Health & Beauty, Life & Style

The Best Natural Nail Polish Removers for Healthy Nails

Polish up on the best eco-friendly and natural nail polish removers for healthy nails and planet – from acetone-free to plastic-free.

In order to help support the running costs of Moral Fibres, this post contains affiliate links, denoted by *. Moral Fibres may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to readers, on items that have been purchased through those links. This income helps keep this site running.

I’ve covered lots of topics in my eco-friendly health and beauty section, yet never nails. I’ve never been a big nail polish wearer, to be honest. It just isn’t my thing. But then I had two daughters. One of whom is very into painting her nails. Suddenly I had to consider things like not only the nail polish itself but also nail polish remover.

As I’ve been in prime research mode, let me share with you the best natural nail polish removers I’ve come across.

Why Isn’t Regular Nail Polish Remover Natural?

Regular nail polish remover is made from acetone and/or ethyl acetate. These are cheap to produce and do the job effectively.

Acetone is a chemical that’s often produced in nature – for example by trees. Acetone is also produced and disposed of in the human body, as part of our metabolic processes. As such, acetone is normally present in blood and urine.

What this means is the ingredient themselves aren’t toxic. However, we shouldn’t get complacent. Both acetone and ethyl acetate are dangerous when ingested. Exposure to acetone can also dehydrate the nail plate, cuticles, and the surrounding skin. As such, nails can become dry and brittle, and cuticles can become dry, flaky, red, and irritated. It’s not what you want when you want your nails to look their best.

Breathing in large amounts of acetone or ethyl acetate can also cause health problems. These include nose, throat, eye, and lung irritation, dizziness, a headache, nausea and vomiting, and more.

Guide To The Best Natural Nail Polish Removers

Image of a person removing pink nail polish with a blue text box that says the best eco-friendly and natural nail polish removers for health nails and the planet.

The good news is that there are now lots of eco-friendly alternatives available that avoid these harsh ingredients. Many also come in glass bottles, allowing you to ditch the plastic associated with your nail care routine.

Benecos Eco-Friendly Nail Polish Remover

Benecos Natural’s* certified organic natural nail polish remover is acetone-free. Instead, it uses natural organic orange peel oil and organic lavender oil to naturally and gently remove natural nail polish from your nails.

As it is made without acetone, this remover won’t leave your skin and nails feeling dry. What’s more, it is vegan friendly too.

On the downside, it does come in a recyclable plastic bottle rather than glass. However, this is the cheapest eco-friendly nail polish remover I have found. If you are on a budget then this might have to be a trade-off that you make. It also works best on natural nail polish brands. For conventional brands of nail polish then it may not be strong enough to take on the task.

Buy Benecos Natural Nail Polish Remover from Ethical Superstore for £5.95* for 125 ml.

Manucurist Green Flash

green flash by manucurist

Manucurist* is a new French vegan and cruelty-free brand. They pride themselves on swapping harsh ingredients for natural, eco-friendly alternatives that promote glossy, long-lasting manicures and healthy nails.

Manucurist Green Flash nail polish remover is acetone-free, making it much less damaging for your nails. It’s also packed with 97% bio-sourced ingredients, making it hydrating and gentle on your nails. What’s more, it has a delicate floral scent that’s nothing like its acetone-based counterparts. And it comes in a glass bottle, rather than a plastic one.

Do note that it is formulated especially to remove Manucurist plant-based gel polishes with ease, so might struggle with removing conventional nail polish.

Buy Manucurist Green Flash Nail Polish Remover from Cult Beauty for £19* for 100 ml.

Zao Natural Nail Polish Remover

zao natural nail polish remover

Zao’s* vegan-friendly and water-based nail polish remover gently and easily removes polish without drying out or harming your skin or nails. This is because it’s formulated without acetone and ethyl acetate. Instead, it is made with much milder, and certified organic, ethyl lactate, and organic bamboo water. These help to strengthen and fortify your nails whilst gently removing your nail polish.

This nail polish remover is free from parabens, triclosan, phthalates, mineral oils, animal testing, genetically modified ingredients, artificial colours, and fragrances. What’s more, it is made in Europe and comes in a recyclable glass bottle topped with a bamboo lid. No plastic here!

On the downside, it does contain palm oil. However, Zao says that this has been sustainably sourced. It also contains mica. I’m not big on mica. It’s a common ingredient in beauty products, yet is linked to forced child labour. However, again, Zao says that they only use certified ethically sourced mica.

Buy Zao Natural Nail Polish Remover from &Keep for £19.75* for 100 ml.

