Acetone free nail polish remover

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The 5 Best Gel Polish Removers

You know what makes me feel fabulous? Flaunting a brand new gel manicure. They’re long-lasting, shiny, protective, and scratch-free. But when it comes to removing said manicure? Not so fabulous. The best gel polish removers are vital if you want to say a proper goodbye to a professionally-applied gel mani or pedi from the comfort of your own home. In order to maintain the structural health of your nails, using the right ingredients and taking the correct amount of time is really important.

Unfortunately, a regular nail polish remover isn’t going to cut it. Because gel manicures are applied in layers and cured under UV or LED lamps, the polish won’t just rub off in one quick go.

Rule number one: Do. Not. Peel. I repeat, do not peel. I’m basically the queen of fiddling with my nails, so I completely understand the temptation. But you must resist because peeling off gel manis and pedis can really mess with your nail beds and surfaces (think: long-lasting scratches…no thanks). Rule number two: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Cuticle oil and moisture-rich creams are your best friend when you’re doing a gel removal process because those harsh chemicals can be pretty dehydrating.

While you can do at-home, DIY gel removal (it involves acetone-soaked cotton balls and a lot of patience), going to the salon is the easiest option — but, it usually costs about $10 to take it all off. If you’d like to save some time and money, luckily, there are a few products that can help you say goodbye to your semi-permanent mani-pedi once and for all.

1. The Easiest And Most Effective Option: These Reusable Clips That Gel Polish Devotees Swear By

Amazon / Bustle

Teenitor Acrylic Nail Polish Remover Clips, $8, Amazon

This top-rated set comes with 20 pieces of reusable plastic toenail and fingernail clips that securely hold an acetone-soaked cotton ball firmly against the nail to ensure the best, most effective gel polish removal. While this set doesn’t come with the actual polish-removing formula (see below for our recommendation), it’s easily the best tool out there for successfully removing all of the polish from each nail. Since it’ll last you forever, you’re saving money, and it only takes about 10-15 minutes for the process to work its magic.

2. The Most Portable Method: These Foil Nail Wraps That Remove Polish In 15 Minutes


Makartt Nail Polish Remover Soak Off Gel Foils Nail Wraps, $10, Amazon

A foil option is the most common gel polish removal technique that you’ll read about, for a couple reasons. It’s generally pretty affordable, easy to do, and super convenient to travel with — this package, in particular, comes with 200 pieces, which is a major bang for your buck. After applying acetone-soaked cotton pads (which are included) to your fingernails or toenails, you then wrap them in foil, allowing the process to begin while keeping everything secure and in place. This kit eliminates the hassle (and mess) of having to cut your own aluminum foil and keep the cotton in place. To ensure not a single drop of polish remains, we recommend following up the process with a nail pusher, like the one below.

3. The Speedy Hack: This Plastic Tool That Pulls Acetone-Soaked Gel Away From The Nails


Sally Hansen Gel Be Gone Nail Polish Removal Tool, $6, Amazon

It’s all in the name with this nifty removal tool — gel polish will be gone when you use this handy, plastic remover that gently pushes acetone-soaked gel away from the nails, pulling it away from your nail in a clean motion. And it’s double ended, so you can use it to push back cuticles, too. This isn’t a method on its own, of course, but it’s a recommended last step in any gel polish removal process to erase any trace of the manicure that was once there.

4. The Must-Have Accompaniment: Maximum-Strength Nail Polish Removing Formula


Onyx Professional Shellac & Gel Nail Polish Remover, $4, Amazon

If you’re going to use clips, a pusher, or foil, you’ll need thismaximum strength, soak-off nail polish remover, which is made specifically to address tough-to-remove varnish like shellac and gel. In addition to being super powerful, it’s enriched with Vitamin E and grape seed oil to help hydrate and condition nails and nail beds, which will likely be in need of a major moisture boost after the polish removal process. The formula has a light coconut scent and comes with a handy nail file to use before and after the process.

5. The Best Value: A Kit That Includes Everything You Need To Remove Gel Polish


Onyx Professional Nail Polish Remover Kit, $12, Amazon

This gel polish removal kit definitely delivers the best value, seeing as it includes everything you need (and at a great price): a strong polish remover, nail cleanser, foil wraps, sanding blocks (for buffing), and salon wipes, to give nails a clean and healthy glow. If you’re someone who regularly gets gel manicures, this is an essential kit to keep on-hand or in your carry-on.

Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle’s editorial and sales departments.

Whether you’ve mastered the simple manicure or have moved on to complicated nail art, painting your nails can be a fun, easy, and inexpensive way to play with beauty. Plus, there’s very little commitment because you can apply and remove as many colors as you want — unless it’s starting to ruin your nails, that is.

Your nail plate, composed of keratin, protects the nerves and blood vessels underneath it. So keeping that protective layer healthy is really important. And the best way to do that is to first add a base coat every time you apply polish to your nails. Or, better yet, take an occasional manicure break to let your nails breathe.

“Over-manicuring or extended smothering of the nail with polish, gels, or acrylics can lead to thinning and weakening of the nail plate, which makes the protective nail surface into more of a cellophane wrapper than a hard shell casing,” Dr. Jessica Krant, dermatologist and founder of the Art of Dermatology in New York City, told TIME.

Doesn’t sound fun, does it? If you’re not sure if you’ve ruined your nail plate, one big warning sign is experiencing pain after using nail polish remover or any other nail product, as it means your plates aren’t functioning as a proper shield any longer. This also includes sensitivity or breakage.

As we mentioned before, taking a break from your weekly mani can help build your nails’ strength back up. You could also try switching up the products you use. “Acetone-free nail polish remover is gentler, as it doesn’t dry out your nails so much,” recommends Dr. Marina Peredo, a New York City dermatologist.

Love gel manicures? Well, you’re going to have to be especially careful. Since it requires soaking your nails (fingertips and cuticles included!) in a special gel nail polish remover and then filing away the polish, there’s even more opportunity to damage your nail plates. In fact, TIME cites a study from the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology that links the “application and removal of gel nail polish to nail weakness, brittleness, and thinning.”

