Your Nail Polish Remover Might Be Sabotaging Your Manicure Efforts — Here’s What You Should Be Using Instead
by Caroline Harris
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Read on to discover the benefits of natural nail polish remover and the best ones to shop from retailers like Amazon and Nordstrom.
My least favorite part about painting my nails is the thick, pungent odor of nail polish remover. It smells toxic and unnatural, like something I shouldn’t be putting near my body. I used to actually hold my breath while using nail polish remover because I was so concerned about inhaling the chemical fumes.
Turns out, my suspicions were not unfounded. The chemicals used in many nail polish removers — including isopropyl acetone, n-methyl-pyrrolidone, and methyl ethyl ketone — may lead to organ toxicity and reproductive harm, with pregnant women and nail salon workers especially vulnerable.
In addition to the possible health effects, non-natural nail polish removers can be drying, contributing to thin, damaged, and brittle nails, especially with frequent use. They could be undermining your efforts to achieve happy, healthy nails by weakening your nail plates and creating more sensitivity and breakage.
Fortunately, there are a range of natural nail polish removers from popular brands like Zoya, Deborah Lipmann, and Ella + Mila for those who are looking to make the switch. Some are soy-based, while others are formulated with lavender and aloe for hydrating benefits. Many of them are advertised as “acetone-free” – but what, exactly, does that mean?
The Difference Between Acetone and Non-Acetone Nail Polish Removers
There are two main types of nail polish removers: acetone and non-acetone. Acetone is a strong solvent that quickly and thoroughly removes polish from nails. But that same strength makes acetone a harsh ingredient that can strip away your natural oils and dry out your skin, cuticles, and nails. By contrast, non-acetone removers use gentler solvents like isopropyl myristate and ethyl acetate. They’re not nearly as efficient at removing polish, but they’re also more sensitive on your skin and nails.
For the past year, I’ve been using an acetone-free nail polish remover. It’s called the Olive & June Nail Polish Remover Pot, and I’m obsessed. Not only is this product cruelty-free and vegan, but it also has a built-in sponge so you don’t have to waste any Q-tips or cotton balls. It’s even odorless and comes in adorable pink packaging, so what more could you possibly want?
Below, you can shop the Olive & June Nail Polish Remover Pot, as well as other natural, non-toxic nail polish removers for your next DIY mani-pedi.
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