Kure Bazaar

kure bazaar nail polish remover in glass bottle

Kure Bazaar nail polish remover* is free from acetone and ethyl acetate. Instead, it’s made in France from solvents such as wheat, corn and cane sugar. Containing rose, rosehip oil and patchouli, its scent is also light years away from traditional stinky nail polish removers.

Its oil-like texture is a little different to using traditional acetone nail polish removers. However, it will remove nail polish and nourish your nails rather than stripping them of their natural oils and leaving them brittle. It doesn’t whiten or dry your nails or hands either, instead leaving nails feeling hydrated and soft.

This vegan-friendly product has not been tested on animals, and it is cruelty-free. It is also packaged in a recyclable glass bottle and cardboard box, making it a good plastic-free alternative.

The downside is that is the most expensive natural nail polish remover in this roundup. However, it does come in a much larger bottle than the others. This means it does work out comparable – if not cheaper – in price to the other products featured.

Buy Kure Bazaar Natural Nail Polish Remover from Naturisimo for £35* for 250 ml.

Dear Sundays

a person holding dear sundays soy nail polish remover

Dear Sundays soy-based nail polish remover* gently removes your polish while nourishing your nails with vitamins A, C, and E as well as natural grapefruit essential oils.

It has a thicker consistency compared to conventional nail polish remover. It is more like olive oil. And it does take a little more scrubbing to remove polish. However, my top tip for any soy-based nail polish remover is to let it sit on your nails for at least 30 seconds before rubbing it off. This helps it to penetrate the nail polish, for easier removal.

What’s to love is that this vegan and cruelty-free product also comes packaged in a stylish glass bottle. You won’t want to hide it away, unlike those blue bottles of nail polish remover!

Buy Dear Sundays Natural Nail Polish Remover from Feel Unique for £24.95* for 100 ml.

Karma Organic

Karma Organic natural nail polish remover* has almost 3500 4.5 star reviews on Amazon. And for good reason. It is acetone-free, vegan-friendly, cruelty-free and free of any petroleum-based ingredients. It’s also free from common allergens, such as formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, toluene, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and camphor.

This effective nail polish remover effectively removes all nail polishes, not just the Karma Organic brand. However, do note that it doesn’t work on gel nail polish or acrylic-treated nails.

It comes packaged in a glass bottle for a plastic-free beauty routine. The downside is that I have only been able to find this product on Amazon.

Buy Karma Organic Polish Remover from Amazon*.

Found any more natural nail polish removers? Do let me know and I will update this list.

Resources, take eco action

How To Make Your Workplace More Sustainable

One of the most impactful ways to take action on climate change is to encourage your workplace to be more sustainable. Here’s a handy toolkit of ideas and resources to get started.

Being sustainable at home is a great step. From composting food waste to switching to eco-friendly toothpaste, to shopping for ethical clothing, and everything in between, there are myriad ways to be sustainable in our own lives.

However, if we want to create greater change and help reduce climate change on a larger scale, then we have to step outside of our own individual bubbles. One incredibly impactful way to do this is to encourage your workplace to be more sustainable. With many people currently returning to the office, it couldn’t be a better time to collectively organise and ask your organisation for change. Doing so can create far greater positive environmental change than might ever be possible in your own life.

Sounds like a mammoth task? Don’t worry, here are some ideas to break it down, and help make your workplace a greener place to be.

How to Encourage Your Workplace to Be More Sustainable

Image of a workplace sustainability team, with a blue text box that says how to make your workplace more sustainable

All types of employers, regardless of what sector they operate in, can reduce their carbon emissions and help encourage and support their employees to lead greener lives. Some workplaces may be more willing than others. And some workplaces may find it trickier than others. However, it’s imperative that all workplaces get on board with reducing carbon emissions.

To help your own workplace start on its journey to becoming more sustainable, here are some ideas to get the conversation going.

Set Up A Sustainability Action Group

If you work in a large organisation, then in order to encourage the management of your workplace to make sustainable changes, consider setting up a sustainability action group. Invite other colleagues to join, so that you can collectively work together with management to suggest environmental changes that can be made.

Workplace sustainability action groups work best when you have a cross-section of people from different departments. Therefore aim to have a representative from as many departments as possible.

It might be that you are able to meet as part of your working day. Other organisations might stipulate that you have to use your lunch hour. Whatever your workplace’s stance, aim to meet regularly to discuss priority areas.

Groups tend to work best when they have a structure in place. One that focuses on creative brainstorming, identifying company leverage points, and instigating collective action. Sounds overwhelming? Project Drawdown has a great resource on climate solutions at work for employees, that shows how to make every job a climate job. This resource talks you through the whole process of setting up a sustainability action group.

This post from Leaders For Climate Change is also a useful resource in setting up a sustainable action group at work.

Find Out What Your Sustainability Team Is Doing

Depending on the size of your organisation, you might have a sustainability team or a sustainability officer. In many workplaces, these might be the only people/person with a direct remit for sustainability. However, it doesn’t have to be this way.

If you set up a sustainability action team, talk with the sustainability team or officer to see how you can support their work. It might be as simple as talking with colleagues to help bring them on board with sustainability changes at work. Or it might be more involved – from helping to add voice to proposed sustainability changes that need clearance from higher up.

Encourage Your Workplace to Look At More Sustainable & Ethical Pension Schemes

One of the most impactful areas to make a difference in the workplace is to switch to a more ethical pension scheme. This is because, like with day-to-day banking, many pension schemes are used by financial institutions to fund undesirable activities. From funding fossil fuel extraction to fracking and more – our pensions unwittingly fund climate change.

According to Make Your Money Matter, in the UK £2.6 trillion is collectively invested in pension schemes. By diverting this money from funding fossil fuels, this money could power a green economic recovery – through investments in renewable energy and more.

However, the stumbling block is that many pensions are run through workplace schemes, organised by your employer.  This makes it difficult for people to switch providers. What you can do is tell your employer to consider switching to an ethical pension scheme. Make Your Money Matter has a handy email template that you can copy and paste, or edit, and then send to your employer.

For more impact, encourage your colleagues to do the same. The more of your colleagues that ask your organisation to switch to an ethical pension provider, the harder it is for management to ignore.

Suggest Ideas That Make A Difference In the Workplace

a workplace green team brainstorming sustainability ideas

As well as the bigger ideas of setting up a sustainability group and encouraging your employer to switch to an ethical pension, there are other ways to encourage your workplace to be more sustainable. Shift Tools is a useful online resource full of guides on greening organisations that might help with the following points.

Food Waste

At an old job, we set up a simple food composting scheme. The local council didn’t collect our food waste from us. And being a small team working at an environmental charity, it was cost-prohibitive to set up a private food waste collection for relatively small amounts of food waste.

Instead, between the six of us, we set up our own system. Every night somebody who was able to, took the composting home to put in their kerbside compost bin. It was nothing clever, nothing fancy – just sharing the load. ⁣

A setup would only work like this in very small workplaces. In larger workplaces or for those that work in catering, you would need to work with the sustainability team or management to put something in place. However, given that food waste is a massive contributor to climate change, it’s a really important area for workplaces to get onboard with to drastically reduce their carbon footprint.


The suppliers and products your organisation chooses can make an impact on climate change. Switching from regular printer paper to recycled printer paper, for example, can reduce the need for trees being felled. Switching from paper or plastic coffee and water cups to reusable cups can make a massive difference on a organisation-wide level.

Of course, these are just two small examples. A close examination of the products your organisation buys in is a useful exercise. From this practical sustainable (and often cost-saving) swaps can be made that can really help make your workplace more sustainable.

Travel and Transport

In the UK, employees can claim 20p per mile, tax-free, for any work trips made by bicycle. This wouldn’t cover commuting to and from work. However, cycling to and from a work meeting would mean some money in your pocket to cover the running costs of your bicycle. If your workplace doesn’t offer a workplace mileage rate for bicycles, ask them to consider it.

Other things your workplace can do to promote sustainable travel and transport are to offer season passes for public transport. Secure cycle parking is a must. And a tax-efficient way for staff to purchase bicycles is useful to have in place. Having priority parking spaces for staff who car share is another easy win. Even extending work from home policies helps promote sustainable travel, by eliminating non-essential trips.

Sustrans has some great starting points on greening your workplace’s travel if you’re not sure where to start.

Heating & Lighting

Heating and lighting are likely to account for a large percentage of your workplace’s carbon footprint. Ways to make this more sustainable are to ask your employer to consider switching to LED lighting across the whole workplace. Motion-sensitive lighting could also be installed in areas that aren’t continually utilised to cut energy usage and bills.

Considering renewable sources of energy, such as solar panels, are larger investments worth considering. This may not be suitable or practical for all organisations, but could lower their carbon footprint dramatically.

Final Thoughts

No matter what your job is, or which industry you work in, you and your colleagues can play a pivotal role in making your workplace more sustainable. From setting up or joining a green team, to supporting sustainability colleagues, to pressing for more ethical pensions or sustainable work practices, there are infinite ways to engage with your employer.

As Project Drawdown says, every job should be a climate job, regardless of your job title or remit. Let’s do this!