Why you may need to rethink your usual mani and pedi when expecting…

What woman doesn’t love a beauty treatment? When you’re pregnant, taking time out to yourself is even more important. However it might come as a surprise that your mani or pedi could be doing you more harm than good. Nail polish can contain toxic ingredients such as formaldehyde resin, camphor and DBP (dibutyl phthalate) – commonly referred to as the toxic trio. In large doses these chemicals can cause breathing problems, cancer and even hormone-production problems in a foetus. But don’t panic! In fact you can breathe a sigh of relief, a line-up of beauty brands are now creating 3-free, 5-free and even 7-free polishes. We’ve tried and tested our favourite polishes that don’t compromise on your health, but still offer durability, colour and shine.


This cult beauty favourite has launched a new 7-free range ‘Patent Shine 10X’ It lasts up to ten days, with a wide range of colours that have such a high gloss, you will look like you’ve stepped straight out of the salon.

Free from:  formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, DBP, toluene, camphor, ethyl tosylamide, or xylene

www.butterlondon.com, stocked internationally


A breakthrough in nail polish, Nailberry’s ‘L’Oxygéné’ 5-free lacquers use an oxygen-resin complex that creates a breathable film over the nail which allows air and water through. A favourite among beauty editors, the chemical-free formula comes in the must-wear shades of the season.

Free from: formaldehyde, DBP, toluene, synthetic camphor, or formaldehyde resin



A mani-pedi bar in South West London, London Grace’s ‘no nasties’ nail product range comes in a rainbow array of hues. If you’re in London head to the salon for a spot of guilt free pampering, with a delicious line-up of snacks on offer – perfect for satisfying pregnancy cravings. They’ve also recently launched a ‘Pamper & Play’ day, so you can bring your little one along with you.

Free from: formaldehyde, DBP, toluene, camphor, or formaldehyde resin

www.londongrace.co.uk, (UK shipping only)


If you want to go lacquer-free but still keep your nails looking groomed, we love using coconut or vegetable oil as a rich emollient – rub it into your nails and cuticles to strengthen them.

If you don’t want to give up your regular salon appointments, ensure the beautician sterilizes their tools properly (you are more prone to nail infections when pregnant) and if possible try to get a spot near an open window to avoid fumes.

Want to feel pampered but your nail skills aren’t up to scratch? Head to these salons:


Cowshed Salon‘s ‘Udderly Gorgeous’ maternity treatment has been created especially for mothers-to-be. Therapists use pregnancy-safe essential oils and will even massage the pressure points on your hands, to help ease tension in your body.


Soho Sanctuary offer those looking to forgo nail polish extra pampering to make your nails look amazing in the buff. A cuticle tidy, scrub and relaxing massage will you make you look just as polished.


The Organic Glow Lounge uses Zoya nail polishes, which was the first range to remove the toxic trio of ingredients. Try their prenatal manicure for a beauty treat that you know is safe for pregnancy.