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Can You Use Nail Polish Remover When Pregnant?

So, you’re expecting. Congrats! But having a bun in the oven can cause a little stress and anxiety over your entire beauty routine. You’re constantly bombarded with things you cannot or shouldn’t do. But what does it mean for your nails, and more specifically, is nail polish remover on the banned list? Let’s find out.

So, can you use nail polish remover when pregnant? It is generally safe to use nail polish remover while pregnant. This includes both acetone-based and acetone-free solutions. Just be mindful of how long you spend around any particularly strong products. Equally, be sure not to consume any product, such as biting your nails once acetone polish remover has been applied, for instance.

If you’re experienced in getting your nails done, you’re likely aware that there are many chemicals involved in everything from cuticle oils to nail polish remover. 

And chemicals can seem scary right now! 

But thankfully, there is a range of products on the market that have gone the chemical-free route and are all-natural.

Equally, even those with chemicals can still be used – with a little care and mindfulness, of course.

Let us now explore further! 

Is Acetone Nail Polish Remover Safe During Pregnancy?

Acetone nail polish remover is perfectly safe to use while you’re pregnant – so long as you use it appropriately and only use limited amounts at a time.

You know acetone. 

The strong smell probably brings back many different memories of having your nails done and then having paint stripped off again. 

And it’s that strong smell that probably tipped you off to the fact that acetone is a very powerful chemical. 

In fact, it’s a solvent that can, in large amounts, melt through PVC pipe and cause sewer explosions!

However, just like your coffee, acetone in moderation is considered safe during pregnancy. 

Besides, there would be a legal requirement to apply a warning on the product if it were not.

And thankfully, acetone nail polish remover is heavily diluted.

You’re probably not using pure acetone as nail polish remover but, even if you are (or are getting acrylics removed), you will still be okay.

As long as you stay away from coming into frequent contact with large quantities of the stuff, you (and baby) are going to be just fine.

Equally, ensure you are in a well-ventilated room and don’t bite your nails when it’s applied.

Essentially, you want to limit your exposure and ensure you do not ingest it.

Otherwise, the smell is the worst part for moms-to-be, especially as noses (and nausea) are keener than ever during pregnancy.

If you’re still worried, though, there’s nothing wrong with going for alternatives. 

There are acetone-free nail polish removers that can do nearly all of the jobs the original acetone-based ones can. 

The one below from Amazon, for instance, is a best-seller in its category!

You’ll often notice that some have less of a smell, too. Keep that in mind if you’re dealing with that particular problem at the salon!

What Nail Polish Can I Use While Pregnant?

While some experts say that there is a chance that nail polishes could harm a developing fetus, most agree that regular nail polish used occasionally is fine. There is no evidence of actual damage from manis or pedis. To be safest, you can avoid products with formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, or toluene. This is known as “3-free” in the nail-care world.

This sounds more frightening than it is, but it’s something I have to say: some experts believe that certain nail polishes can cause problems with a developing fetus. 

That alone might make some nervous moms break for the door, but there has yet to be evidence to prove that it happens.

Because of this, most doctors will advise their patients can continue using their favorite nail polishes during their pregnancy. 

And chances are, you probably aren’t using them a great deal, and the exposure to chemicals is so low.

So, the occasional manicure or pedicure should be okay.

Of course, there’s nothing in the world that can be said to soothe you hear if you are worried.

And, honestly, if you’re worried, it’s better that you work with what makes you feel more comfortable. 

If that’s giving up nail polish for a while? Don’t sweat it! 

Natural is beautiful! Want something different? We have a solution.

There are nail polishes that are called “3-free”. 

That means that they are free of the three major “danger chemicals” in nail polishes. 

These are formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate, and toluene. 

If you want a super-safe manicure, find a nail polish advertised without these. 

Many mainstream brands offer them!

And a simple Amazon search, like this one can find them!

Best Manicure Options During Pregnancy

The kind of manicure comes down to what you’re comfortable with. But, for pregnant women, this is likely the time to choose a gel manicure. This is because gel nails allow for natural nails to grow, and this is a great time for that. You can also choose a standard polish or nothing at all! They are also low maintenance and durable too!

The best kind of manicure is almost always what makes you feel the happiest. 

That should be a deciding factor in whether you should get a certain kind of manicure or not.

 While pregnant, however, there are other factors to consider.

First, here’s a tip: make use of the wonderful natural nails you’ll experience! 

