After 12 hours of research evaluating 105 products, we picked Zoya Remove+ as our top choice.
If only it wasn't so time-consuming! Not only do you have to apply nail polish, but you have to remove it as well once it starts to crack or chip.
Thank God for nail polish remover!
Nail polish remover is the ultimate solution for getting rid of an old or damaged coat of polish. Whether you use natural nail polish remover or acetone nail polish remover, it makes cleaning your nails the work of only a few minutes. You'll be able to remove your polish and have fresh, clean nails easily!
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Below, we've gathered all of the best nail polish remover products on the market. Each type of remover has its own unique benefits or serves a specific purpose. Check out our list and find the best nail polish remover that suits you.
Compact case, easy-use wipes, vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, free of gluten and parabens, one wipe works for all 10 fingers at a go, acetone-free, protects your skin and nails, and features a pleasant scent.
Performance: These travel nail polish remover wipes are perfect to bring with you wherever you go. Each pack contains 20 wipes, and the nail polish remover is potent enough to clean all 10 fingers at once. The single-use cotton pads make cleaning your nails a breeze! Best of all, they come in a case the size of a compact, so you can fit it in any purse or bag.
Ingredients: The remover wipes have a non-acetone nail polish remover, one that contains aloe vera and lemon extract to remove nail polish and protect your skin. The formula is gluten-free, paranben-free, cruelty-free, and vegan-friendly.
Price: At $12 for a 20-pack, these are a bit pricey. You'll need one wipe per use, or two if you're wearing thick or heavy polish. However, they're a good back-up plan if you travel often.
Highly effective, fills in nails and removes lines, prevents chipped nails, blends tips on natural nails, removes acrylic polishes, reasonable price, good value, can remove gel nails if left to soak, and will not cause skin damage.
Acetone-based and features a potent smell.
Performance: If you want a nail polish remover that will get rid of ANY type of nail polish—gel, acrylic, and traditional—this one gets the job done. Best of all, it eliminates the nail polish without damaging your fingernails.
The formula will actually help to fill in repair lines and keep your nails nice and smooth. It won't damage your skin or dry out your nails excessively. It's a simple, reliable nail polish remover that will get rid of your polish rapidly.
Ingredients: The nail polish remover is acetone-based, meaning it has both a strong smell and potent chemicals. Some users have complained of the smell, but the formula is intended to smooth out your nails without drying them out. For those with sensitive nails, it may be a good option to consider.
The acetone-based nail polish can remove gel nails, and you can let your fingertips soak without damaging your skin. You'll find it will repair lines on your nails and keep them looking good.
Price: At $11 for a 16-fluid ounce container, this is one of the best-priced nail polish removers on our list. It's highly effective but beautifully inexpensive.
Maximum strength, smell isn't overpowering, contains moisturizing ingredients, well-priced, highly effective, great for soaking off gel and shellac nails, easy to apply, won't make a mess, and excellent price for the size.
Very potent formula and may dry your skin after a long soak.
Performance: For removing gel and shellac nails, this is the nail polish you want. Not only will it deal with acrylic, traditional, and glitter polish effectively, but it will loosen the glue holding your gel/shellac nails securely in place.
The liquid is thick enough that it's easy to apply to your nails using a cotton ball, but it won't evaporate like many pure acetone nail polish removers. It's a maximum-strength nail polish remover made with a VERY potent strength, so make sure not to leave it soaking for too long, or you risk dry skin.
Ingredients: This nail polish remover is acetone-based, meaning it is very potent. However, once the acetone smell wears off, the after-scent is surprisingly mild and reminiscent of coconut. Thanks to the Vitamin E and grape seed oil in the nail polish remover, you can protect your fingernails and skin to reduce dryness when removing nails.
The remover is professional-grade, meaning it is used in salons and nail spas around the country. Definitely a product worth trying!
Price: At less than $4 per 16-ounce bottle, this is the best-priced product on our list. You get high quality nail polish remover at an amazing price—what more could you want?
Organic, non-toxic, free of acetone, vegan-friendly, hydrates nails, removes thick and tenacious polish, pleasant smell, long-lasting, doesn't evaporate, not too pricey, and cruelty-free product.
Requires more effort to clean your nails and contains allergens.
Performance: For those who want an organic and vegan nail polish remover, you'll love this Karma Naturals product. It's made with 100% organic ingredients, is cruelty-free, vegan-friendly, and non-toxic. You'll find that the all-natural ingredients require a bit more effort to scrub away your nail polish, but it will get the job done.
The formula is hydrating and nourishing for your nails. Unlike acetone-based nail polish remover, you won't have to worry about this one damaging your fingernails or toenails. The remover will refresh your nails, leaving them healthier than before.
Ingredients: This nail polish remover is made with soybean oil as the base, and lavender oil for both the mild scent and the effective removing. Soybean oil may be an allergen to some (people with soy allergies), but for the average person it's totally harmless—in fact, the fatty acids in the oil will help to improve nail health. Other ingredients include propylene carbonate (a solvent) and Vitamin E.
There are no petroleum-based ingredients, and it's a fully non-toxic, non-carcinogenic product. It's derived entirely from farm crops and packaged in recycled glass bottles.
Price: At $12 for 4 fluid ounces of nail polish remover, this is slightly on the pricier side of affordable. However, the acetone-free formula means the nail polish remover won't evaporate, making it a longer-lasting product than most nail polishes.
Crème/gel instead of liquid, squeeze bottle top, non-runny formula, effective at removing thick polish, contains natural ingredients, pleasant and mild smell, and hydrates and restores your fingernails.
Contains acetone and may dry out nails.
Performance: If you want to remove nail polish with as little mess and fuss as possible, you'll love this crème nail polish remover. It's thick enough that it won't run off your nails as you're working with it. Thanks to the acetone in the formula, it will eliminate nail polish very effectively. Let it sit for a few seconds and rub it gently off with a cotton ball. Voila! Clean nails.
The squeeze bottle top makes it easy to apply just a drop or two to your nails, reducing the messiness of the nail polish. The no-spill design of the bottle reduces the risk of wasting the remover. It's small enough you can travel with it, and it will never make a mess in your purse or toiletry case.
Ingredients: The nail polish remover is acetone-based, meaning it may do some minor damage to your nails and cause dryness. However, the lavender oil in the formula will mitigate the potency of the acetone and reduce nail damage.
The acetone does have a strong smell, but it's not as overwhelming as other nail polish removers. There's a nice, light after-scent of lavender that makes the nail polish remover much more pleasant than other acetone-based options.
Price: At $6, this is a beautifully-priced nail polish! It gets the job done as efficiently as you could ask for, and it offers great value for the cost.
Cleans and removes nail polish, acetone-free, easy dispensing, quick removal of nail polish, inexpensive, preps nails for application of fresh coat, no-spill design, lockable pump, one-hand application, and vegan-friendly.
Leaks if bottle tips over.
Performance: If you're looking for a user-friendly nail polish remover that gets the job done, this is the one for you. Few other nail polish removers get rid of dried, cracked, and chipped nail polish as efficiently as this one! Not only will it eliminate old nail polish, it will hydrate your nails and prepare them for the next coat of polish.
Thanks to its pump dispenser top, you can get all the nail polish you need without making a mess. It's a spill-free design that will make it easy to clean your nails. The pump allows you to use the nail polish remover one-handed. Thanks to the lock-top, you'll never have to worry about overusing the remover. Be warned: if it's not locked and the bottle tips, the liquid will make a mess.
Ingredients: The nail polish remover is made without acetone (using glycerin instead), and it's much gentler on your nails than acetone-based products. It contains plant-based ingredients that moisturize and hydrate your nails and will also protect your nails with a layer of moisture. As an added bonus, it will prep nails for the next coat of paint.
The product is 100% vegan-friendly, yet wonderfully inexpensive. It's easy to use, gentle on your nails, and goes on smoothly—everything you want in a quality nail polish remover.
Price: At just $10 per bottle, you'll find this is one of the best-priced nail polish removers on our list. It delivers quality performance at a great price, and it's a gentle, smooth remover that will leave your nails healthier than ever.
Nail polish remover used to mean just one thing: a pungent acetone mixture placed in a tiny plastic bottle. But the market is always changing and beauty needs constantly evolve. With advanced technology and better formulas, nail polish removers are now better than ever.
Many of us are guilty of not giving nail polish removers a second thought. As a result, many of us miss out on the perks of using the best nail polish removers for our personal needs. Why stop at investing in good manicures? After all, the polish removal process is a key part of our nail care routines.
In this guide, we’ll talk about everything you need to know about nail polish removers. By the end of this article, you should be well equipped with all the information you need to be able to choose the best nail polish remover for you. We’ve also thrown in a few tips and hacks to help you maximize the benefits and features of this otherwise-unassuming product.
Let’s dive right in!
A nail polish remover is a product that uses a special solvent to dissolve the sturdy film of polish on your nails. Nail polishes contain plasticizers, pigments, texturizing grains, glitters, and resins. They are designed to form a hard film on your nails, which is arduous to remove without a dedicated polish remover.
The first step to knowing which product is right for you is learning about all the different types of nail polish remover available out there. Below, we’ve listed some of the most common polish remover types, along with a brief description of each one of them.