Even worse: Trying to remove the gel polish yourself to save time and money. “The oil filing should be done on the top coat of the gel polish with a softer nail file just to break the seal and allow acetone to remove the gel quickly,” says pro manicurist Alexaundra McCormick at Honey Artists. And you miss this important step when you try to force the gel off your nails yourself, she explains.

The lesson here: If you really want amazing nails, sometimes it’s best to skip polish altogether for a few days to give them a break. And if you do get a gel mani, spend the extra money to let a pro remove it.

[h/t TIME Magazine

Sam Escobar Contributor Sam’s enthusiasm for makeup is only rivaled by their love of all things relating to cats.

The Best Ways to Remove Nail Polish With Or Without Remover, So Don’t Worry if You Can’t Find A Bottle

I love painting my nails. And I may or may not hoard over 100 bottles of polish for whenever I need my fix. It’s a problem, I know. But what’s worse is my removal habits, despite having found ways to remove polish without any remover. I once (or twice) had three Thanksgiving Dinners with remnants of a spiderweb manicure on my tips. I’m not proud. I have my reasons though, I swear! First of all, I really can’t stand the smell of nail polish remover. And second of all, I’m pretty lazy when it comes to freshening up my manicure. So OK, they’re not the best reasons.

But recently, I’ve come across three ways to remove nail polish that either lessen or eliminate the smell. Two of which also don’t require me to go out and buy a bottle of remover if I’ve run out or misplaced mine (something I’ve begrudgingly done in the past). I’ve demonstrated these methods below, but keep in mind that my polish was two thick layers of glitter (Ginger + Liz Colour Collection in Kicking & Screaming, in case you’re interested). Although I’m pleased with the efficacy of each removal process, they will work even better with a regular cream or metallic polish. But regardless of what type of polish you’re rocking, or whether you have a bottle of remover handy (sorry), here are the best ways to get rid of a stale manicure.

Nail Polish Remover

Onyx Professional Nail Polish Remover, $8, Amazon

Duh, I know. But it really is the best way. Nail polish remover comes in both non-acetone and acetone versions. While non-acetone is better for your nails, acetone will remove nail polish faster and easier. Have tough glitter polish to take off? Place a remover-soaked cotton pad over your nails and wrap them in aluminum foil for about three minutes. That glitter polish will slide right off.

More Nail Polish

Sounds a little counterintuitive, but this totally works. Just paint a fresh coat of nail polish or a top coat (preferably not a quick-drying formula) and wait about 20-30 seconds. Then, using a tissue, just wipe off. If there is any polish still on the nails, just repeat until clean. Bonus? If you’re indecisive about your next color, use your options to take your current color off. You can decide which you like best without immediate commitment.

Rubbing Alcohol Based Products

BD Alcohol Swabs, $4, Amazon

If you can’t find remover and don’t want to waste your polish, rubbing alcohol based products are your next best bet. This includes straight-up rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer, hairspray, body mist, perfume, and spray deodorant. While these products will remove your polish, they need a little more time to work. Spray or apply some of your product-of-choice on your nails and let it sit for about one minute. Then, using a cotton pad or tissue, rub clean. This one takes a little more elbow grease, especially on thicker or glitter polishes, so you might have to repeat the process a few times. Just remember, this is only for rubbing alcohols. Whiskey will not remove your nail polish, so save it for your coffee.

Images: Miki Hayes (6)

Repeat this wrapping on all 10 nails. (Warning: It will get a little tricky by the end of the process when most of your tips are covered in tin foil.) Then, after 10 or 15 minutes, check your progress.

“The gel polish should look as if it is falling off the nail and lifted,” Saulsbery says. “The remaining polish should be able to be removed with little to no pressure — if not, go back to soaking for another five minutes and try again.”

Getty ImagesApply a Little Elbow Grease

Once all the gel nail polish has loosened, pull the foil off of each finger and apply slight pressure to the nail with the cotton ball. For any remaining spots, gently use a nail stick, “working under the gel to lift it off the nail plate,” explains Hipp.

Pro tip: “Wooden tools can be a breeding ground for bacteria, so dispose of them after each use and don’t share with friends,” Hipp says. If the polish still isn’t lifting easily as you press the stick into it, you need more soaking, so wrap the nail back up with a new cotton ball and try again in five minutes.

Getty ImagesHydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

After a long acetone adventure, your nails will likely be a bit dry. If you’re going to let your nails breathe a bit, “soak your nails in coconut oil for five to seven minutes, then apply a cuticle oil, such as Ciaté’s Marula Cuticle Oil, on your nail beds to rejuvenate and rehydrate them,” says celebrity manicurist Jin Soon Choi. If you’re polishing again, skip this.

It might seem like a lot of moisture-sucking acetone, but if you’re a fan of gel manis, it’s much better than picking or peeling your polish, Saulsbury says. “Acetone removes oils from the nail, but it doesn’t actually damage the nail bed,” she explains. “That happens when the nail bed endures trauma from peeling and pushing the polish off,” which can leave you with brittle, broken nails.

Happy soaking!

For more on gel manicures:

  • The Gel Manicure Lowdown: UV vs. LED
  • 3 At-Home Gel-Manicure Kits Worth Trying
  • Can You Use a Gel Topcoat Over Regular Nail Polish?

Now, watch as purple amethyst nail art comes to life:

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This summer-like weather made me want to run out for a fresh mani and pedi. I just love having a pretty set of freshly painted fingers and toes! However, when it comes to removing nail polish, the process becomes considerably less fun. Removing nail polish can be stinky and messy. There are plenty of nail polish remover options available, so let’s take a closer look at how these removers work and which one is the best for you.

