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5 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Nail Care Routine

Adopting a more sustainable lifestyle can make us feel like we have to give up the things we love, especially when it comes to beauty

But we believe that adopting a sustainable lifestyle should be flexible, realistic and still allow you to do the things you love - it's not about being perfect but just more conscious of what we choose to buy! 

In this post we're going to focus on Nail Care, and give you five tips on how to upgrade your nail care routine with some more sustainable, toxic-free, vegan, environmentally friendly options. You can keep your nails looking beautiful and keep the planet happy without compromise.

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1. Choose a Toxic-Free Nail Polish

Firstly, you can absolutely still enjoy experimenting with nail polish whilst adopting a more eco-friendly routine! It will probably come as no surprise that the majority of nail polishes are pretty environmentally damaging, full of harmful chemicals that are bad for both your nails and the environment. Known as the 'Toxic Trio': formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate (DBP) are found in most nail polishes, as well as many others, and can cause serious damage - they're called toxic for a reason! 

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Choosing a nail polish that is toxic-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, as opposed to a plastic one, the brush may still be plastic unfortunately but every little helps! Here are a couple of our favourite brands:

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ZAO Toxic-Free Vegan Nail Polish
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ZAO

ZAO are a eco-friendly, sustainable cosmetics company based in the UK. They have created a their beautiful nail polishes all with a vegan and bio-sourced formula.  Inspired by plants, their formula is composed between 74% to 84% ingredients from natural origin! (% varies according to the shade). They are 'Big 10' free this includes all of the Toxic Trio. Their polish comes in adorable little glass and bamboo bottles, in 27 amazing shades, from brights to pastels and even iridescent shades!
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ZAO Toxic-Free Vegan Nail Polish
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Licia Florio Toxic-Free Vegan Nail Polish
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Licia Florio

'We try with every product idea to search for the best material combined with the best care for the body and for the world. We encourage you to think about what are you buying, where it is made, from whom is made, and if it is safe for you, for your skin, and for the global system' - Licia Florio
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Made in Italy, Licia Florio's beautiful polishes are high-quality, toxic-free, cruelty-free and vegan. Their exclusive toxic-free formula is formulated without the 'Toxic Trio' as well as others including polyurethane, parabens, mercury, lead and are even free from gluten and wheat by-products! As well as being toxic-free, their nail polish comes in a glass bottle with a bamboo lid.

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Licia Florio Toxic-Free Vegan Nail Polish
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UK Stockists on Trouva and Epitome >>

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2. Find A Natural Nail Polish Remover

So you've found your toxic-free nail polishes, and we'd recommend a toxic-free remover to go with them! Most commonly, nail polish removers are made from acetone. In terms of your own health, acetone is safe in small amounts but is still toxic; the fumes can cause dizziness and nausea and frequent use can actually damage nail beds and dry up cuticles - not great for a 'nail-care' product! When nail polish remover is disposed of, whether that's by throwing away single-use pads soaked in remover or washing it down the sink, these chemicals substances then find their way into our the soil, water and our ecosystems. Not to mention, the production of such chemicals creates chemical waste and uses a lot of energy.
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The solution? Our favourite Fresh Therapies Natural Nail Varnish Remover.

Fresh Therapies Natural Nail Varnish Remover

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Fresh Therapies Nail Polish Remover will naturally, gently and effectively remove nail polish, leaving you with nourished nails and cuticles. There are no harsh chemicals that will dry out or damage your nails, leaving the natural oils in your nails intact. The nasty chemical smell of other nail polish removers is gone, just a fresh, light, lime scent! It is toxic-free, uses only biodegradable ingredients and safe for the environment as well as you. It is cruelty-free and vegan

It has plastic-free packaging: it arrives in a cardboard box, containing a glass bottle with a metal cap. 

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We love it so much, we've included it as a part of our Zero-Waste Nail Care Pamper Gift Set!

SHOP Fresh Therapies Natural Nail Varnish Remover>>

SHOP Zero-Waste Nail Care Pamper Gift Set>>

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3. Swap to Reusable Nail Polish Wipes 

Tabitha Eve Reusable Nail Polish Remover Wipes

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Using single-use cotton pads to remove nail polish creates a lot of waste, and its not just the cotton waste you have to worry about! Once the pad has been saturated with nail polish remover and has nail polish on it, all those chemicals we mentioned before will now be in the cotton pad and will go into landfill with it. Disposable cotton pads are also made using a huge amount of water, energy and chemicals, have a read of our post: Disposable Cotton Pads - Why We Hate Them! to find out more.

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Introduce our Reusable Nail Polish Remove Pads into your eco-friendly nail care routine and you won't regret it! They're made from 100% Bamboo Rayon Felt. This felt is super soft and durable meaning it will withstand both nail polish and nail polish removers and when you’re finally finished with one, they’re plant-based and biodegradable! Available in packs of 3 or 5 - just one pack of 5 wipes will replace 1040 single use cotton pads!
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4. Find A Plastic-Free Nail File Alternative

No manicure is complete without a nail file and there are some surprising eco-friendly options that could work for you! Save more plastic nail files from going to landfill and why not try one of these:
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Glass Nail File
Glass nail files look like your standard nail file but made from glass which is widely recyclable. To take it one step further, try to find one with a wooden handle or without a handle at all! A glass nail file is also much gentler than some metal files and is perfect for those of us with softer nails.
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Sandstone Nail File
Now this one surprised me! A sandstone nail file is a small block with a super fine grit which smooths and shapes the nail. They can last for years as they're so hard wearing. Because they are purely sandstone, they're biodegradable, plastic-free and made from 100% natural materials.
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5. Go Au Naturel!

The final tip for your eco-friendly routine is try having a break from false nails and acrylics and set your natural nails free for a while! False nails, gels and acrylics are non-biodegradable because, surprise, 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. 
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By making at least one of these changes in your nail care routine, being a bit more conscious as to where and how these products are made, what their effects are on both us and the planet and how we can make better choices, really is an amazing step in the right direction! These tips and products will make an excellent addition to your eco-beauty toolkit - both your nails and the planet will thank you!
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