Why Nail Polish Smells So Bad?




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Nail Polish is an essential beauty product that women widely use to color or shine their nails. While it makes you more fashionable and trendy, regular nail polish comes with an odor that can be repulsive. But now the question is, why does nail polish smell so bad?

Nail polish comes with various solvents that smell a bit stronger than others. They blend in a bottle with a highly concentrated solution where acetone causes the pungent scent. While applying the nail polish, the acetone gets mixed with the air creating a bad smell.

In this article, I will give you a clear overview and answer of why nail polish smells so bad and can cause many health issues if you inhale the scent?

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Is Smelling Nail Polish Bad for You?

The smell of typical nail polish can be pungent and stingy, but nothing harmful to your health. You will not get infected by inhaling a nail polish bottle. If you have smell sensitivity or allergy, that can be something concerning your health, and it would be wise for you to consult a physician before applying it.

Nowadays, nail polish comes with two main ingredients: ethyl acetate and butyl acetate, and they are not harmful by any means. But long ago, a chemical substance called toluene was used for manufacturing nail polish which is detrimental to our health. 

As we are now more aware of our well-being, companies do not use this substance anymore. Before buying nail polish, always read the ingredients section, and if any elements bother you, try to avoid them.

Other key ingredients of nail polish like isopropyl alcohol and propyl alcohol are also safe for our health. If you apply it directly to your nail, it will not harm your health.

So, you can realize now, even if nail polish has a slight stingy odor, that does not indicate that smelling nail polish can be hazardous to our wellness. The smell is quite usual as the chemical solution is only to blame for emitting the scent. But you should be concerned about the solvent; toluene, as I said earlier, is a toxic substance for our health. If you encounter any health issues while or after smelling nail polish, try to breathe in the open air.

Why Does Nail Polish Smell?

Nail polish is a beauty product that women apply to their nails to color or shine, and they find it fascinating. But one thing is common that many of us are repulsed by its odor. It is radically a chemical solution with some smelling solvent. However, you can now find some fruity-flavored nail polish in beauty shops that are not stinky.

The reason why a nail polish bottle smells pungent is because of the highly concentrated solution mixed with some smelling elements, which we find obnoxious. Like any other solvents, they can be scented sharp, but the chief fact is that they are densely stored in a tiny bottle. 

As soon as you open the bottle, it emits the scent quickly and fills your room with its odor. Although the aroma is not pleasant, they are safe and do not harm your health.

The odor of nail polish is typical, just like different beauty products, but the main difference is the concentration is dense with some elements that are a bit stronger. 

The solvents are mixed as like to stay fluid form in the bottle, and when applied in the nail, the acetate substance evaporates quickly. This separation of acetate helps the polish dry out as soon as it comes in contact with air. The evaporation of acetate makes the repellent odor.

Ethyl acetate and butyl acetate are the most smelly ingredients in nail polish. As they are kept in a bottle in highly concentrated form, the odor becomes intense. 

While these acetone substances are crucial ingredients of nail polish, they are the reason why it smells like this. But the good news for the nail polish lover is that there are some fruit and flower flavored nail polish available where artificial fragrances much lessen the odor.

Is Inhaling Nail Polish Remover Bad For You?

As soon as you open a nail polish remover bottle, a strong smell will fill your surrounding environment. This aroma is caused by acetone, kept in the bottle in liquid form, and quickly evaporated if it comes in contact with air. Inhaling small amounts of acetone is not bad for your health, but it can be severe if you smell it for a long time.

When we inhale acetone, it goes to our lungs and then gets mixed with blood. Blood carries it to our organs, and our liver breaks down the acetone if the amount is less. If the amount of acetone is much more than our liver can break, it can be hazardous for our health.

Onyx Professional 100% Acetone Nail Polish Remover Kit, Includes 1 Fancy Me Nail File, 16 Fl Oz

Inhaling acetone for a short period can irritate our nose, throat, lungs. It can also create dizziness, headaches, vomiting, etc.

You can find acetone in nail polish, too, but it is mixed with other solvents in the nail polish bottle. The amount of acetone in the nail polish is much lesser than nail polish remover. That is why acetone in nail polish does not harm us, but in nail polish remover, its percentage in the solution is very high and can cause harm to our body.

To avoid any unwanted circumstances, always use a cotton bud or a small piece of fabric and soak it lightly with nail polish remover when applying it. Keep the mouth of the bottle shut because it can evaporate quickly in the air, and do not apply it in a closed room where the air ventilation is inadequate.

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How Do You Get Rid of Nail Polish Smell?

First of all, if the odor of nail polish repulses you, try to buy the scented nail polish, which comes with fruit or flower flavor. You can easily find these types of nail polish in beauty shops. 

Nowadays, nail polish companies campaign their nail polish with an odorless feature, claiming that they do not create pungent scents like typical nail polish.

If you already have a wide collection of regular nail polish, you should apply it in an open environment where the air circulation is enough to remove the odor. You can try a room deodorizer or air freshener to mask the stingy scent.

Advanced technologies like an air purifier can suck in the polluted and sharp scent of the air, filter it and give you purified air. They are not cheap but surely worth a try. A scented humidifier can also help you to remove the odor from the air. It is not as expensive as an air purifier but can give you a pleasant experience.

Nail polish is a very common and popular fashion accessory. But as with most chemical cosmetics, you should use them with caution. So, let’s try to keep our nails pretty and our bodies toxin-free at the same time. 


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