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Vegan & Natural Nail Polish Remover Ingredients Explained

What makes a nail polish remover work and what ingredients is a nail polish remover made of? In today’s video and blog post we dive into the ingredients we have used in our vegan and natural nail polish remover and let you know why we have included them in our product. 

Vegan & Natural Nail Polish Remover Ingredients Explained

Most of us buy beauty products without looking at, let alone understanding, the ingredients. What is a beauty product made of and why are these ingredients included? Today we want to dive deeper into the ingredients of our nail polish remover. 

To start off with here are the ingredients:

*from controlled organic cultivation/ **natural essential oils

It’s good to note that that every beauty product (at least in the EU) is required by law to disclose their ingredients on their packaging (unless a product is 5ml or less – then they can be disclosed in a booklet which has to be placed near the product in the shop.) It is also good to know that the ingredients always have to be listed in order from most used ingredient to least used ingredient (in %). 

Our vegan and natural nail polish remover has been certified by the German natural cosmetics standard COSMOS natural and it is also 100% vegan certified by THE VEGAN SOCIETY & PETA.

Ethyl lactate is the first ingredient seen on our INCI list which also means that this is the most used ingredient in our nail polish remover. Simply put, ethyl lactate is a solvent which, in the case of a nail polish remover, helps dissolve or remove your nail polish. Any nail polish remover you find, whether it’s conventional or natural, will (in most cases) have a solvent as its first and primary ingredient. 

Let’s talk a little bit about solvents in nail polish removers. A solvent typically makes up about 85-98% of a nail polish remover and the most commonly used solvent in a nail polish remover is acetone. Acetone can however be a harsh ingredient which may even be harmful if exposed to large quantities and we generally recommend staying away from nail polish removers with acetone. Alcohol is also a commonly used solvent in nail polish removers although it is rarely used by itself because it is not too effective as a sole solvent in a nail polish remover. Because a solvent’s function is to pretty much dissolve substances or materials, most solvents are going to be slightly drying to our skin and nails because naturally some of our skin’s natural oils will be “dissolved” with it. However, acetone and alcohol are known to be particularly drying to our nails and skin whilst ethyl lactate is gentler to our skin and nails. This is one of the reasons we have chosen ethyl lactate as the solvent for our nail polish remover. 

What exactly is ethyl lactate? For some “lactate” may sound like this comes from milk but don’t worry – all Kia-Charlotta products are 100% vegan. Ethyl lactate is a monobasic ester which is formed from lactic acid and ethanol and it is also naturally found in foods such as various fruits and vegetables. 

Unlike acetone and alcohol (which are both quite stingy and potent in their smell), ethyl lactate has quite a mild and fruity smell. This fact makes it easier, in combination with e.g. natural essential oils, to create a good smelling nail polish remover. And if you weren’t already convinced by ethyl lactate as a solvent, it is also considered to be biodegradable in its natural form and is therefore often used as a solvent in various products in the natural cosmetics sector – also in our natural nail polish remover. 

In summary, ethyl lacate is a mild smelling and biodegradable solvent and it is responsible for actually removing the nail polish from our nails (you cannot have a nail polish remover without a solvent). Ethyl lactate is as effective as the most common solvent “acetone” but it’s better for you and the environment. 

If you have already had a look at our nail polish remover(s), you may have noticed that their scent is “eucalyptus and lemongrass”. So, you might already guess the function of this next ingredient in our INCI list, which is to bring forth that beautiful scent of eucalyptus in our natural nail polish remover. Eucalyptus globulus is the main source of eucalyptus oil and it is a natural essential oil. There is a lot of research and information that suggests this essential oil to be beneficial for our skin also in terms of nourishment but in our nail polish remover the main function is the scent and the nourishment is welcomed added bonus. 

Now we get into the nourishment side of our nail polish remover. As mentioned, any solvent (also ethyl lactate) is going to be slightly drying for our nails and skin but since a nail polish remover cannot be made without a solvent we decided to balance that out with some moisturizing oils. The next ingredient you will find in our INCI list is organic avocado oil (derived from organically cultivated avocados). We chose avocado oil because it does not have an overpowering smell and also because this oil is known to be one of the most penetrating oils and most effective oils to help soften and heal dry skin or nails. Of course, since a nail polish remover is always primarily made out of a solvent, the nourishing effects of the avocado oil will not be as apparent as when used alone but it definitely helps balance out the dryness and helps leaves your fingers and nails feeling smooth.  