How do nail polish removers work? Basically, there are two different kinds of nail polish removers: acetone and non-acetone. Most brands carry both types–it’s usually stated right on the front label. Both types contain a solvent (like acetone) that works by dissolving the hard film that’s left on your nails by the ingredients in the polish. Nail polishes contain ingredients like resins, plasticizers, film formers and color pigments. All these ingredients work to give you a nice even coat of polish that dries quickly and evenly. The problem is, these ingredients aren’t so easy to remove.

Acetone Polish Removers Acetone is a very powerful solvent and it works the best at removing polish. But it’s also very harsh because it removes a lot of natural oils from your skin. In fact, sometimes your skin will look really white if you’ve used too much acetone on it. That means you’ve dried your skin out.

Pros: Most effective way to remove nail polish.

Cons: Harsh and very drying to nails, cuticles and skin. Women with nails that are dry or splitting should avoid using.

Best For: Infrequent polish removal, women who use really dark polish colors, removing shellac (no-chip) manicures.

Non-Acetone Polish Removers Non-acetone removers use less aggressive solvents like ethyl acetate, isopropyl alcohol and propylene carbonate. Even polish removers labeled as “natural” or “organic” still use a solvent, they just don’t use acetone. They also add moisturizing agents like glycerin, panthenol and soy to minimize the drying effect. However, these formulations don’t dissolve the polish coating as efficiently so you’ll have to work harder to take off the old polish.

Pros: Gentler than acetone, less drying (though these solvents still can be drying, just less so than acetone).

Cons: Don’t work as well as acetone, requires more effort to remove (especially dark colors) and won’t work on shellac (no-chip) manicures.

Best For: Frequent polish removal, light polish colors and women with dry or more sensitive skin and nails.

Bottom Line Acetone is still the most effective way to remove nail polish. Unfortunately, it’s harsh and can dry out skin and nails. While other solvents work, they don’t work as well as acetone. This means more time that you have to spend rubbing polish off your nails. Whether you choose acetone or non-acetone, be sure to moisturize your hands and nails after polish removal to counteract the drying effects of the solvent.

For more science based beauty tips check out the Beauty Brains!

The 5 Best Nail Polish Removers

Removing nail polish doesn’t need to be a hassle. With the right polish remover, you can remove your old coat of color in a cinch and prepare your nails for the next polish.

What Is Nail Polish Remover?

Nail polish remover is a powerful solvent that can quickly remove polish from the nails, cuticles, and surrounding skin. While acetone polish removers work very quickly and effectively, acetone can be very damaging on the nails. It’s best to find a gentle non-acetone nail polish remover (that actually works) to ensure the strongest, healthiest nails possible.

Top 5 Nail Polish Removers

Zoya Remove Plus Nail Polish Remover

The Zoya Remove Plus Nail Polish Remover is the award-winning nail polish remover you never knew you needed. The 3-in-1 formula is a nail polish remover, nail prep, and nail cleaner and conditioner in one. It will clean and prep the nails while moisturizing, nourishing, and fortifying the nail plate. It can also remove surface oils from clean nails and prepare them for the next coat of color. It also promises to make your next nail polish application last longer. It is ultra-effective, but it won’t irritate or dry out the nails or cuticles. The mild formulation with glycerin is gentler than standard nail polish remover, but is just as effective at removing polish without leaving any streaking or staining behind. It has a pleasant lavender scent that reviewers tend to love. It comes in a portable, spill-proof big flipper pump dispenser enforced by a twist lock, so you can feel confident using it. You just push the cotton pad down on the dispenser to get the right amount of polish remover, just like in the salons.

This is an Amazon best-seller and has outstanding reviews from professionals and beauty mavens alike. It is recommended by NY Mag, and StyleCaster calls it one of the best gentle and nourishing nail polish removers available.

Currently $8.99 on Amazon

Cutex Twist and Scrub Instant Sponge Regular

Cutex is the preferred drugstore brand of polish remover, so you should be happy with most of their solutions, but the Cutex Twist and Scrub Instant Sponge is truly unique. All you do is dip your fingers into the sponge and twist to remove even stubborn polish, providing the perfect alternative to traditional nail polish. The breakthrough formula is enriched with protein to gently dissolve polish, even under cuticles. The fast, effective formula is ideal for natural nails and works twice as fast as a traditional polish remover.

This offers a great deal because you won’t need to buy cotton pads to use it, like you would with traditional polish remover. It won the Total Beauty Readers’ Choice Award Winner for the best nail gadget. It is also recommended by a number of YouTube vloggers. If you are looking for a more travel-friendly option, consider the Cutex Acetone Finger Nail Polish Remover Pads. The Cutex Advanced Revival Nail Polish Remover is also recommended by NY Mag.

Currently $5.55 on Amazon

Pure Body Naturals Nail Polish Remover

If you’re looking for an all-natural, nontoxic way to remove polish, then the Pure Body Naturals Nail Polish Remover is perfect for you. The chemical-free remover is effective at removing polish and will hydrate your nails and cuticles at the same time to promote healthier-looking nails. It is just as effective as traditional nail polish remover and can even remove stubborn UV gel and glitter polishes with ease. The non-acetone remover is made with plant-based ingredients and can actually strengthen cracked and brittle nails. Simply dab a bit on each nail, allow it to sit for 2-5 minutes to soften the polish, and then gently rub the polish off. The nonflammable remover won’t evaporate into the air like most nail polish removers, but can be easily removed with water. It has a gentle natural scent, so you won’t have to worry about the overwhelming fumes of traditional polish removers.

This is Amazon’s #1 best-seller in nail polish removers, with more than 3,300 five-star reviews on Amazon. It is also one of the “most wished for” items on Amazon and is backed by a satisfaction guarantee, so you’re bound to be happy.

Currently $12.95 on Amazon

Sally Hansen Nail Polish Remover

The Sally Hansen Nail Polish Remover can help promote strong, thick nails. It is ideal for all nail types and can help strengthen and fortify soft, weak, thin nails. It can quickly and gently remove even dark colors and glitter polishes without drying out your skin or nails. The salon formula has a special blend of vitamins, protein, and nail strengthening gelatin, which can help soften cuticles and help you achieve more beautiful nails.