Most pregnant women report better nails while they’re pregnant. 

They’re usually longer and stronger. It’s a hormonal thing. 

Because of that, you may choose to do nothing to them at all. 

Or, perhaps, just a splash of color with your favorite polish. 

That’s a great choice, and it’s really low-maintenance and easy to do for a woman juggling life, pregnancy, and her beauty routine.

If you still want something special, a gel manicure could be just the thing. 

Not only does it look fantastic (and is pregnancy-safe), it also gives your nails more of a chance to grow and shine than similar options.

Whatever you choose, keep in mind that you may be experiencing new things with your hands and the rest of your body.

When it comes to shape, remember: your hands are likely to swell.

This might make your hands look a bit chubbier than usual. 

To offset this, choose a shape such as oval, almond, or round.

This will help disguise some of the excess sizes while still looking fantastic.

Other Nail Products To Be Aware Of During Pregnancy

If done safely and in moderation, almost all nail products should be safe for pregnant women – when used appropriately. Although, skin is more sensitive during this time; making it especially important to avoid using any harsh chemicals that can cause irritation. 

Quite honestly, there isn’t much you need to avoid in the nail product indsutry while pregnant. 

It’s all basically the same as before. 

But there are little things that you might have to watch out for a while you’re in the salon.

For many, hand massage is a normal part of getting a manicure. 

But, while you’re pregnant, you might want to skip the massage portion of the experience. 

Your ligaments and tendons become looser (particularly as you reach the end of your pregnancy) while expecting, making it more likely that the salon worker could accidentally hurt you. 

With swelling in the hands and feet not uncommon, it could even be uncomfortable early in pregnancy. 

For best results, don’t get a massage from anyone but a licensed masseuse while pregnant.

Soaks are another thing that might be a problem. 

Soaking your feet or hands in warm water at the salon might feel good. 

But, if you’re experiencing swelling and have sensitive skin, it might mean that you’re going to go from warm and relaxing to uncomfortable or painful. 

Take it slowly, or skip and pre-soak at home, where you can control the temperature.

Your skin being sensitive is also a reason to be warier of chemicals. While it’s unlikely that any will hurt your baby, getting products with strong chemicals on your skin can cause it to have some unpleasant reactions. 

That’s because, with all those hormones flooding your body, your skin has become more sensitive than it was before. 

You never want chemicals on your skin, but be even more careful of it while pregnant!

What Are The Dangers In A Salon?

Salons are rarely dangerous. However, there can be issues with fumes and hygiene. Discomfort is more likely, as the smells can make morning sickness worse.

There are two major issues to look out for when going to a salon while pregnant. 

The first is ventilation.

Fumes aren’t good for you normally. 

While you’re pregnant, they can be even worse. 

When you go into a salon, there shouldn’t be a strong, overpowering smell of chemicals used in nail art. 

You might smell it a bit (particularly with your sensitive nose), and you might smell some cleaning products.

 But it shouldn’t be overpowering. 

If it is, find another salon with better ventilation. 

Doing your nails at home? Be sure that you’re in a place with a lot of ventilation. 

Outdoors is best!

You also need to worry about hygiene. 

An unhygienic salon can cause infections when they do your manicure or pedicure. 

This isn’t limited to just while pregnant, but every medical ailment is only compounded by pregnancy. 

Don’t give a dirty salon a chance.

Find one that is clean and sanitized regularly.

Discomforts are more likely. 

For one, the smells can be a bit much on someone still trying to fight morning sickness. 

Make sure that your salon knows that you’re pregnant so that you can be ready to dash to the bathroom or lean over a trashcan at any moment. 

If you can, a break for fresh air occasionally could help.

If you’re going to be sitting for a while, it might also help to bring something to cushion your back. 

Lumbar support can stop the aching neck and back that come from sitting for long periods in an uncomfortable chair. 

If you’re not getting a pedi, see if you can put your feet on something while you sit so that you’re more comfortable.


Nail polish remover should be fine to continue using while pregnant. 

Along with most of the other nail products out there on the market.

That being said, it’s probably best to opt for all-natural formulations.

Why risk it?

Besides, the market has come a long way; there is a lot of choices out there now to leverage.

And, of course, nothing here today should be taken as gospel.

Consult your doctor, do your own research and due diligence on products used while pregnant. 

Keeping your unborn baby safe is the most important thing. 

Here are some other nail guides you may be interested in if you’re pregnant: