The first nail-focused beauty blog

Natural Nail Polish Removers

By on April 19, 2008
in Eco-conscious

One way to easily green up your nail care routine is to replace your nail polish remover with a natural version. Choosing a natural remover not only helps the environment but your health. They rely on water and plant based ingredients rather than chemicals that can affect the soil and water supply.

Now I know that there is a lot of concern about acetone and the possible health risks. That exposure to acetone can cause cancer. However I’ve also read that it’s more of a concern if you are constantly surrounded by it (i.e. nail techs). On that issue I suggest you do your own research but here are a couple references I found:
Cosmetic Database, National Library of Medicine

I reviewed the No-Miss remover the other day but here are some more options.

Tate’s The Natural Miracle Odorless Nail Polish Remover is a local Cleveland area brand. Located in charming downtown Willoughby, Tate’s remover is made from 100% minerals and is dye, color, fragrance and cruelty free. They claim it takes off polish 50 times faster than traditional removers but I’d like to see the tests on that. Additionally this product is a multi-tasker. It can be used as a nail conditioner, nail strengthener, callous remover, wart eliminator, and cuticle remover. ($14.58)

Suncoat Natural Nail Polish Remover is naturally derived from farm crops and does not contain any petroleum ingredients. It is non-toxic, non-carcinogenic and biodegradable. ($5.99, $9.99)

Honeybee Gardens Odorless Nail Polish Remover includes horsetail extract to strengthen nails and Vitamin E & Aloe to protect and moisturize cuticles. ($6.99)

Ingredients: methanol, methyldiglycol, trimethyl hydroxypentyl isobutyrate, equisetum arvense (horsetail) extract, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), aloe barbadensis leaf juice, denatonium benzoate (bittering agent).

Green Manicure Tip: Due to the oils and other ingredients used in these natural removers I suggest swiping your nail with vinegar before polishing to remove any residue that could cause the lacquer to lift or peel.

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There Are 11 Brilliant Comments

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  1. "Tink" says:

    I’ll be honest I never really thought about it but I am going to look for more natural polish remover on my next visit to Sally’s.

  2. cybele says:

    seems like an oxymoron – green nail polish removers. I don’t think they could ever be green!
    since you are the expert – do you know if Nars’ new Orgasm nail polish will be sold by itself? I only see it as a set with the gloss. Thanks!

  3. RedHedd says:

    Thank you for bringing this up as I hadn’t really thought about it. Doesn’t acetone just evaporate anyway? How much is really left? How well do these work? The prices of some of them would be prohibitive for my pocketbook, but if they worked better than acetone I might consider it.

  4. m says:

    It would great to have a remover that doesn’t reek.

  5. CincyFan says:

    RedHedd – For the average consumer, inhaling acetone vapor is a bigger health risk than topical exposure. I believe the majority of cases where skin exposure has been an issue is in commercial environments.

    I haven’t been able to test all the removers I posted about, I have a budget too. :) The No-Miss one I tried worked well though. Acetone will probably always work faster just due to its harsh nature.

    And just for the record, I’m not saying that you have to use a natural remover. It’s just that with so many people trying to find ways to live a more natural/organic/earth-friendly lifestyle I wanted to give those people options.

  6. Sarah says:

    I tried the Suncoat one. it is nice and works for water-based and regular polishes. You kind of have to dab it on all nails with a q-tip to get them soaked. Let it soak in for a while then come in w/ a tissue and rub them off. It’s a little bit more work than with regular polish removers but there is not any smell. It is fairly greasy and you’ll have to wash your hands well with soap and water. If you plan on using polish right away after removing old polish, I recommend swiping the nails with vinegar to remove any oily residue.
    (I should mention that while I think the Suncoat remover is pretty good I don’t like their polishes. They took FOREVER to dry and when they finally dried they were next to impossible to get off even with their own remover. Fortunately the Suncoat remover also works with regular polishes.)

    Another natural polish remover I have tried that you haven’t mentioned here is ELON nail polish remover pads. One of these pads is enough to remove polish from all 10nails. These work better than the Suncoat in terms of ease of use and speed of removal and in my opinion they are far less greasy. They also work WAY better than conventional acetone-based remover pads that I used this summer; had to use THREE pads to remove polish from all 10 nails. Also, they are convenient for travel (no need to carry around a liquid). There are no harsh chemicals and no acetone in it. Also, no bad smell; there is a slight smell like Juicy Fruit gums. This is what I’m using now and like it.

  7. Andie says:

    where can i find these natural removers? are they in local drug stores? what about the regular polish removers with “no acetone” are they safer too?

  8. Jessica Claire says:

    what a great idea!

    remover smells so toxic and is so drying so I’d love to try a green version

  9. Jamie says:

    Thanks for posting about these…I’d been wondering whether anything like that was available or really worked as good as traditional removers. I’ll have to see if I can find one of these to try!

  10. Rachel says:

    Be careful with the Honeybee Gardens methanol-based remover! Methanol is ridiculously poisonous to humans and can lead to blindness or death whether exposure occurs by ingestion, inhalation, or absorption through the skin. See “Health and Safety” under It is extremely poisonous to fetuses so pregnant women should NOT use methanol-based removers.

    I’m surprised this “green” remover contains methanol as it MUCH worse for the environment than acetone. Be careful!

  11. Tina says:

    I agree with Rachel. It’s interesting that the Honeybee Gardens remover isn’t allowed in California, just like the 2nd version of Go Natural.