EcoSalon Tested, Mom Approved: Safe Nail Polish for Kids


Ever try raising a completely ungendered little girl and/or extremely-liberated boy? Case in point, my brilliant and gorgeous niece Katherine (unfortunately, not the adorable girl in the pic). My sister and her husband presented our girl with toy tool sheds, small-palm basketballs, and mini-abacuses galore – and she went straight for anything pink and (deep sigh) princess. It was like trying to fight the tides from coming in with a small plastic bucket and spoon. Our girl and soon enough, her little sister after her, proffered up their tiny hands to us for shades of nail polish.

But as anyone knows who has smelled a nail shop, nail polishes can be quite the toxic beauty ritual. As we reported yesterday, traditional nail polishes contain chemicals like toluene, formaldehyde, and BDPs. Not exactly what you want to paint onto your kid’s toes, right? Luckily, there are some fantastic child-friendly nail care products that don’t contain any of these ingredients. We sampled two lines. So check out our picks for all the little girls out there who WILL have their nail polish, thank you very much – and for the mom, aunties, and fathers who love them.


Hopscotch Kids

This line is completely water based, containing no formaldehyde, phthalates, toluene or other petrochemical solvents. In fact, the primary ingredients are water, water-miscible acrylic polymer emulsion, and non-toxic colorants. And true to ingredients, if you open a bottle, you get only the slightest smell – nothing compared to the chemical blast you usually get.

How does work? This polish goes on with no streaks and dries quickly. I used it to paint my own nails and the nails of my six and 10-year-old nieces. They loved it. It offers up a non-streaky, bright blue color that dries very quickly. However, it does chip rather easily.

The coolest thing about it? With a little elbow grease, you can wash it off in shower. Sure, it’s not the best choice if you’re a grown-up looking for a long-lasting manicure. (And as I’m sure the manufacturer would point out, it’s not supposed to be for us oldies.) But this would be my pick to put on my little one’s little digits.

Hopscotch Kids also offers a nail polish remover. Frankly, since I could get the polish off with soap and water, I’m not sure why it’s necessary. You cannot use this remover with traditional nail polishes, but should you want to check it out, it contains water, fatty acids and plant-based alcohols, nontoxic surfactant and organic butter.


Suncoat Girl

This is another water-based brand without phthalate plasticizers, toluene, formaldehyde, acetates, alcohol, glycol ethers, FD&C dyes. It is completely free of a chemical scent – and I’m pretty sure I have one of the more sensitive noses on the planet, since I can detect and scorn a person who is smoking a block away.

This polish went on a bit streaky and didn’t last very long. Also, it peels off. (Another great way to avoid traditional nail polish remover.) One benefit to this peeling nail polish? My 10-year-old niece thinks this is the absolutely coolest thing. Who knew nail polish could be an interactive sport?

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Image: abbybatchelder

Katherine Butler

Katherine Butler is the Beauty Editor of EcoSalon and currently resides in Los Angeles, California.