You can’t go wrong with a Sally Hansen nail polish or polish remover. This is an Amazon best-seller and has outstanding online reviews. StyleCaster also recommends the Sally Hansen Kwik Off Nail Color Remover with vitamin E and Aloe.

Currently $4.96 on Amazon

OPI Expert Touch Lacquer Remover

The OPI Expert Touch Lacquer Remover is more effective than traditional polish removers. It is strong enough to quickly remove even the darkest shades of polish without staining the nail or skin. The nondrying formula leaves cuticles soft and supple. It also has a fruity aroma that reviewers tend to love.

This is an Amazon best-seller and has outstanding online reviews. Coming from the popular nail polish brand, OPI, you know it’s bound to work on even the most stubborn nail polish.

Currently $5.95 on Amazon

And those are our recommendations for the best nail polish removers. As always, be sure to check Wise Bread’s Buying Calendar to learn when and how to buy just about anything!

Nail polish removers

Finding the perfect polish is important, but locating the perfect solution to removing it later is paramount. After all, the quality of your nail polish remover determines how quickly you can move on to painting your nails once again, and it can even impact the longevity of your manicure. Acetone-based removers are effective and quick, but drying. Non-acetone removers are traditionally terrible, but are a viable option for acrylic nails.

Zoya Remove+, $10 at Ulta

What’s the difference between a “polish remover” and a “nail cleaner”? Who knows! But that didn’t stop Zoya from accenting the distinction on the Remove + packaging. Here’s what you should know about the “3-in-1” formula, which, according to Zoya, preps nails for polish application as well. It’s acetone free, smells a bit like baby shampoo, and arrives in a pump dispenser, not dissimilar to what you’d find in a salon. The lack of acetone means your nails won’t feel dry, but it removes polish relatively quickly all the same. Worthy of a gold star in our book.

Deborah Lippmann The Stripper, $19 at Neiman Marcus

Celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann must have had a good laugh when she named her nail polish remover The Stripper. And another one when she priced it at $19 (LOL). Like Zoya’s version, the remover is dispensed via a pump. Unlike Zoya, acetone is a key component in the formula. What’s exceptional about The Stripper is its smell, which reminds me of lavender laundry detergent. Removing polish is extraordinarily easy when you apply Deborah’s special method, which is to leave a soaked cotton pad on your finger for five seconds and then gently remove the pad from your nail. It’s a great and effective polish remover, but is it worthy of a full Jackson? Probably not.

Sephora Instant Nail Polish Remover for Glitter, $9.50 at Sephora

If you elect to wear glitter on your nails, then you volunteer for the aftermath. Usually that comes in the form of soaking your nails in acetone until your cuticles fall off. Sephora’s glitter remover isn’t that bad. Is it drying? Of course. You can’t remove sparkles without the drying heavy-hitters. But it smells nice (like white peach, to be exact) and it sweeps away glitter with relative ease. To use, dip a finger in the remover-soaked pot for 10 seconds and then brush your nail against the included sponge. Easy as pie.

H&M Nail Colour Remover, $5.99 at select H&M stores

For a no-frills nail polish remover that gets the job done, look to H&M’s Colour Remover. In what seems to be a trend, the bottle is fitted with a pump dispenser that allots the perfect amount of formula to soak a cotton ball. The acetone-free liquid doesn’t leave nails dry, but it doesn’t moisturize like the oil formulas either. The scent errs on the chemical side, and I noticed it took a slightly longer time to completely remove polish. But for $5.99, that’s just fine.

Body Shop Sweet Almond Oil Nail Polish Remover, $10 at The Body Shop

The Body Shop’s oil nail polish remover is the gentlest of the pack. Using an acetone alternative, the non-nauseating fragranced formula dissolves polish — glitter, too — without much difficulty. Because it’s made from oil, the formula leaves behind a slight residue on nails. This is a good thing if you’re worried about dry cuticles. If, on the other hand, you plan to paint your nails immediately following application, wash your tips with soap and water first. This ensures a long-lasting manicure.

Cutex Advanced Revival Nail Polish Remover Pads, $3.99 at

A lot of nail polish remover pads miss the mark. Cutex’s do not. Each perfectly packaged pad handily removes polish. They’re super convenient for travel and won’t dry out your nails. You might feel close to running out of surface area on the pad, but nope! The pad always finds a way to finish what it started.

CVS Nail Polish Remover, $3.49 at CVS

CVS’s nail polish remover is fairly drying and fumigates the air with the scent of acetone, but for $3.49, what exactly did you expect? It’s not all bad news. The formula sweeps away glitter and any other kind of polish easily. Two to three cotton balls should be plenty to undo all ten fingers.

Priti NYC Soy Nail Polish Remover, $22.50 at Credo Beauty

Priti NYC’s non-toxic formula is surprisingly brilliant at removing glitter, even with its lineup of puny, hippie ingredients. I completed a set of nails with three cotton balls in a matter of minutes. The soy-based polish remover smells quite nice, too. (I wouldn’t call the scent “white flower,” but it does smell ambiguously delightful.) And much like the Body Shop’s version, it moisturizes the cuticles as well. Just make sure to wash your hands after application. It leaves an oily film on nails.

Julep Conditioning Nail Polish Remover, $14 at Julep

If your nails are sad, brittle slates of keratin, consider this remover from Julep. For an acetone-free formula, it dissolves polish (even glitter) quite nicely (but not as easily as, say, the CVS remover that contains acetone) and bathes your fingertips in an oily residue. Like the other oil-based removers, you’ll have to wash your hands for a clean, non-sticky nail bed, but at least your nails will smell great. You can thank an unidentifiable sweet fragrance for that.

The 4 Best Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover

Let’s be real: Removing your nail polish isn’t necessarily the most exciting part of your beauty routine. But, it’s important, not only for the sake of appearance and upkeep, but for your nails’ health, too. That’s where safe formulas come in. The best non-acetone nail polish removers are key when looking to care for your nails and cuticles in the most natural and safe way. There’s nothing like flaunting a fresh and fab mani-pedi, but when it comes to removal, it’s good to keep your nails well-being (and by extension, yours) at the forefront of your mind.

