Eco Beauty & Fashion

Does Eco Nail Polish Remover Really Work?

woman with red nail polish removing light pink polish from another woman's handIn the past, I’ve written a lot about nail polish—even gel polish—as this seems to be the single-most effective way to get a not-so-green girl to wake up and smell the toxic chemicals. After all, it’s one thing to tell you that parabens in most conventional beauty products have been linked to hormonal disruption—yada yada yada—but it’s quite another to tell you that if you start using eco nail polish your nails will stop turning yellow. But if you’re making the switch to better lacquers—but still have old polish in a drawer—can non-toxic polish remover work for both? Yes!
Can non-toxic polish remover work for regular and natural polish? Yes! Here are a few of my faves. To recap: Fabulous big three-free polishes are free of formaldehyde, toluene and DBP, and they come in in any number of absolutely au courant colors. Just because you don’t like toxic chemicals on your nails doesn’t mean you can’t have a soft spot for metallics, like this gorgeous bronze polish from Priti NYC or perfect-for-summer coral show-stopper from Dr.’s Remedy.

But what do you do to take the stuff off? Big-three free lasts just as long as conventional polish. But conventional polish removers contain toluene (linked to headaches, nausea and birth defects), ethyl acetate (neurological problems and cancer), methanol (headaches, as well as skin, eyes and lung irritation) and acetone (eye and lung irritation). So there’s a bit of a conundrum when you have to soak your cotton ball in a chemical bath in order to remove your “natural” nail polish, right?

Enter veggie-based polish removers. I don’t know how they do it, but non-toxic, non-carcinogenic, biodegradable corn- and soy-based removers from Honeybee Gardens, Suncoat and Scotch Naturals (not to mention my favorite Priti Polish Wipes) take off polish just as well as conventional removers, and they aren’t formulated with crappy toxic chemicals. Yes, you might need to rub a little bit more, but they also don’t leave your nails stripped and dried.

Problem solved. Now can we talk about lead in lipstick?

Photo: All Health Tipz


  • Virginia

    Try Suncoat base and top coat from Canada. I put two coats on, two coats of Scotch or Honeybee Gardens, and one top coat. Lasts a long time. Two weeks on toes and one week or more on fingers!

    • Rachel Sarnoff

      Sure! You can get everything online, but for the specific retailers I think you have to go to the site for the brand you like and click their “where to buy.” Both Priti and Scotch have those where you can type in your zip code and find them. Even the bigger stores don’t necessarily carry all the products at each location, so definitely check that. But online is pretty easy 🙂 Thanks for reading, Natalia!

  • Zyxomma

    I use soy based Priti remover. I have 3-free polishes from Priti, Butter London, Zoya, Sinful Colors, and 5-free from LVX and Scotch, which has no odor. I brought Scotch when I visited my original BFF, and she was shocked — normally, when she paints her nails, the cat runs away. Not with Scotch!

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