Monday, March 28, 2011

Ingredient Investigation: Acetone

Everyone loves a good manicure...

But there's an avoidable ingredient, known for its harmful effects, 
that may be in your polish & remover.


This colorless liquid is commonly used as a solvent in nail polish removers & nail finishes, but do you know any of its other uses?  Acetone acts as a solvent for airplane glue, fats, oils, & waxes.  Have you ever had fake, acrylic nails?  When you decide to take the nails off or get a new set, Acetone is the liquid used in the salon to dissolve the thick acrylic from your natural nails.  It's heavy-duty stuff, a lot stronger than necessary for natural nails.  

In 1992, a ban was proposed by the FDA to stop the inclusion of Acetone in astringent products because the ingredient had not proven to be safe & effective as claimed.

This ingredient can cause:

  • irritation of lungs
  • peeling/splitting of nails
  • skin rashes on fingers
  • nail brittleness
  • dried out, lifeless looking nails
Ever wonder why some nail technicians wear those masks? Inhalation of large amounts of acetone is hard on the lungs, can have the effect of a narcotic, & can cause symptoms of drunkenness. 

The nails are an extension of our body.  They're made up of a protein called keratin, & they grow out from our fingers as we produce more protein.  Like hair, nails absorb whatever products you put on them.  Many lines of nail polish remover contain versions without the chemical Acetone.  Be sure to check the label the next time you're shopping for nail polish remover.  Ask your nail technician to use Acetone-free remover or bring in your own.  You can even bring in your own nail polish if you prefer it over the salon's.

The amazing books I used to find some of this information:

No More Dirty Looks by Siobhan O'Connor & Alexandra Spunt
A Consumer's Dictionary of Cosmetic Ingredients by Ruth Winter, M.S.


Anonymous said...

Do you think guys should apply nail polish when they finish their manicure

Sariana said...

Great question! I'm making it the beauty blunder post of today.