So first things first: what exactly is acetone? And why are there varnish-removing formulas that don’t contain it? Acetone is a strong liquid solvent that can dissolve paints, polishes, and pigments. Because of its strength, it can also be reeeeeally dehydrating and hard on both your nails and your cuticles. So, some companies choose to leave it out and rely on other ingredients that might not be quite as fast-acting and strong, but they can certainly get the job done — and you won’t have to sacrifice hydration or nail health for effective polish removal.

Below, you’ll find four of the best acetone-free nail polish removers on the market. These formulas rely on mostly natural ingredients, like protein (something your nails are made of, after all); soy (which can help break down lacquers); vitamin E (hydrate, hydrate, hydate!); and other healthy ingredients that won’t cause damage. Rather, they’ll help to restore your nails to their natural and glorious state, while fortifying them along the way.

1. Non-Acetone, Fruit-Scented Nail Polish Remover Pads That Are Perfect For Traveling

Aside from being completely acetone-free, these nail polish remover pads come in six fruity, delicious scents — and you get all six when you order the set. With 32 pads per box, (that’s 192 pads total!) you can expect one pad to swiftly and gracefully remove your nail polish on all ten fingernails, leaving behind a fresh scent. And they’re ideal for traveling, because you don’t have to worry about liquids or the risk of spillage.

2. A Non-Acetone Vegan Nail Polish Remover That Uses Soy To Get Rid Of Polish

The unexpected hero in ingredient list of this vegan, non-acetone remover? Soy — which helps to effectively break down the polish’s surface. Other natural ingredients like soothing lavender essential oil, as well as vitamins A, C, and E contribute to healthy, hydrated nails. Happy reviewers laud the product for its fast-acting and moisturizing abilities.

3. Non-Acetone Polish Remover That Comes In The Form Of Formula-Soaked Foam For Convenient Dip-And-Twist Removal

Sometimes it’s worth paying a little extra for safe and effective beauty products, like this natural, non-acetone polish remover. Completely free of preservatives, animal-based ingredients, parabens, and phthalates, this remover leaves nails with a natural and healthy glow, thanks to rich vitamin E. Plus, it comes in the form of formula-soaked foam, so all you have to do is remove the lid, dip your fingernails in, and twist around until it works its magic. No more worrying about messy cotton balls or spills!

4. A Multi-Functional, Non-Acetone Polish Remover That’s Budget-Friendly And Protein-Packed

Featuring a new and improved formula, this non-acetone remover from the polish gurus at Cutex is just as budget-friendly as it is effective. The liquid formula is protein-enriched, so it restores both your nails and nail beds, and it also has the ability to break down and dissolve polish — even the lacquer that gets underneath cuticles. Happy reviewers point out that it’s a highly-effective formula that can also be used to remove paint scuffs from your car, clean marks off plexiglass, or remove ink from skin.

Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle’s editorial and sales departments.

What’s the difference between acetone and non-acetone nail polish remover?

Have you ever stood in the drugstore with chipped nails and stared blankly at all your options for nail polish remover? You’re not alone.

The main decision you have to make is whether you want acetone or non-acetone nail polish remover. Here’s the simple secret: While acetone will work faster at getting the polish off of your nails, non-acetone removers will be gentler to them.


So what’s in these removers, anyway? Acetone is a clear, harsh-smelling and highly flammable liquid. It’s a solvent, capable of disintegrating even plastic. This explains why it works so quickly breaking apart and removing your nail polish. Isopropyl alcohol is typically used in the making of acetone.

The key active ingredient in non-acetone removers is usually ethyl acetate. Made from ethanol and acetic acid, ethyl acetate is colorless and also flammable. In addition to also being used as a solvent, its fragrant smell has led to its use in perfumes.

Most of your nail polish removers are going to include solvents as ingredients. If you can remember your lesson about polymers from high school chemistry class, think of it like this: Your nail polish remover is an organic liquid solvent. Nail polish is a hardened organic polymer. When the remover is applied to the polish, the molecules of the solvent will force their way through the polymer molecules, causing the polish to disintegrate.

Because of acetone’s strength as a solvent, it shouldn’t be used on your fake nails. The solvent in the polish remover will weaken your extensions and cause them to separate from your natural nail. One of the reasons non-acetone nail polish removers were created was to be used on nail extensions.

But for removing sparkly, glitter nail polish, it’s best to go with the big guns — acetone polish remover. The chemicals in glitter nail polish make it more difficult than other polishes to break down.

If you have strong health concerns about the chemicals used in both acetone and non-acetone polish removers, you should consider switching to a nail polish remover that doesn’t use toxic ingredients. There are also many polish removers on the market today that boast of being fully “natural” and biodegradable.

Need more on nail care? Head on over to the next page.

Related HowStuffWorks Articles

Nail polish removers are a dime a dozen, but finding one that works well without stinking up an entire home or destroying your nails can be a struggle. Whether you prefer liquid removers or remover pads, there’s a perfect nail polish remover out there.

So, we asked nail professionals to recommend their favorites. Some of them even strengthen nails instead of weaken them.

The best nail polish removers, according to manicurists

  • 1. Londontown Kur Strengthening Lacquer Remover, $12, Ulta

“The Londontown lacquer remover is one of my favorites on set. It’s super powerful and conditions and strengthens your nails. It earns extra points for being vegan, too,” said manicurist Gerry Holford.

  • 2. Deborah Lippmann The Stripper Nail Lacquer Remover, $18, Amazon

“This polish remover contains aloe vera to keep your nails healthy and avoid dryness,” said manicurist Sarah Chue, represented by Exclusive Artists Management.

