might also cause neurological damage. 

Does Sally Hansen have parabens?

Yes. Some of the Sally Hansen nail colors contain parabens. 

‘Sally Hansen Miracle Gel It Takes Two’ and ‘Insta-Dri’ nail paints contain Methylparaben and Propylparaben. 

Sally Hansen Color Therapy nail polishes contain Methylparaben. 

Parabens are a kind of preservative that are added to nail polishes to protect them from bacteria and mold. These chemicals are highly toxic and can cause breast and skin cancer. 

If you are looking for paraben-free nail polish, then you can choose from the following Sally Hansen collections – Miracle Gel, Good. Kind. Pure, Color Foil, Mega Strength, Xtreme Wear, and Salon Gel Polish. 

Is Sally Hansen 3-free?

Yes, Sally Hansen nail paints are 3-free. That is, they are free of the 3 most toxic chemicals that can be added to nail polishes. The deadly trio includes dibutyl phthalate (DBP), toluene, and formaldehyde. 

Is Sally Hansen 5-free?

Yes! Sally Hansen nail polishes are 5-free! 

5-free nail paints do not contain the allergens formaldehyde resin and camphor in addition to the deadly trio mentioned above.  

Is Sally Hansen 7-free?

No. 7 free in nail colors mean they are free of the above-mentioned deadly trio, the duo allergens, and TPHP (Triphenyl Phosphate)/ Ethyl Tosylamide (also known as Epoxy Resin) and xylene. There is some debate as to what is the sixth most toxic chemical in nail paint – TPHP or Epoxy Resin. 

If you do not want TPHP, then do not choose Sally Hansen Miracle Gel It Takes Two, Miracle Gel, Insta-Dri, Color Therapy, and Xtreme Wear nail paint collections as they contain Triphenyl Phosphate. 

If you are concerned about Epoxy Resin, then steer clear of Sally Hansen Miracle Gel It Takes Two, Miracle Gel, Color Therapy, and Xtreme Wear nail polishes as they contain Ethyl Tosylamide or Epoxy Resin. 

Even though Sally Hansen nail polishes do not contain xylene, as many of them contain TPHP or Epoxy Resin, they cannot be described as 7-free. 

Is Sally Hansen 10-free?

No. The 10 most common toxic chemicals in nail paints are the already mentioned 7 chemicals, along with parabens, animal by-products, and fragrances. Regarding these three toxic chemicals, there are some controversies, but most people consider these as the eighth, ninth, and tenth most hazardous substances in nail polish. 

Now, Sally Hansen Miracle Gel It Takes Two, Insta-Dri, and Color Therapy collections contain parabens. 

What about animal by-products? The three most common animal-derived ingredients in nail polishes are carmine, guanine, and perfumes (from musk oil, shark liver oil!!). 

Only Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear nail paints contain guanine. So, if you do not want this substance that is derived from fish scales in your nail polish, then choose from the remaining Sally Hansen collections.

As far as synthetic fragrances are concerned, all Sally Hansen nail paints have fragrances apart from the “Good. Kind. Pure” range. 

Is Sally Hansen cruelty-free? 

This is a tricky question to answer properly. According to the official website of Sally Hansen, their nail care products are cruelty-free as their parent company Coty does not test on animals and they are committed to ending product testing on animals. 

But it is well-known that Coty is not a cruelty-free corporation. It tests its products on animals when required by the law.

Again, Sally Hansen claims that Coty partnered with Cruelty-Free International and its Leaping Bunny program. However, the interesting point is that neither Coty nor Sally Hansen has been certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny.

Currently only one of the subsidiary brands of Coty, Covergirl is certified by Leaping Bunny as cruelty-free. 

Sally Hansen also explains that certification by a third party requires years of validation of a brand’s full supply chain and that Sally Hansen might achieve that in the upcoming years. 

We have been unable to verify if ingredients in Sally Hansen are tested on animals or if they allow others or their suppliers to test on their behalf.

So, the one-line answer to Sally Hansen being a cruelty-free brand is that they are not! 

Is Sally Hansen safe for pregnancy? 

Not really. As Sally Hansen nail polishes do not contain the deadly trio (DBP, formaldehyde, and toluene), they seem relatively safe. But they do contain TPHP, Epoxy Resin, and parabens which are harmful to pregnant women. 

If you absolutely want to wear something pretty on your nails when you are pregnant, the safest option would be Sally Hansen Good. Kind. Pure nail paints which are 16-free and completely vegan. 

Is Sally Hansen nail polish safe for toddlers?

No. Nail polishes are full of chemicals, whether toxic or non-toxic. Toddlers have a habit of putting everything in their mouths. If they end up putting the chemical-laden nail paints in their mouth; it would be extremely dangerous.

Although Sally Hansen nail polishes are 5-free, all of them are not free of TPHP/ Epoxy Resin, parabens, animal by-products, and fragrances. 

TPHP can cause changes in hormone levels and affect your metabolism. Epoxy resin is linked to antibiotic resistance. Parabens can also disrupt hormones and cause breast cancer. 

Considering all this, it is best to keep away your Sally Hansen nail polishes tucked away in a cupboard far away from the reach of your toddlers.


Anand Srinivasan
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