All about safe children's make-up and nail polish

We sell what we call 'safe' children's make up and nail polish. But why is this safe and many other children's make up and nail polish not? And why does this safe make-up and nail polish often cost a little more? We get these questions regularly, time for a blog with some more explanation.

Why is a lot of children's make-up and nail polish not safe?

Most children's make-up contains ingredients that the (children's) skin does not really like. Irritating ingredients for the skin. Ingredients that cause allergies. Ingredients from the oil industry that close the skin, disrupting the skin's own functions. And ingredients that are endocrine disrupting or even carcinogenic if they penetrate the skin. And penetrate your skin, do many of the ingredients you put on your skin or nails. Even easier in children than in adults, because the skin is thinner. See some examples below.

ingredient What is it? What does the skin not like?
Phenoxyethanol Preservative Irritating ingredient for skin, eyes and lungs
Parabens Preservative

Disruptor of endocrine glands such as gonads, thyroid and adrenal cortex

Toxic substance for the immune system

Dimethicone Improves spreadability Very serious suspicion - from research - of harmfulness to your organs and the environment.
Acetates Solvent (nail polish) Irritating to skin, eyes and lungs
Isopropyl alcohol Solvent (nail polish) Irritating to skin, eyes and lungs
Paraffin liquid Antibacterial. Provides a soft skin feeling Highly refined product from the oil industry. Disrupts natural skin function. Saturated fat that puts a layer on the skin so that it closes, can no longer breathe or lose waste. The skin no longer produces fat itself, so that it feels dry and itchy when you stop using paraffinum liquidum.
Petrolatum (Vaseline) Antibacterial. Provides a soft skin feeling A cheap residual product from oil extraction. Same characteristics as paraffinum liquidum
Synthetic dyes such as CI 19140 (F&D Yellow) Base is petroleum Supposedly a chemical that builds up in your body and can eventually be toxic to your body

I find it bizarre that ingredients in children's make-up and nail polish are often not listed online at all. While that is the case with food products, for example. I did a tour of the toy store to photograph ingredients lists of children's make-up products. Because I couldn't find an ingredients list online.

Why questionable ingredients?

Because they are cheap in the first place. Just take a look at the alternative ingredients that pure children's makeup/nail polish brands use in the table later in this blog. They are many times more expensive, which also increases the final price of a product. And the market for your products is smaller. Many producers are focused on high volumes. I honestly think so, because some of the producers have no idea what health risks are associated with ingredients. Or think it's all okay. Or, as bad as it sounds, it doesn't really care that much. The cosmetics industry is one of the most profitable industries in the world, where making money is paramount. And with enormous lobbying power. If a government wants to ban a commonly used ingredient, this is quite a challenge! Moreover, it is not easy to make really pure products that not only work, but also have a shelf life. Only a few manufacturers worldwide can do that.

Be alert to greenwashing

I regularly see products that, for example, boast 'without parabens' or 'with organic ingredients'. Unfortunately, those parabens are often replaced by a lesser-known ingredient that is just as harmful. And 'with organic ingredients' can mean that there are 'no less than 0.001% organic ingredients in a product. So not much.

Made in China

A lot of children's play make up / nail polish is made in China. Or as it is also written in covert terms on the packaging in PRC (People's Republic of China). Nothing wrong with that as long as no child labor is involved. Made in China is one of the reasons that the play makeup is usually nice and cheap, but China is not really known for its reputation for pure ingredients or reliability of delivery. The owner of one of our brands once bought a batch of organically certified ingredients from China and had them retested in the Netherlands. The ingredients turned out to be far from organic...

Therefore safe children's make up & nail polish

You may understand that then our two girls. and that of many friends and relatives, were small, I started looking diligently for children's make-up / nail polish that is safe. That is, without potentially harmful ingredients. And also looks fancy. That turned out to be quite a search.

Brands that do it differently

Fortunately, there were more mothers like me, who also did not want to put harmful play make-up ingredients on their children's skin. Some of these mothers have developed their own children's play make-up and/or nail polish line, because they could not find anything that met their requirements. A number of pioneers have succeeded. Which is not easy, in an industry that is not really focused on pure ingredients. For example, SunCoat nail polish or Klee Naturals are produced locally in Canada or the USA (we have not yet found any good brands closer to home). So that there is close supervision of a reliable production process. And only use 100% natural and safe ingredients. Nail polishes are water-based without solvents harmful to health and the environment. Everything literally so pure that your child could eat it. Whether that pure eye shadow, lip gloss, blush or nail polish is tasty is another question ;-). See below a number of alternative ingredients (compared to the non-pure brands) that our brands use. Next time, take a good look at the ingredient list of a play make-up/nail polish product or app or email us a photo if you can't figure it out!

ingredients What is it? What does the skin not like?
Stevia Preservative Nothing as far as known
Vitamin E, Rosemary oil, Grapefruit seed extract + glycerine Preservative

The grapefruit seed extract should be mixed with a greasy product such as glycerin to prevent skin irritation.

No water

Water and oil in a mixture cause it to spoil faster. By not using water, but only pure oils, waxes and butters, mixed with pure mineral pigments, a product spoils less quickly

Water Solvent (nail polish)

No risks known

Olive oil, shea butter, castor oil, beeswax, mango kernel butter Nourishing, ensures spreadability of the product

Supports the natural function of the skin and protects, repairs and cares for it.

Natural dyes such as iron oxides or other mineral pigments such as ultramarine blue Dyes

No risks known.

Sources:, wikipedia, ingredient lists on products.