Acetone nail polish remover is considered by some to be the big bad wolf of the nail industry.
And you do. The containers of unpleasant-smelling liquid that you soak cotton swabs in to remove stubborn nail lacquer, like the red you’ve been covering for 6,876,980 years.
If you Google “is acetone bad,” you’ll come across numerous articles discussing the harm acetone nail polish removers can cause to your nails. However, if you ask the professionals, they’ll tell you there isn’t any hard evidence demonstrating the danger of acetone nail polish remover.
We sought the opinions of two nail technicians and a dermatologist with expertise in nail health to learn more about the controversy surrounding acetone and if it is safe to continue using it.
Why is acetone terrible for nails and what is it?
- Nail polish removers typically contain the solvent acetone.
- Acetone polish remover removes nail polish from the nail plate surface by dissolving it.
- Although acetone is not poisonous, it is harmful if consumed.
- Acetone exposure can cause the nail plate, cuticles, and surrounding skin to become dehydrated; as a result, the nail can become dry and brittle and the cuticle can become dry, flaky, red, and inflamed.
- Natural nail polish removers must be scrubbed in order to remove the polish, and non-acetone nail polish removers also include chemicals.
It is possible to remove acrylic, gel, shellac, and SNS manicures with non-acetone solvent solutions.
Acetone is now the most effective nail polish remover available on the market, and there is no definitive study to demonstrate that it is poisonous or harmful.
More serious nail problems than acetone nail polish remover include allergies, allergic contact dermatitis, and UV rays.
What does acetone/acetone polish remover consist of?
Acetone, sometimes referred to as propanone, is a colorless liquid that burns easily. According to Dr. Samantha Eisman of Sinclair Dermatology, it is a solvent that is utilized in the production of plastics, household goods, cosmetics, and personal care items.
As a by-product of metabolism, acetone is also formed in the human body and is typically found in the blood and urine.
According to Thea Phan, a nail technician at The Nail Lab, “In the beauty business, acetone is wonderful for removing nail lacquer, gel color, and acrylic nails, as well as for preparing the nail for a new coat of nail polish. For manicures, salons typically employ a 70–90% acetone solution.
How does polish remover with acetone function?
The two main ingredients in traditional nail polish removers are an acetone solvent and a fatty substance like lanolin or caster oil. Acetone swiftly disintegrates nail lacquer and strips it from the nail plate surface in order to remove polish.
What effects does acetone have on nails?
Anything you do to your nails outside trimming and buffing them may damage them in some way, but Dr. Eisman and Phan both concurred that the main danger of using acetone to remove acrylic, nail polish, gel, SNS, and nail polish is dryness.
“Acetone-containing nail polish removers might make nails dry or brittle. Additionally, it may result in bothersome irritant contact dermatitis (red, dry, itchy, inflamed skin around the nail), which can be painful and uncomfortable. Infections can also enter the body through broken skin, according to Dr. Eisman.
“People frequently fail to realize that the remover, not the polish, is what causes damage to our nails,” Phan continued. Your cuticles, skin around your nails, and your nails themselves may become red, dry, and flaky after being exposed to acetone. The cuticle skin, which serves as a shield for your nail, is greatly affected by acetone. Acetone will cause cuticle skin to dry out and become cracked, peeled, and bleed.
The best acetone-free method for removing artificial nails.
The conventional file and drill method is an alternative to using acetone to remove acrylic nails, according to nail expert Vanessa Schirripa of Pretty Little Things Beauty.
“Instead of dissolving thick acrylic, a nail technician can use nail pliers to help extract the acrylic from the nail bed and a drill to help scale down the acrylic. However, because the drill might cause a minor burning sensation on the real nail, this method of removing artificial nails can be rather uncomfortable. Not for the timid!” she exclaimed to Mamamia.
Avoiding acetone for removing Shellac.
“Shellac may be removed using a peel, drill, or buff and is much thinner than acrylic. Successful eradication can also be achieved using non-acetone products, according to Schirripa.
“All you have to do is wrap the shellac polish in a cotton ball that has been soaked in a non-acetone solution. For 10 minutes, wrap it in foil and let it soak completely. After that, just file or drill the shellac off to finish.
As a side note, to maintain healthy nails between manicures and reduce damage, apply a nail strengthening product.