Like nail polish itself, nail polish remover more often than not is crammed full of strong chemical compounds that are designed to dissolve lacquers, plastics and even paints. Most of them do the job that they're designed for but there are side effects, certain ingredients such as acetone can be very drying on the nails and the hands, and oh did I mention the horrible smell!
Thankfully there are a lot of acetone free removers on the market now but a lot of them still contain way too many chemicals for some, so for one of June's My Pure reviews I decided to try out a more natural, gentle and non drying nail polish remover from German brand Benecos.
At first glance it's hard to see how a nail polish remover would ever fit into Benecos ingredients philosophy. Traditionally full of chemicals and preservatives, making a nail polish remover that contains natural ingredients, and no nasties, genetically modified material, soy or gluten was no easy task but like with their nail polish, Benecos have stuck to their guns and created a product that fits right in with their philosophy and the rest of their range.
The Benecos Natural Nail Polish Remover is an acetone free product, that's created without any synthetic preservatives, mineral oils, or parabens. It contains ethyl lactate which is a natural degreaser that comes from sources of lactic acid, alcohol, water, and vegetable glycerin for moisture and nail condition. It also contains sweet orange oil and lemon peel oil and other citrus extracts.
Packaged in a wide necked plastic bottle, the remover itself is clear and resembles water in both colour and in consistency, when you touch it though it has a slightly viscous, oily feel.
The first thing that you notice when you pour the remover onto a cotton pad is the smell. Now I would never advise that you go around smelling nail polish remover, but you can't help but smell it when your using it. Compared to some I've used this one doesn't smell too bad, it still isn't great though and it's a bit like really strong alcohol with a bit of a citrus hit. Thankfully the nastier aspects of the fragrance die off quite quickly and your hands and nails are left with a subtle citrus scent.
I used it just like I'd use any other nail polish remover, I normally hold the cotton pad over the nail for a little while to start dissolving the polish before I start wiping. This makes removal a lot easier and a lot less messy. How did I get on? well see for yourself
The first polish I tested it with was Benecos Natural Nail Polish in Lavender Sky (read my review here) - here I used 1 coat of nail strengthener, and two coats of polish. You would expect this remover to work well with the same brand of polish and as expected it got it all off without too many problems.
I also used it with a few coats of strengthener, and on another occasion with another brand of polish, a coat of strengthener and a top coat, and I have it did take a little bit longer than it did with my usual acetone free remover but it did the job.
The key thing that I noticed though with this remover was that my nails weren't left looking white and dehydrated and the skin around them certainly didn't feel dry or uncomfortable. As I said before this polish remover has a slightly oily feel and I think that helped to almost give the nails a hit of moisture. It was just enough though and you didn't feel as though you needed to wash your hands straight away.
I have to say this remover impressed me way more than I thought it would. I was thoroughly expecting it to struggle with polish removal but by and large it did the job, without smelling too bad and without drying out my nails and my skin. I did find that it took longer than my usual remover especially when I was removing multiple coats but considering the lack of chemicals and nasties, you really can't complain. That said I'm not sure I would repurchase it as I'm pretty happy with my current budget friendly remover, but if you're trying to cut down on the amount of chemicals you use in your beauty routine though or if you're looking for a cruelty free product, then this is definitely something worth trying. The Benecos Natural Nail Polish Remover comes in a 100ml bottle and retails at £5.95 from My Pure.Would you consider using a "natural" nail polish remover? Let me know your thoughts x