Designing Women- AILA Healthy Nail Polish

I care about the values of companies I give my money and business to. Women run and designed many of these companies. Smart women. Women I want to showcase, and support. This is the first in a series.

I’m very selective with skin care products. I’m vigilant about organic food. But I never stopped to worry about the ingredients in my nasty smelling, nail polish. I assumed it was harmless because it was on top on my nails. Mistake. Our nails are porous and you do absorb the chemicals into your system.

So while many of my friends are getting gel manicures, and exposing their hands to UV light, I went hunting for a healthy alternative. I can’t keep polish on my fingernails, but my toenails have been polished for 45 years. And will continue to be.

Designing Women- AILA Healthy Nail Polish

There are many companies making non-toxic nail products. The best are called 5-free. The manufacturers have removed five known toxic ingredients: formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, formaldehyde resin and camphor. Don’t those sound yummy?

In my search, I came across AILA, started  by Dr. Cary Gannon.

During a mid-life crisis, she decided to take charge and make many, healthy changes. She began eliminating toxic people and products from her life. In the process she designed this nail care line.


"AILA symbolizes transformation.  Not just my transformation but change for all women who are caught in a cycle.  No longer do women have to sacrifice health for beauty and function.  We want our products to be free of harmful chemicals.  We want our products to make us feel beautiful and we want them to work." ~Dr. Cary Gannon


Designing Women- AILA Healthy Nail Polish

AILA products are vegan and cruelty free. They’re also made in the USA.

So while there are many companies making nail polish without those harmful  5 chemicals, AILA is a company whose core values match my own.

Read their story.

The story about her daughter.

The story of her polish colors. This one is for color Ms. Martin:

Perfect Pink Nude
Ms. Martin is named for our best friend Michelle. Her favorite hues are soft colors that reflect her soothing personality. She is subtle and elegant, just like this color. Michelle recently lost her brother. To honor his family, AILA donates a percentage of the proceeds from this color to the Richard D. Martin Jr. Memorial Fund. #weloveyoumichelle
  • 5 Free, Gluten-Free, Vegan
  • Made WITHOUT Parabens
  • Cruelty Free
  • Chip-resistant, super shiny, long-lasting
  • Made in the USA

If you’re concerned about the chemicals you’re exposed to, have a look at AILA. You’ll be inspired by this company and the Designing Woman behind it.

Do you care about the values of the companies you give your business to?


PS- Heather and I are doing our Lifestyle Linkup this Friday. Please join us and share what inspires your style.




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  1. Ashley - Modern Belle says:

    Thanks for the recommendation! I’m always looking for healthier options for all my products!

  2. Jennifer, thanks for the heads up and recommendation! I often consider chemicals in soaps and skincare, but never really thought about nail polish. Thanks, so much, for joining my first #funsummerfinds linkup!


  3. Carol Cassara says:

    I’m starting to see more of this kind of product, thankfully. These are cute colors and I haven’t tried the brand. I will, now. Over from the summer finds linkup!

  4. Nice. I use the Butter line as I like to avoid nasty chemicals but it can get clumpy. I’ll have to take a look at this.

  5. Such pretty pretty colours too. Might be actioning a nude like that in the near future (on nails only)
    I always watch women get those acrylic nails and think they look perfect, but I could not do it.

  6. Catherine says:

    A fabulous, smart and caring company…great to hear, Jennifer…I’m going to seek them out!
    Thank you for popping by…the colour is oatmeal….very popular and goes with everything, it’s gorgeous 😉
    Enjoy the rest of your week xx

  7. I love learning about this line of products, Jen. To start with, the shades are gorgeous, if not why bother, right? Even more important, the benefits of using a line that is free of these toxins. I totally agree about putting healthy products on our skin AND nails. Lovely story! I’m excited about our LinkUp #stylefocus on Friday!
    xx, Heather

    1. I thought you might like that. There are also gluten free lotions and cosmetics!!

  8. What I put on my body became important when I realized, about the same time, that what I put in it was very important. I, fortunately, made this discovery at a relatively young age. I was 28, but my body had already broken down from toxins, including enviromental, which can include what we put on our bodies. I had not heard of this company. Thanks for the info. I have been relying on the same company or two for probably too long, to be the “safe” “go to.” I never polish my fingernails, but I do my toenails. But really, I think our nails were meant to breathe without polish. I usually go without in the winter.

    1. You’re lucky to have discovered it young. It always amazes me to see the aweful things wome slather on their bodies. Just filled with chemical!! And people wonder why Cancer rates are so high.

  9. Jennifer thank you so, so much for this great polish information I am going to the link right now!!

    The Arts by Karena
    Jackson Pollock

  10. Thanks for the info here. It took me ages to get used to my naked feet when I found out about nail polish being toxic to the body. Like you, I can’t keep it on my hands and have never really bothered to try but I always had colorful feet. Your blog post has made me reconsider using nail polish – just have to see if it is available in the UK. We are usually way behind the states with stuff like that but maybe this time I will be pleasantly surprised! I look forward to saying goodbye to my naked toes. Thanks again.

    1. I hope you can find it Gilly!! Remember the polish remover is critical too.

  11. Love this! I had no idea how toxic nail polish could be until I took my daughter for pedicures when she was pregnant and found it difficult to locate a natural organic health spa which specialized in these types of polishes. Can’t wait to give this brand a try.

    1. I think we all need to take as much care of ourselves as we did when we were pregnant!! Great connection Trina!! Looking forward to seeing you and not falling down:)

  12. French Basketeer says:

    I admit that I rarely wear nailpolish, but if I do, it’s going to be free of all that toxic crap!! Love to know about this line!

    1. The colors are so pretty, but I love the company values also!

  13. Hmmm I have ad thought about nail polish, too. But it would seem to be that as long as you have a non-toxic base coat – that would be the primary thing ?? The base coast is what touches your nails. (I am no scientist.)

    1. I’m guessing the base is the most critical too Georgia. And of course the polish remover!!

  14. I am one of those people wearing the gel and exposing to UV light…so now you have given me much to think about. I never really considered my nail polish or gave it a second thought. Thanks for this important post!

  15. As an 11 year breast cancer survivor, I’m vigilant about reading labels regardless of whether I put things IN or ON my body. I don’t always make the right choices. With food I do, but ON my body is where I’m tempted to go with the products that look good on my skin or nails. Sunblock I’m good about, however.

    1. It’s easy to be lulled by pretty packaging and glamorous advertising. I just need to remind myself, everything effects my health. Sunblock is critical!! I’m glad you do that!