Whether trying to fix your chipped nail or doing your nails for a salon look during pregnancy, you need nail glue. But if you are looking for a non-toxic nail glue, finding one can be challenging. But we have done the research to find a non-toxic nail glue and safer alternative if you want to do your nails for a salon look or for your little one.
Pregnancy changes many things inside out. You may have started watching what you eat and put it on your body for the safety of your growing baby. From personal skincare to the candle brand, you normally use changes to non-toxic kind during pregnancy because all of your concentration is on the safety of your unborn child.
But this does not mean you can’t do anything you used to love, and getting manicures and pedicures come in those categories. But unfortunately, getting those gorgeous nails at the salon exposes you to toxic flame, and many pregnant women like to avoid getting their nails done at the salon.
Those who want to avoid a salon for their manicure might consider putting on fake nails or press on nails. I know it sounds so 1980s, but still, it is the safest option to beautify your nail for the party without exposing yourself to toxic chemicals.
The main problem with putting on fake nails is the need for nail glue. So, if you are looking for a non-toxic nail glue, we have an answer. While it is hard to find a nail glue that is 100% non-toxic, there is a brand that sells comparatively safer nail glue that you can use during pregnancy.
There is also an alternative to nail glue that might work temporarily to glue fake nails for a few days.
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Why is Nail Glue Toxic?
Nail glue is applied on your nail to hold the fake nails or press on nails over your original nail. Unfortunately, the chemical composition of commercial nail glue makes it toxic to use during pregnancy or for DIY purposes at home in the absence of an experienced nail technician.
The main ingredients in nail glue include cyanoacrylate, hydroxypropyl methacrylate, citric acid, BHA, alcohol, and formaldehyde. Let’s look at each ingredient in detail.
Cyanoacrylate is a colorless liquid and the main adhesive in most commercial nail glue. And this commercial cyanoacrylate used as a fast active adhesive is more irritating to skin tissue and has higher toxicity. Accidental skin exposure to this chemical in nail glue can cause first or second-degree burns.
Another toxic ingredient to avoid in nail glue is hydroxypropyl methacrylate. This is a common cosmetic ingredient to aid in the growth of the nails. While it is rated safe to use when skin contact is avoided by EWG, it is potent skin and eye irritator.
Exposure to a high level of hydroxypropyl methacrylate can cause developmental toxicity. However, the concentration of this chemical is very low in nail glue, so as long as you avoid skin contact, apply glue in a well-ventilated area, and away from infants and furry friends, it may not be harmful.
Another common ingredient that you often find in a cosmetic product is BHA or butylated hydroxyanisole. It is a preservative and stabilizer and is used in a product to increase its self-life.
However, the National Institutes of Health has classified BHA as a human carcinogen based on evidence of experiments on lab animals. So, exposure to BHA should be avoided when you are pregnant.
Formaldehyde is another nasty chemical used as a preservative in nail glues. It is hard to avoid formaldehyde as it is used in every product, from couches, bed frames, and bed mattresses to cribs, play mats, or playpans.
Exposure to formaldehyde has been linked to causing infertility, miscarriage, allergic reactions, skin dermatitis, and asthma.
The study published in 2020 reviewed Pavia Poison Control Centre clinical records to identify the frequency, route of exposure, and associated risk of exposure to nail glue or eyelash glue. The study showed that accidental exposure to nail glue resulted in mild to severe first- or second-degree skin burn in adults or infants.
Also, pregnancy causes so many changes to your body; having brittle or weak nails could be one of them. And applying toxic nail blue on your weak natural nails during pregnancy may cause further damage to your nails.
So, it is best to limit or avoid the use of toxic nail glue, especially when pregnant or you have little kids running around the house.
Does non-toxic nail glue to use during pregnancy exist?
Sadly, non-toxic nail glue that checks all the boxes does not exist. Due to the nature of the product, there are no safer ingredients that do the job very well for the intended purpose. But you can indeed find a nail glue alternative that is comparatively safer.
While looking for a non-toxic nail glue to use during pregnancy, I stumbled upon Honeybee nail glue. The product claims to be non-toxic and safer, but no ingredients are listed anywhere. I have tried contacting the manufacturer and waiting for a response. If I hear from them, I will update this post accordingly.
Here are non-toxic nail glue options you have to put on fake nails or press on nails.
3 Alternatives to Toxic Nail Glue to put on Fake Nails during Pregnancy
Adhesive Glue Clay Stick
Adhesive glue clay stick is an excellent option to put on fake nails, press on nails, or DIY your nails for a salon look when pregnant.
The way it works is you have to gently knead the adhesive putty to make them soft before applying it to your dry nails. The clay helps the fake nails stick on reliably.
This adhesive nail glue clay is made from non-toxic material and is safe to use during pregnancy. Because of the nature of the product, there is no spillage and toxic fume coming out of it while applying it to your nail. The product is also non-irritant.
If you are still afraid of using the product, you can always wear gloves while kneading the adhesive nail glue clay to be on the safer side. Also, keep them away from children.
The great thing about this adhesive nail glue clay is that they are reusable and won’t leave any mark or stain on your original nails after use. This non-toxic nail glue clay will achieve perfect DIY nail art.
