What does 10 Free Actually Mean?

Aug 05, 2017by Julie - F&F

You might see 3 Free written on nail polish, or even 5 Free, 7 free or 10 Free. But what does this all mean? We explain the difference and why it's important you know what is in your nail polish

In many nail polishes you'll find some pretty toxic ingredients including DBP, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin and camphor. If you had a choice you'd certainly stay away from putting these ingredients on your skin and we explain why below. 10 Free Nail Polish avoids these ingredients along with xylene, parabens, fragrances, phthalates, and animal ingredients. 

A quick guide to ingredients to avoid in nail polish:

DPB - actually known as dibutyl phthalate is one of the many ingredients to contain phthalates. These are ingredients that should definitely be avoided. In both Europe and the United States, phthalates are listed as a suspected endocrine disruptor, as there is evidence that it interferes with normal hormone function. So it can affect fertility, and can cause developmental defects in unborn children. Not to stop there it can also cause health issues such as liver and kidney failure in young children. Avoid!

Toluene - present in paints, varnishes, glues and many, many nail polishes it can cause irritation to our eyes, nose and throats. Not an ingredient you want to be around. 

Formaldehyde - often used as a germicide, fungicide, disinfectant and preservative research has suggested its properties are carcinogenic. We'd rather not chance it. 

Camphor - this acts as a plasticiser and in very small doses camphor can cause reactions such as a really fast heartbeat, skin vasodilation (flushed skin - we often get this with alcohol), slowed breathing, and increased perspiration. In large doses it is very toxic. 

Parabens - they are a preservative and suspected of having carcinogenic properties. 


Kester Black is 10 Free and focuses on creating an ethical and sustainable product with just the important ingredients but they never compromise on performance.


An easy guide as to what ingredients are avoided in what products is below. 

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

5-Free polish does not contain dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin or camphor.

7-Free polish does not contain dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, camphor, parabens or xylene.

10-Free polish does not contain formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, camphor, formaldehyde resin, xylene and don’t contain parabens, fragrances, phthalates, and animal ingredients.

All our nail polishes are free of these ingredients. At Flora & Fauna you can shop Kester BlackHanami, Sienna and RAWW. Shop all nail polishes

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