I love having my nails done but am wondering about how all that nail polish remover affects the environment. Is there anything I should look out for?
Everyone loves a pretty manicure, but there are definitely environmental concerns tied to nail polish and nail polish remover. Both generally contain strong chemicals, sometimes petroleum-derived, that allow them to do their jobs — but that can also pollute the air during use, and the ground and water once they’re disposed of. Plus, frequent use can also damage nail beds and dry up cuticles.
Luckily, there are easy ways around all this! Many mainstream companies have worked to cut down (or completely cut out) their use of the strongest and most damaging chemicals. To rest assured you’re choosing a greener nail polish remover option, look for these two options:
- Find acetone-free nail polish remover. Acetone is very common in nail polish removers, and the fumes from acetone can pollute your household air and cause health issues even in small amounts — everything from dizziness to vomiting if you’re particularly sensitive to it. And when acetone is disposed of, it can contaminate waterways.
- Choose water- or mineral-based remover. Most nail polish removers contain a slew of other strong chemicals that, like acetone, can pollute indoor air quality, in turn affecting your health. A remover that is water- or mineral-based has replaced many of the chemicals with water or minerals.
Look for “Acetone Free”, “Water-Based”, or “Mineral-Based” on a nail polish remover’s label; if a remover is one of those three, it should be easy to spot!