  • 3. ZOYA Remove Plus in Big Flipper Bottle, $10, Amazon

“Zoya Remove Plus is one of my go-to polish removers! I love using it for my clients because it doesn’t even smell like polish remover. I’ve even had someone comment on how good it smells. It isn’t harsh on the nails, yet is still able to remove the most difficult of colors (like glitter!),” said Los Angeles-based nail artist and manicurist Chelsea King.

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  • 4. Ella+Mila Soy Nail Polish Remover, $11, Amazon

“This gentle soy-based nail polish remover is made to effectively remove all conventional nail polishes. Formulated with beneficial ingredients such as Vitamins A, C and E, as well as lavender essential oil, this remover promotes healthy and moisturized nails. This product does not contain acetone or harsh acetates, which will dry out your skin and damage the nail and cuticles,” said manicurist Gina Viviano.

  • 5. OPI Expert Touch Lacquer Remover, $6, Ulta

“This polish remover contains grapeseed oil and aloe vera, and is great for moisturizing nails while removing polish,” Chue said.

  • 6. Young Nails Caption On To The Next Cream Nail Polish Remover, $7, Ulta

“This is my favorite remover. It’s is a small travel-sized bottle of acetone remover, and it’s a cream, so there is no mess and it’s easily controlled when using on a remover pad. This product removes all gel product and polish super easily,” said celebrity manicurist Carla Kay.

  • 7. Onyx Professional 100% Acetone Nail Polish Remover, $7, Amazon

“Despite the idea that non-acetone is ‘healthier’ for natural nails, 100 percent acetone is best because its ability to swiftly remove polish, glitter and gels mean less time exposed to chemicals. Of course, always wash your nail/hands after removal and before reapplying a new color if you want a longer lasting manicure,” said manicurist Elle.

  • 8. Cutex Ultra Powerful Nail Polish Remover, $11, Amazon

“This polish remover is 98 percent acetone and quickly removes polish without leaving fingers chalky after use. It can also double as a gel remover, which is always a bonus, and it has a light cucumber fragrance,” said manicurist/nail artist Julie Kandalec.

  • 9. Beauty Secrets Pure Acetone, $4, Amazon

“Acetone is organic, meaning that it’s actually found naturally in nature, and a small amount of it is in the human body! Pure acetone, however, is flammable and volatile: So, don’t sniff it or soak in it. Personally, I do use it as a polish remover because it’s a super fast solvent and removes polish so quickly that it’s actually on the skin less time than any other polish remover,” said manicurist Michelle Saunders.

  • 10. butter London Scrubbers 2-in-1 Prep and Remove Wipes, $10, Dermstore

“These remover pads from butter London are perfect for someone who’s always on the go. The wipes are individually packaged so they’re perfect for travel, and they really scrub away all of your polish effectively while nourishing your nails,” Holford said.

  • 11. Mineral Fusion Polish Remover, $7, Amazon

“I love Mineral Fusion because it actually works, which is pretty rare for a product without acetone,” said nail illustrator Whitney Gibson.

  • 12. Nails Inc. Gel-less Gel Nail Polish Remover Kit, $19, Sephora

“One of the worst things you can do is peel off your gel polish, so I always recommend soaking off gel polish. This all-in-one kit makes it convenient for those who can’t get into a salon to soak off, and the conditioning acetone makes it a plus,” King said.

  • 13. Deborah Lippmann The Stripper To Go Nail Polish Remover, $12, Amazon

“I always keep a couple of these pre-moistened remover pads in my purse in case my nail polish chips and I need to remove it on the go! They’re made of a felt material, so you can really get the polish off, and it never leaves your skin dry afterwards,” King said.

15 Best Nail Polish Removers Esha Saxena Hyderabd040-395603080 December 10, 2019

Here’s a fact – removing nail polish isn’t a particularly exciting part of your beauty routine, but it sure is important. The quality of your nail polish remover has a direct impact on the health and appearance of your nails. It is essential to use a formula that works for your nail type – be it thin, weak, sensitive, or brittle. We’ve rounded up some of the best nail polish removers on the market that you can rely on and that won’t damage your precious nails. Read on to find out more!

Products Check Price
Sally Hansen Strengthening Nail Polish Remover Check Price
Cutex Quick & Gentle Nail Polish Remover Check Price
Zoya 3-In-1 Formula Remove Plus Check Price
O.P.I Expert Touch Lacquer Remover Check Price
L.A Colors Nail Polish Remover Pads Check Price
Aromatherapy Non-Toxic Nail Polish Remover Check Price
Karma Naturals Organic Nail Polish Remover Wipes Check Price
Deborah Lippmann The Stripper To Go Check Price
Gelish Soak-Off Artificial Nail Remover Check Price
Ella+Mila Soy Nail Polish Remover Check Price

Types Of Nail Polish Removers And Which One To Choose?

Ladies, there are two kinds of nail polish removers – acetone and non-acetone. While the former is the most common one (and it works wonderfully at removing the most stubborn polish), acetone is also pretty harsh on your nails and the skin surrounding them. Why? Because it simply removes the natural oils from your skin.

Non-acetone removers, on the other hand, use less aggressive solvents like propylene carbonate and ethyl acetate. So, if you see your nail polish remover labeled as ‘natural’ or ‘organic,’ remember that these formulas also use a solvent, just not acetone. These also have moisturizing agents added to them (like glycerin) to minimize that horrid drying effect.

Here’s our list of the best nail polish removers that you can purchase to maintain your healthy, gorgeous nails and hydrated cuticles.

15 Best Nail Polish Removers

1. Sally Hansen Strengthening Nail Polish Remover

  • Removes nail polish quickly
  • Strengthens weak and brittle nails
  • Contains vitamins and protein
  • Affordable
  • Wide-open mouth causes wastage of product

If you’re looking for an acetone-based remover that is not too harsh, this one by Sally Hansen is the perfect formula. It is enriched with nutrients that help promote strong, healthy-looking nails and cuticles with each use. It also helps strengthen soft, thin, and weak nails. Its fragrance is very mild, much like soap, and it does not have that pungent smell of acetone. We highly recommend trying this.

