The Natural Manicure

Nails can be beautiful without polish. I once had my nails “done” in a natural way at a salon for a television show where my hands would be very visible. I’ve outlined, below, how it was done.

The fumes from the solvents in nail polish can be overwhelming, and they are not good for you. There are few environmentally safe nail polishes or nail polish removers on the market. Some still contain toluene (toxic) and formaldehyde (a known carcinogen), and dibutyl phthalate (DBP), a hormone disrupter.

There are some toluene and formaldehyde-free varieties, but there are none without petroleum solvents of some sort. Petroleum solvents are long lasting in the environment, and they are stored in body fat and passed on in breast milk. For more about DBP, and for a list of DBP-free nail polishes, read the Environmental Working Group’s report.

File, wash and soak nails, soften cuticles, clean and shape cuticles
File in one direction only, and always do this when your nails are dry. Wash your hands and soak in warm water or a fruit acid solution such as buttermilk or organic apple cider vinegar, before applying a cold-pressed fruit or nut oil into the cuticle area near the half-moon at the base of the nail. Use the blunt end of an orangewood manicure stick to gently push the cuticles back from the nails.

Sand and buff nails

Dry your hands completely. Sand and polish the top of each nail with a fine pumice-stone sand stick to remove any ridges. Do the same thing with a fine-grit block. Once the ridges are removed, smooth the top of the nail with a smoothing file and a buffing chamois. You’d be amazed at how shiny your nails will look following these steps, almost as if you were wearing a clear polish. You can choose a more natural, less-shiny matte finish if preferred, by not using the finest grade buffing files.


Massage your hands with a moisturizing cream or lotion.

By Annie B. Bond


J.L. A.
JL A.4 years ago

good tips

Monika K.
Monika K.4 years ago


Angie Lohan
Angie Lohan5 years ago

I love the Deep Cover Nail System line. They have non toxic polishes, healthy creams and oil for your nails, hands and legs. You can get it on shopnbc.

Prochi T.
Prochi T.5 years ago

Very beautiful hands and nails in the
picture shown above.

Laura M.
Past Member 5 years ago

sounds like fun!

Bon L.
Bon L.5 years ago

Thanks for the info.

Caralien S.
Caralien S.7 years ago

fresh lemons can also be used to lightly bleach nails, as well as soften the skin on elbows afterwards (first make lemonade, then squeeze fingertips into pulp before rubbing on elbows)

Rhiannon Myst
Rhiannon Myst8 years ago

It sounds super but as Dagaz said you need to know what you are doing! I accidentally filed a nail a bit too much and it still shows a slight bit of damage if you are looking closely.

Dagaz Rising
Dagaz McFarland8 years ago

You have to be VERY careful with sanding your nails this way. The nail can be worn away, exposing the sensitive nailbed beneath, and possibly leading to injury or infection. Talk to a nail tech or a cosmetologist, or even a doctor, before doing this!

Zobeda C.
Zobeda Fernandez8 years ago

You can check out the almost natural line of nail products by no miss.
the remover is based on fruit acids and something derived from lichen....not as long wearing as revlon, but cruelty free and a much more healthful alternative!