Fun fact! because the avocado we use is derived from organically cultivated avocados the colour of the avocado oil we use in our nail polish remover may vary depending on the batch. The colour of the oil is sometimes more yellow, green or sometimes even clear depending on where and when the avocado oil has ben cultivated. 

Let’s move on to the next oil we have used in our natural nail polish remover – jojoba oil. When it comes to nail care products we love jojoba oil which is why we decided to include it in our remover. 

In the development of our nail polish remover we realized that there definitely is also such a thing as a “too oily” nail polish remover which is the reason we decided to include jojoba oil into our nail polish remover instead of any other oil. Jojoba oil is officially not even an oil instead it is a wax derived from the seeds of the jojoba plant. The wax has a very similar consistency and function to any conventional oils which is why it is most commonly identified as an oil. However this also makes this oil a very “non-oily” oil meaning it won’t leave your skin damp but still has moisturizing and nourishing effects similar to any other oil.  

The next few ingredients in our INCI list are used to create and give the nail polish remover it’s citrusy smell. Let’s start with limonene. This ingredient is used in plenty of skin care and perfume products and it is derived from the oil of citrus peels. It is most commonly used in skin care for it’s pleasant citrus scent (i.e. fragrance) and in our nail polish remover it helps, in combination with the lemongrass oil, to bring forth the lemongrass-citrus smell. Furthermore, limonene also functions as a solvent and is in fact used as a solvent in e.g. many cleaning products. However since the ratio of limonene we have used in our nail polish remover is very small, it does not function as a solvent however, even in the small amount, it will bring a pleasant citrus scent. 

Citral is similar to limonene in it’s function and is found in the oils of many citrus plants and also smells stongly of lemon or citrus. Citral is basically an aroma compound which is often used in perfume products or again in skin care. In our nail polish remover, we use citral for it’s citrus scent. Both citral and limonene are natural essential oils. 

Now we come to the ingredient which, in combination with the limonene and citral, gives our nail polish remover it’s citrus-lemongrass scent. Cymbopogon Flexuosus leaf oil is basically lemongrass essential oil and it is derived from the lemongrass plant. We have included this into our natural nail polish remover for it’s good scent but again, like the eucalyptus oil, lemongrass essential oil has also shown to have various benefits for our skin and wellbeing which is an added bonus (yet these kinds of benefits will not be apparent since the ratio of lemongrass oil we use is very small). 

We are coming to the last four ingredients in our nail polish remover which together make up to less than 1% of our nail polish remover and they all have similar functions in our product. Let’s start off with geraniol which is derived from the essential oils of many fragrant plants. It is often added to cosmetics because of its beautiful floral scent which, in the case of our nail polish remover helps balance out the other scents to help make the scent less stingy. 

Linalool, like geraniol is a naturally derived essential oil found in many plants and is used in cosmetics for its pleasant floral scent. Linalool is found in many essential oils and has been said to help in reducing anxiety and has shown to also have anti-inflammatory properties. However, since the ratio of linalool in our nail polish remover is so small, these possible benefits will not be relevant. Instead, in our nail polish remover, the linalool (like the geraniol) helps balance out the other scents to help make it more pleasant and less stingy. 

Citronellol is a natural essential oil found in citronella oils and in the oils of roses (amongst other plants) and just like geraniol and linalool, it is often used in cosmetics for its pleasant floral scent. In our nail polish removers, the citronellol helps balance out the scents as well helps enhances the overall fragrance of the product. 

And finally, we come to the last ingredient which is eugenol. Eugenol is also a natural essential oil extracted from the oils of e.g. clove oil, nutmeg, cinnamon or basil and it has a nice and spicy clove-like scent. In cosmetics eugenol is most commonly used as a fragrance and in our nail polish, just like the geraniol, linalool and citronellol, it is used to help balance out the fragrances to complete the achieved pleasant scent of eucalyptus and lemongrass of our natural nail polish remover.

We hope that you now have a better if not even thorough understanding of all the ingredients included in our nail polish remover. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Shop our vegan and natural nail polish remover here.

Lots of Love,
Your Kia-Charlotta Team 

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