When you’re cleaning up your beauty routine, your nails might be the last place you think to look—especially if you don’t get regular manicures or pedicures. Of course, it probably comes as no surprise that nail polish is one of many beauty products that can harbor potentially harmful chemicals. In the early 2000s, many nail polish products listed dibutyl phthalate (aka DnBP) as an ingredient. This plasticizer helps prevent chipping and keeps color fresh, but consumers were concerned after animal studies indicated that DnBP was toxic. By 2004, the European Union banned this ingredient in cosmetics, and in 2006, U.S. companies began voluntarily labeling their polish as “3-Free,” which meant the product didn’t contain three potentially toxic chemicals: DnBP, toluene, and formaldehyde. That was a good start, but clean beauty brands are taking things a step further—especially because, according to the FDA, phthalates “can be listed as ‘fragrance’ due to trade secret concerns.”
The History of SOPHi
SOPHi is owned by Piggy Paint, a nontoxic beauty brand, and offers water-based polish that’s nearly odorless and always cruelty-free and vegan. Piggy Paint (and all its offshoot brands) was founded by Melanie Hurley in 2008, shortly after an alarming experience with her daughters. The girls loved getting their nails painted, but Hurley worried about them putting their hands in their mouth afterwards and potentially ingesting chemicals. Not to mention, the smell often caused Hurley to experience headaches. One day, the trio was enjoying an at-home manicure and one of Hurley’s daughters dropped a glob of polish over the foam plate that was set out. Within a few minutes, the polish began to bubble up and eventually “ate” through the plate, leaving a series of holes. After that, Hurley made it her mission to find safer nail polish alternatives.
SOPHi Company Mission
Helping consumers achieve a worry-free manicure is the mission at the heart of SOPHi. It all started with one mom’s quest to find nontoxic polish alternatives for herself and her daughters, and has grown into a popular line of shades women that are fun to wear because, well, they work! The polishes are durable and chip-resistant, and they won’t assault your senses with the chemical smell most conventional polishes emit.
Benefits of SOPHi
In addition to the range of vibrant and sophisticated colors, there’s a lot to love about SOPHi nail polish!
- Nontoxic, water-based formulas
- Free of harsh chemicals like formaldehyde, toluene, phthalates, Bisphenol A, ethyl acetate, and acetone
- Made in the USA
- Cruelty-free and vegan
To make your manicure last longer, SOPHi created a “Prime, Shine, and Seal” system. Start with a coat from the Primer + Sealer bottle to help your nails resist chipping. Then swipe on your favorite polish color, and finish with the Shine Topcoat for an added layer of glossy protection.
Top SOPHi Products
Not to worry if you fall in love with several colors—they’re all so affordable that you can stock up on the full collection without feeling like you’re splurging.
Mi Amore Nail Polish
In a dusty rose shade, your nails will always look appropriate for any occasion. Plus, the water-based formula is free of harsh chemicals.
Prime and Shine Seal System
For a professional-quality manicure at home, don’t skip this duo. The primer gives you a solid foundation for your polish, and the topcoat helps prevent chipping.
Out of the Cellar Nail Polish
For a more daring color story, opt for a bright, berry red polish inspired by juicy red wine. Like every product in the SOPHi lineup, this one’s also free of harsh chemicals.
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