What do you think of when you hear the words “Nail Polish Remover”? Here are a few things that come to my mind: Stinky, Headache, Toxic.
Growing up my mom would never let me use nail polish remover in the house. She would always say, “Take it outside.”
Open a bottle of nail polish remover and you'll notice the strong smell – you might also notice your family leaving the room. (Or yelling at you.) The smell and possibly the slight sting you feel in your eyes is your body's way of warning you.
The Ingredients in Nail Polish Remover:
Nail polish remover's main ingredient is a solvent usually acetone, methyl acetone or methyl ethyl ketone. While all three of these solvents are allowed to be used in the U.S., Canada and the European Union, if you are actively seeking to remove potential toxins from your environment, start with your polish remover.
The Side Effects of Nail Polish Remover:
Along with nose and eye irritation, acetone can, with regular use, cause the skin around your nails to become dry and cracked. Extended exposure (usually in laboratory setting) to concentrated solvents has been shown to cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, weakness, possible liver and/or kidney damage and reproductive problems.
Nail Polish Remover Alternatives:
I can't recommend a natural nail polisher remover, without also talking about conventional Nail Polish. I took a good look into the ingredients in nail polish a while back (read the post here) and what I found wasn't pretty.
I would highly recommend cleaning out your nail polish stash and replacing them with more natural alternatives. (Especially if you have a little one who loves to have their nails painted…)
Where to Buy Nail Polish Remover Alternatives:
There are several non-toxic nail polish removers available on Amazon. (I haven't tried these personally, but the reviews are good.)
DIY Nail Polish Remover:
If you want something you can make at home, try these DIY Nail Polish Removers. Note: These will work best with natural or water based nail polishes.
- Hot Water – Soak your hands in plain old hot water for several minutes. When you take them out you can gently scrape or peel your nail polish right off. If you are removing toe nail polish, soak in a hot bath and then remove.
- Rubbing Alcohol – Use rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball the way you would nail polish remover. It will take longer, but the polish will come off and you'll know you're working with a natural substance.
- Olive Oil and Lemon Essential Oil – If your cuticles are dry or prone to splitting, a good soak in 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil combined with about 10 drops of lemon essential oil will not only condition your cuticles, it will soften your polish and it smells great! (Want to learn more about Essential Oils? Download the free guide: 100+ Uses for Essential Oils Click Here)