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Nailed it! Our guide to eco-friendly nail care.

Living an eco-friendly life doesn't have to mean ditching everything you love.

A self-confessed former beauty addict, a decade ago I wouldn't be seen dead without fake tan, fake lashes and fake nails (and all the other beauty products that I spent £££ on).



The eco journey with beauty for me was a hard cold turkey but slowly I realised there are amazing eco alternatives out there to replace my former routines with a less harmful impact on my body and the planet.


It does take a little more time and effort to think about and source the products but sustainable doesn't have to mean worse, just more conscious of what we choose to buy!


So how can you upgrade your nail care routine with some more sustainable, toxic-free, vegan, environmentally friendly options that keep your nails looking beautiful and planet happy without compromise?


Firstly, although these days it's rare for me to have painted nails because I'm running round after the kids 24/7, I absolutely still enjoy using nail polish, although it's no surprise that the majority of nail polishes are pretty environmentally damaging (full of toxic chemicals: such as formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP) as well as many others which can be pretty harmful.


Choosing a nail polish that is toxin-free means that you won't need to worry about these chemicals affecting both yourself and the environment.

It's also worth looking for one with a bamboo lid (the brush may still be plastic unfortunately but every little helps!). Personally, I use Zao and Nails Inc Plant Based polishes. So you've found your toxic-free nail polishes, but what a toxic-free remover to go with them?


Nail polish removers are made from acetone which is safe in small amounts but is still toxic; the fumes can cause dizziness and nausea and can actually damage nail beds and dry up cuticles which is not great for a 'nail-care' product really is it?



When you dispose of nail polish remover (either by throwing away single-use pads soaked in remover or washing it down the sink) these chemicals substances then find their way into our water and soil, plus the production of these removers creates chemical waste and is very energy intensive.


As an alternative, I use Fresh Therapies Nail Polish Remover. It naturally and effectively removes nail varnish and actually leaves my nails in great condition as there are no harsh chemicals that will dry out or damage your nails, leaving the natural oils in your nails intact.


Another bonus is there's no nasty chemical smell just a light citrusy scent which is toxic-free, cruelty-free, vegan and uses only biodegradable ingredients so it's safe for the environment as well as you. Plus it comes in plastic-free packaging: it arrives in a cardboard box, containing a glass bottle with a metal cap. Win win!


But what do I use it with?


Using single-use cotton pads to remove nail polish creates a lot of waste (just one pack of 5 reusable wipes will replace 1040 single use cotton pads) and its not just the cotton waste you have to worry about! Once the pad has absorbed nail polish remover on it, all those chemicals we mentioned before will now be in the cotton pad and will go into landfill. Disposable cotton pads are also made using a huge amount of water, energy and chemicals.


I've switched to Tabitha Eve's Reusable Nail Polish Remove Pads. They're made from 100% Bamboo Rayon Felt which is super soft and durable meaning it will withstand both nail polish and nail polish removers. Plus when you’re finally finished with one, they’re plant-based and biodegradable!


No manicure is complete without a nail file and there are some surprising eco-friendly options that could help you save more plastic nail files from going to landfill. Why not try a glass file or or sandstone file?

They're both much gentler than some metal files and perfect for those of us with softer nails.



The final tip for your eco-friendly routine is try having a break from false nails and acrylics and set your natural nails free.

Falsies are non-biodegradable because they're all plastic. If you go for at-home, glue on nails there's often a lot of excess plastic packaging and strong, harsh glues which can damage both your nails and the environment when disposed of. Nail salons can also produce a lot of waste so it's always worth researching into sustainable nail salons near you.

Even making one or two of these changes could have a massive impact on you and the planet and are great steps in the right direction!