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2. Cutex Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover

  • Gentle on your nails and cuticles
  • Dissolves polish quickly
  • Mild fragrance
  • Easily available
  • Takes a lot of product and rubbing to remove every trace of nail polish

Cutex Non-Acetone Nail Polish Remover is made for both artificial and natural nails. This formula works brilliantly on artificial nails. But when it comes to natural ones, it takes a little too much work and product. However, as this is a non-acetone nail polish remover, it is suitable for those of you with very sensitive skin or nails.

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3. Zoya 3-In-1 Formula Remove Plus

  • Flip-cap dispenser
  • Easy to use
  • Travel-friendly
  • Pleasant smell
  • A bit expensive

This nail polish remover from Zoya is an award-winning, gentle, and highly effective formula that also preps and conditions your nails. Its brilliant packaging is a major plus as you don’t have to worry about spilling or wasting the product. This formula removes even the most stubborn glitter nail polish with ease and never leaves your hands feeling dry or dehydrated. Do give this a try if you’re looking for high quality and handy nail lacquer remover.

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4. O.P.I Expert Touch Lacquer Remover

  • Removes gel and glitter nail polish effectively
  • Does not sting or irritate your skin
  • Infused with cooling and nourishing ingredients
  • Easy to use
  • The packaging is prone to leakage and spillage

Want super quick and easy nail polish removal? This formula from O.P.I is a breeze to use, and you only need about two to three drops to get rid of every last bit of nail polish. Isn’t that impressive? You will not have trouble removing shades like black or blue, and it won’t leave your nails stained. It also leaves your nails and the skin surrounding them feeling cool and moisturized. If you prefer using acetone formulas that are gentle, you will love this one.

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5. L.A Colors Nail Polish Remover Pads

  • Easy and convenient to use
  • Moisturizes your nails
  • Acetone-free
  • Pleasant scent
  • Can get messy with darker colors and glitter polishes

The L.A Colors Nail Polish Remover Pads come in six different scents. These are pre-moistened pads that are a great option for when you are on the move or traveling. If you want to refrain from using acetone-based polish, these are an excellent choice. However, using them can be a tad bit tedious and time-consuming, especially when it comes to darker shades of nail polish. Lighter shades can be easily removed with just a couple of swipes.

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6. Pure Body Naturals Nail Polish Remover

  • Free of acetone, acetate, and ethyl lactate
  • Odor-free
  • Safer than conventional formulas
  • Good packaging


  • Does not work on gel polish or acrylics

Fancy the phrase “organic and 100% natural”? This nail polish remover is your certified organic alternative to traditional acetone-based nail polish removers. Its non-toxic oil base is derived from plants, and its formula contains botanical extracts to nourish and strengthen your nails. It does not emit a chemical smell, and it won’t dry out your nails or cuticles. It does take a little more time to do the job, but then, you win some, you lose some.

Purchase Link

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7. Onyx Professional Soak Off Gel And All Nail Coatings Remover

  • Removes any type of nail polish
  • Suitable for artificial and natural nails
  • Contains vitamin E and grape seed oil
  • Affordable
  • Intense smell

If you’re looking to buy a professional nail polish remover that is used in nail salons, this one by Onyx is a good deal. Unlike other nail polish removers on the market, this one can remove every type of nail polish, be it gel, shellac, glitter, acrylics, or nail glue. Although this formula is an acetone-based one, it also contains nourishing ingredients like vitamin E and grape seed oil that condition your nails. This is the one nail polish remover that does it all!

Purchase Link

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8. Aromatherapy Orange Ginger Nail Polish Remover

  • Safe and non-toxic formula
  • Heals and moisturizes nails and skin
  • Provides the benefits of aromatherapy
  • Biodegradable
  • Takes a tad bit more product to remove dark shades or glitter polish

This nail polish remover from Aromatherapy is a safe and natural alternative to acetone-based removers. You don’t need to worry about splitting or brittle nails or dry cuticles as this formula is extremely mild and gentle. It also offers the benefits of aromatherapy as it contains therapeutic grade essentials oils of orange, eucalyptus, spearmint, and ginger. Say goodbye to inhaling harmful fumes from acetone nail polish removers and give this baby a shot!

Fun Fact: Aromatherapy was started by four moms with a mission to provide chemical-free and healthy alternatives to the toxic cosmetics we find and use in abundance.

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9. Karma Naturals Organic Nail Polish Remover Wipes

  • Oil-based and non-toxic
  • Comes in a travel-friendly container
  • Contains lavender oil and soybean oil
  • Has a pleasant smell
  • Won’t work on gel nail polish or acrylics

Karma Naturals Organic Nail Polish Remover Wipes are 100% acetone-free and perfect for sensitive skin and brittle nails. These wipes have an oily consistency owing to ingredients like vitamin E, soybean oil, and lavender oil. If your nails need conditioning, these wholesome ingredients will take care of that. It removes your regular nail polish, regardless of the brand, with ease. If you’re conscious about choosing only vegan and cruelty-free products, this is made for you.

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10. CND Shellac Power Polish Nourishing Remover

  • Removes all kinds of nail polish
  • Does not dehydrate nails and skin
  • Contains vitamin E and macadamia nut oil
  • Free of strong chemical odors
  • Not suitable for thin or brittle nails

This nail polish remover by CND is a professional formula that’s specially designed to remove shellac, gel polish, and gel powders with ease. It’s not always possible to do this with a drugstore acetone-based remover, and this stuff works brilliantly. A little goes a long way to remove even the most difficult glitter nail polish. Give this a shot if you’re looking for a salon-like nail polish removal experience.

Purchase Link

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11. Deborah Lippmann The Stripper To Go Nail Lacquer Remover Finger Mitts

  • Pleasant lavender scent
  • Contains aloe vera to prevent dryness
  • Glitter nail polish comes off easily
  • Travel-friendly
  • Expensive

Want a quick and hassle-free way to get rid of that worn-out nail polish? These finger mitts by Deborah Lippmann work well to remove regular and glitter nail polish effortlessly. They are infused with aloe vera and lavender to help condition and nourish your nails and cuticles. One mitt cleans all ten fingernails, and you get six mitts wrapped individually in a single box.

