While people have been colouring their nails since as far back as 3000 BC, using the pigment of plants and flowers, polish itself and removers were an offshoot of the invention of automotive paint in the 1920s. Today s removers are made up mainly of a solvent needed to dissolve the resins in polish such as acetone, methyl acetate or methyl ethyl ketone. These chemicals have numerous other uses; you can find them in paint thinners, glue, dry erase markers and nail polish itself. All three are permitted in cosmetics in Canada, the United States and the European Union. Of the three, acetone is used most frequently in polish removers.