Adhesive Nail Tabs
Another safer alternative to toxic nail glue is Self-adhesive nail tabs. These tabs are easy to apply and work great for keeping fake nails in place for a few days.
These Self-Adhesive tabs work like double-sided tape that you apply on your nail to stick fake nails in the short term. The adhesive tabs work great in keeping press-on nails or acrylic on your natural nails. The press-on nails or fake nails will last 2-3 days with this self-adhesive tab.
The tabs come in various sizes on each plastic sheet that will fit each fingernail. In addition, each tab is covered with clear plastic backing to help in centering the tab when applying the tab to your nail.
The back of the adhesive tab also has an extended flap without glue under it for ease of use. This extended flap is great for grabbing and peeling off the tab and applying it to your fake nails.
While adhesive nail tabs aren’t the best non-toxic solution as they still contain chemicals, it is safer than toxic nail glue.
These self-adhesive tabs are safer to use at home for a DIY project and during pregnancy and do not pose any immediate harm to kids. In addition, tabs are a safer alternative to toxic glue to put on fake nails as they do not expose you to toxic fumes during application and are less allergic than toxic glue.
If you are first-time user of self-adhesive tabs, check out this video on how to use these tabs to put on fake nails.
Attach fake nails with Clear Nail polish
If you are looking for a way to adhere fake nails without glue, this clear nail polish will do the job nicely. Choose the clear non-toxic nail polish for this purpose. I have written an extensive post about the best non-toxic nail polishes; you can choose any brand from the list and order clean, non-toxic nail polish.
Our top choice for non-toxic nail polishes is
To attach the fake nails with clear nail polish, first, wash your natural nails. Next, paint the back of the fake nails with clear nail polish and let it dry for 30 seconds. Do not let it dry completely; otherwise, it won’t stick on the natural nails. Then apply the fake nail over your natural nail and press it for 60 seconds.
If your clear nail polish dries out after applying to your fake nail, apply another coat of clear nail polish. Alternatively, you can apply a clear coat on your natural nail if that is easy for you. I find applying clean nail polish to natural nails easier than applying it on fake nails.
It will take 1-2 hours for clean nail polish to cure and hold the nails after application, so meanwhile, do not press or pull too hard on the nails.
Is glue or adhesive tabs better for fake nails?
The nail glue and adhesive tabs both works to stick the fake nails to the natural nail if you want to DIY your nails for salon looks.
The adhesive tabs work great for attaching fake nails if you are looking for short-term use which commercial nail glue will hold fake nails for 4-5 days.
However, nail glues are not the safest choice as they are loaded with toxic chemicals that might cause temporary health issues in direct skin or eye contact due to applying the product. At the same time, adhesive tabs are safer as they come as peel and stick tabs. Therefore, there is no immediate concern of toxic fumes, spillage, or direct skin contact.
So, if you are pregnant, I would not recommend using nail glue for your DIY nail project at home.
Is Nail Glue safe to use during pregnancy?
Commercial nail glues are loaded with toxic chemicals like cyanoacrylate, hydroxypropyl methacrylate, citric acid, BHA, alcohol, and formaldehyde, and exposure to fumes of nail glue is not safest when you are pregnant.
Also, accidental dermal or eye contact with nail glue can cause mild to severe skin burns. So, avoid exposure to nail glue when pregnant. Other not-so-toxic alternatives include nail glue to stick on the press-on nails or acrylic nails when pregnant. You can use adhesive nail tabs or clay to temporarily hold fake nails on your natural nails.
What happens if you get Nail Glue in your mouth?
If you have accidentally swallowed nail glue, it will solidify as soon as it touches the moist environment, and toxic chemicals from nail glue will be absorbed through your mucous membrane, which is not good for your health.
So, do not try to open the nail glue bottle with the help of your teeth. It will solidify too quickly, and your teeth or tongue will end up glued. Seek medical attention if that is the case.
In case of nail glue exposure in your mouth, try to remove glue from the skin as soon as possible and check with your doctor.
Is Kiss Nail Glue Non-Toxic?
Sadly, Kiss nail glue is not non-toxic. The main ingredients in Kiss nail glue include Ethyl cyanoacrylate, polymethyl methacrylate, and triacetin. These chemicals can cause mild to severe dermal and eye irritation, damage, and burn.
Although, Kiss nail glue is free from other toxic hormone-altering chemicals such as phthalates, bisphenols, parabens, phenols, and PFSA. So, the brand has made a significant effort to make products with fewer chemicals.
If you want to use Kiss nail glue during pregnancy, I highly recommend doing your nails in a well-ventilated area and be careful while handling the bottle of nail glue to avoid accidental contact with skin or eyes. Also, wear a face mask, so you do not breathe toxic fume from the nail glue while it’s applied.
Sadly, non-toxic nail glue for applying press on nails or acrylic nails does not exist. But you do not have to give up on beautifying your nail if you have a gender reveal party, baby shower party, or co-ed diaper party.
You can use nail glue alternatives such as adhesive tags, self-adhesive nail clay, or even use clear nail polish to stick on fake nails on your natural nails for that salon look. These alternatives are a temporary solution but are not as toxic as using nail glue during pregnancy. So before you go, do not forget to check out these non-toxic nail polishes that you can use guilt-free during pregnancy and beyond.
Good luck, MAMA!