Dictionary: Acetone

Holy Cracker Jacks, I just realised that I haven't done a Dictionary post in just over a year (the last one is dated 23rd August 2010). Considering that when I initially started writing my blog, I was trying to unravel a lot of the jargon that surrounds the beauty industry, it's quite shameful that it's taken me so long to add to it, but without further ado, here is another entry, and I promise to try and add more when I find them :)

For as long as I can remember, I've always been mildly aware that Nail Varnish Remover contains something known as "Acetone", and as I've gotten into the world of beauty, I've picked up the hint that there is a lot of negativity over it. But, I have to be honest, I have not got got a clue what acetone is, what it does, what it's presence in Nail Varnish Remover is for, and why it appears to be quite "controversial".


I'm always wary of jumping on the scare mongering band wagon, which includes Parabens et al, because without knowing all the definite facts it's sometimes difficult to distinguish whether certain ingredients are really as lethal as companies and the media like to tell us, or if it's a typical case of "MMR" (as in, one tiny unsupported piece of research suggests a problem, but isn't really enough to prove for absolute fact that it is).

What is Acetone? In Layman's terms, Acetone is basically a solvent that is commonly used as a cleaning product. However, in the household, it is most recognisably used in Nail Varnish Remover (of course) and paint thinner.

Without jumping to conclusions, it's easy to want to doubt how safe the use of Acetone is, purely because it's also an active ingredient in something such as paint thinner. However, the next piece of information that I discovered, kind of makes me view Acetone a little differently. Because, basically, Acetone actual occurs in the human body naturally, especially in women of whom are pregnant, or have recently had a child.

What is the general problem with Acetone? I don't know about anyone else, but the main issue that I have with Nail Varnish Remover, and especially those with Acetone present, is the hideous and quite intoxicating smell. As someone who is quite sensitive to strong smells, this can be a real pain in the butt!

So, noting how strong the smell is of acetone-containing remover, it really isn't very surprising to discover that inhaling acetone has a "slight" chance of causing irritation.

Even if the possibility of an ingredient causing irritation is minute, I still feel strongly that it should not be in products that are marketed for commercial use, especially when these products are used virtually every day in places like beauty spas and Nail Salons. I wonder what kind of effect Acetone could have on women who are doing nails all day, nearly every day?

What the Professionals think: Paula Begoun, of Paula's Choice has rated Acetone at the lowest rating, deeming it as an ingredient that should most definitely be avoided.

Now that I've removed Acetone from my life...: I have to say, that since I moved over to using Boots's Acetone-Free Nail Varnish Remover, my sinuses have really appreciated the subtler smell, and although I sometimes have issues removing the deeper colours, such as dark blues, I have had no major issues getting 99% of nail polishes off my nails. Plus, I haven't found them to be that much more expensive that Acetone-containing alternatives, although I did manage to pick up two bottles of the ones that I'm using in a Buy One Get One Free Offer.


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