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12. Gelish Soak-Off Artificial Nail Remover

  • Removes gel nail polish and acrylic nails
  • Prevents drying of skin that surrounds the nails
  • Contains conditioning agents
  • Easy to use
  • Can be harsh on natural nails

If you want to get rid of your gel manicure or acrylic nails right at home, all you need is a bottle of Gelish Soak-Off Artificial Nail Remover. It removes gel nail polish efficiently within 10-12 minutes and acrylics within 20 minutes. Simply saturate a cotton pad with this formula, place it on your nail, and cover it with aluminum foil for about 15 minutes. Then, remove the foil and lightly buff your nail.

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13. Ella+Mila Soy Nail Polish Remover

  • 100% vegan
  • Acetone-free
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vitamin-enriched formula
  • Does not work on gel polish

Looking for a nail enamel remover that is 100% non-toxic? This one from Ella+Mila is your best bet. It’s a soy-based formula that also contains lavender essential oil, which means you will never have to deal with dehydrated nails or cuticles. The packaging is utterly cute, and it also has a mild fragrance to it. It is also suitable for pregnant women and children.

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14. Cutex Advanced Revival Nail Polish Remover Pads

  • Pleasant smell
  • Easy to use
  • Contains botanical oils
  • Suitable for sensitive skin and nails
  • Difficult to remove glitter nail polish

These gentle, oil-based pads are a blessing for removing traditional nail polish. They are very handy and can be used on-the-go. One pad is enough to remove polish from all ten nails. It contains perilla seed oil, flaxseed oil, and apricot kernel oil that help strengthen and nourish your nails while quickly removing old polish. They are also priced very reasonably.

Purchase Link

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15. Pure Vitality Beauty Natural Ingredients Nail Polish Remover

  • Made with natural, safe ingredients
  • Safe for pregnant women, kids, and cancer patients
  • No toxic fumes
  • Removes regular, gel, and glitter polish
  • Slightly pricey

This nail polish remover from Pure Vitality Beauty is the safest one you can find. You don’t have to worry about using this on a regular basis as it is extremely mild. It is free of petroleum chemicals, acetate, ethyl lactate, and acetone. This remover also moisturizes your nails and makes them stronger. If you’re big on using environmentally-friendly products, you should know that this formula is 100% biodegradable and eco-friendly.

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Ladies, follow these safety precautions when using a nail polish remover of any kind. Here’s what you need to consider.

Tips And Precautions To Take When Using A Nail Polish Remover

  • Make sure you are in a well-ventilated room when removing your nail polish because acetone is highly flammable. Eliminate any sources of flame or spark to prevent a fire. (Yes, it seems ridiculous, but there have been incidents where acetone fumes caused a fire.)
  • It is not a good idea to inhale the fumes as it is terrible for your health.
  • Repeated exposure to harsh nail polish removers can lead to your skin becoming overly irritated and sensitive. Always choose a gentle, non-acetone formula if you’re a manicure junkie.
  • Rub some olive on the skin around your nails before removing your nail polish with an acetone-based remover.
  • Once you remove your nail polish, rinse your hands with water. Wait an hour before polishing your nails again so that the water has time to evaporate fully.
  • Once you finish your manicure, moisturize your skin and nails with a nourishing nail and cuticle oil.
  • You can also make your own DIY acetone remover with ten parts acetone, one part water, two to ten drops of olive oil and two to five drops of vitamin E.

Your nails are the one thing you can get into shape without exercise, and beautiful nails reveal your inner health. It is essential to take proper care of your hands and nails by using quality nail lacquers and removers. That was our round-up of the 15 best nail polish removers on the market. Do you have a go-to nail polish remover that you can blindly rely on? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Esha Saxena

Esha Saxena is a writer, journalist, and a full-time wallflower. She holds a Master’s degree in Media and Mass Communication and firmly believes that makeup is nothing less than art. Combining her love for writing with her passion for makeup, she brings to you reviews, techniques, and her ever-growing knowledge on this form of art. In her spare time, she loves reading, listening to obscure indie bands, and writing poetry – all of this while being a crazy dog lady.

Giving yourself a fresh manicure is an easy way to feel more put together – and a good nail polish remover is essential to help prep your nails for their next colour.

Most nail polish removers on the market contain the solvent acetone, which is perfectly safe to use but can leave weaker nails feeling dry or brittle. Luckily there are acetone-free options available – and the GHI has been busy testing a whole range to find the best of the bunch.

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With a score of 89/100, Nails Inc’s Nail Polish Rapid Remover Pot has taken the top spot in our round-up. There’s no liquid – to use, simply dip and twist your fingers in the pot and let the coconut-scented, pre-saturated sponges inside wipe away nail polish without the need for cotton wool.

Express Nail Polish Remover Pot nails inc. £8.00

The test

To test the products, the GHI counted the number of swipes of the remover was needed until a tester’s manicure had been properly removed.

290 women also tried them at home – assessing how much polish remover was needed, how long it took to remove their manicure and how their nails felt afterwards. The packaging, instructions and ease of use was also considered before a final score was granted.

The verdict

According to the brand, this Rapid Remover Pot has a collagen-rich formula designed to be gentle on nails and promote nail strength, growth and cell renewal.

Both the home testers and the GHI team were very impressed. 84% of our reader panel liked the product and it scored 5/5 in the lab assessment. 95% of testers found it easy to use, noting it was very convenient for travelling, with no opportunities for spillage.

Eighty seven percent of testers found the pot easy to use, but some were disappointed they couldn’t use it on their toenails. We think, though, that it would make a great option for popping in your handbag or suitcase for fuss-free polish removal – and the fact that it’s good for our nails is an added bonus.

You can pick one of these pots up here on Lookfantastic.

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