Eco-friendly nail care ideas for greener manicures

When we created LÓA NAILS our first mission was to shake up this nail care industry and make it cleaner and more planet-friendly. Starting with ingredients and materials we use in our products.

The reality is - the most eco-friendly manicure you can have is no manicure at all but we're not here to take away all the fun - we are here to minimize our impact on the planet and create as good and gentle products as possible.

Why is likely that your go-to manicure is not eco-friendly?

A lot of nail polishes, false nail materials and removers contain harsh chemicals that if spilled in the environment harm our planet, specifically speaking the natural ecosystems - the habitat of aquatic life and wildlife.

It’s a little-known fact that most nail care products cannot be recycled

In order to recycle a nail polish glass bottle, it needs to be cleaned - meaning emptying the nail polish bottle completely. Let's be honest - who does that? And if you do - the amount of solvent you need - it's not doing any good either.

The plastic parts like the applicator brushes, glue boxes, false nails are non-recyclable too - all the plastic that is smaller than 5cm cannot be widely recycled via local curbside programs and it does not get recycled within reach.

How to make your nail care routine more eco-friendly?

Luckily, you do not need to ditch your beloved manicure - as it’s not too difficult to find conscious products and solutions. We have summarised some DIY tips and what to look out for when buying manicure products.

Be frugal about ingredients you use

It is important to choose brands that consist of non-toxic ingredients and brands that are regulated under ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) - why European Regulations? Europe has the most strict cosmetic regulations banning 1,400+ ingredients for use in cosmetics. (P.S. The US bans only 11).

When we created our press-on nail brand we tested the products for environmental impact and skin sensitivity to ensure that our nails are gentle on you and the planet. We formulated non-toxic, effective, and affordable products ’cuz clean beauty shouldn’t make you break the bank.

We also nixed 10 nailcare nasties: Dibutyl phthalate, TPHP, Toluene, Xylene, Ethyl tosylamide, Camphor, Formaldehyde Resin, Parabens, Tert-butyl hydroperoxide.

DIY Nail Care at home - when you turn a routine into a self-care ritual

There is plenty of A-M-A-Z-I-N-G eco-friendly cuticle oil and hand mask recipes out there (Search Pinterest). Here is our favorite DIY Deeply Nourishing Honey-Avocado Hand Mask recipe.

1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon coconut oil
¼ ripe avocado
2 drops rose essential oil (optional)

In a bowl, mash the avocado then add all other ingredients and mix well. Smooth the mask over your hands. Slip-on a sock or a plastic bag. Chill for 15 min.

If you want to check out what is the benefit of each ingredient and check out more funky recipes click here.

Eco-friendly nail-strengtheners

We believe beauty starts from within. Nails and hair are the first to be cut off direct essential nutrients when on a nutrient-poor diet. If you want fabulous, strong hair and nails it is essential to maintain a balanced diet and more importantly eat enough. If you want to learn more about what are the best kitchen staples that will help grow your nails faster and stronger - you want to read this blog post.

A cotton-free beauty routine is Step.1 to save the planet

According to WWF, the amount of water needed to produce one kilogram of cotton is the same amount of water one person would drink over three years. Regular cotton pads also don't biodegrade easily due to the bleaching and mixing processes used to create them. Removing cotton pads from our beauty routines does not only reduce water wastage but also reduces waste going straight to landfills. We are lately obsessed with muslin clothes. Despite being made from cotton, their life expectancy is far superior to a regular cotton pad - you can reuse them 100s of times.

Sustainable Nail Tips

Always look for brands that work with recycled materials. LÓA NAILS is the first press-on nail brand to transparently use PCR (post-consumer-resin, aka recycled plastic!) in false nails. Full disclosure: 

Nail glue and press-on nails are too small to be re-cycled. Please dispose of the glue and the used nails into the household bin. However, on the bright side - you can always reuse them up to 5 times with short wear. Learn about short wear applications here. At LÓA NAILS we are also excited to share with you that we are the first-ever plastic neutral nail care brand! 

In partnership with Plastic Credit Exchange, we pledge to remove plastic waste from landfills, waterways & marine environments to be recycled and repurposed. 

LÓA NAILS is also PETA certified cruelty-free & vegan.

Planet-friendly nail polish

A lot of brands have been making waves with eco-friendlier nail polish solutions.  Always look out for water or plant-based formulas - formulas with a high natural origin that include fewer chemicals. As introduced in the ingredient section of this post the 10-FREE claim is a good indication to follow. To find brands that are doing their best for you and the planet - review also the packaging and production. Bottles made with sustainable sourced wood can be a good alternative to plastic caps - and also look out for plastic neutral and carbon-neutral certifications.

The verdict on Nail polish removers 

Most nail polish removers are full of harmful chemicals - solvents that dissolve the nail polish reisin. Acetone is the most common solvent found in removers. Besides the toxic ingredients, most high street nail polish remover bottles are also difficult to recycle. To recycle the bottle, you need to clean it - which can mean hazardous waste going down the drain and entering waterways. However, there are a couple of brands offering natural-origin removers that actually work! Always look for 95%+ natural origin removers - this is the best you can do for your skin and the planet.

The list is endless really, but hey; You already got here! Let us encourage you - start step by step - transforming your beauty routine is a journey and is full of trials and errors. You might like some solutions - and some might not work for you. And that is fine, don't beat yourself up. You are already doing great! Do your research and share your new tips and tricks with your friends.

We’d also love to see our eco-friendly tips on you - if that's your thing. So follow us @loanailsofficial on social channels and tag us in your #nailfies.