Bottled Nail Polish Remover
Without a doubt, this is the most common format of nail polish remover. It usually comes packaged in a glass or plastic bottle. To use bottled removers, you need to saturate a cotton ball or cotton pad with the product, and then use it to wipe the polish off of your nails.
In a nutshell, bottled nail polish removers are simple, straightforward, and cost-effective. The only con to this format is that you can’t use it on its own. As mentioned, you need to have extra materials like cotton pads or cotton balls. But then again, who doesn’t have those at home?
Polish Remover Sleeves
Imagine a pen cap, only this time it’s made of soft, flexible plastic and is big enough to fit your fingers. That’s how polish remover sleeves look like. Also called polish remover pots or polish remover pods, this particular format is great if you have a sensitive nose. Because of the enclosure created by the sleeves, any lingering aroma from the remover is minimized.
Polish remover sleeves contain a small, pre-soaked sponge that covers the inside of the sleeves. To use them, all you have to do is insert your finger into the pod and then move your finger around inside it. They’re easy to use, mess-free, and an efficient way to remove nail polish.
Polish Remover Pads
Nail polish remover pads present another extra-convenient option. Here, individual pads are already pre-soaked with polish remover. They are usually packaged in sealed packets to keep the pads moist.
If you travel often, having nail polish remover pads are great because it doesn’t involve bottled liquids. What’s more, having a few of these in your purse, gym bag, work bag, or office desk can be handy in case of nail polish emergencies. They don’t take up a lot of space, and they allow you to simply open a packet and start wiping your nail polish to oblivion.
Polish Remover Pens
Polish remover pens have been gaining momentum in recent years for their practicality and usability. You use them as you would any normal pen, but this time, you’re erasing polish with the tip instead of leaving marks.
Polish remover pens are great if you’re looking for something that has more precision. They’re useful for those who are into nail art as they enable you to erase tiny mistakes without having to redo the entire thing. Polish remover pens are also useful in cleaning up the edges of your manicure. If you find it hard to apply polish on your nails without messing up the surrounding cuticles, a pen-type remover will be your best friend.
Acetone is pretty much synonymous to nail polish removers. It’s been a trusted companion of manicure lovers for several generations. However, it’s not perfect and using it will expose you to its drawbacks—which is why non-acetone nail polish removers have been developed more in recent years.
So, should you go for a product that has acetone? Or are you better off without it? Check out the following comparison to know more.
Acetone is the most popular ingredient in nail polish removers for a reason: it efficiently disintegrates the hard film formed by nail polish. However, it can be too drying for both the nails and skin. Acetone can strip the natural oils and moisture from your cuticles, nail, and skin. Over time, this contributes to weakened, thin nails and unhealthy cuticles. In addition, acetone has a very strong smell, which people with sensitive noses tend to be averse to.
Non-acetone nail polish remover is much gentler and less pungent than acetone. The main ingredient used here is commonly ethyl acetate, which is a product of combining acetic acid and ethanol. In fact, many people even find ethyl acetate fragrant, which makes it much more pleasant to use. Non-acetone nail polish removers can also be used to remove polish from artificial nails without causing major damage. However, it does not work as quick as acetone.
So, which one should you go for? Obviously, non-acetone nail polish removers are better for your skin and nails. However, they aren’t the best if you frequently use long-wearing polishes.
What we recommend is that you reserve acetone polish removers for glitter polish and gel polish. If all you wear is regular nail polish in light or neutral colors, non-acetone formulations should suffice.
We’re not gonna lie: nail polish removers can appear pretty boring. But did you know that you can use them for purposes other than removing nail polish?
Below are some hacks that you can use to maximize your bottle of nail polish remover. We’ve also thrown in a few tips that you should know before your next manicure session. Enjoy!
1. Thin out clumpy polish with some remover.
Digging out a bottle of nail polish and then finding out that’s it’s gotten clumpy can be frustrating—especially if it’s your favorite color. It’s not uncommon for us ladies to have several bottles (read: a dozen different colors) of nail polish in our rotation. Because of this, it’s fairly difficult to fully use up a bottle before it goes bad.
To revitalize a bottle of nail polish that’s been sitting unused for too long, simply add a few drops of your nail polish remover into the bottle. Shake the bottle to make sure that the few drops of polish remover are distributed evenly, and voila—you’ve got a bottle of polish that’s perfectly usable once more.
2. Use polish remover to clean up adhesive residue.
You know those annoying adhesive marks that stickers leave behind? You can use your nail polish remover to clean them up! Polish removers can also help dissolve remnants of superglue—which makes them handy during, well, sticky emergencies.
3. Remove ink stains with polish remover.
Permanent marker accident? You can use nail polish remover to help erase marker or ink stains on your clothes and hard surfaces. Remember to use just a bit of product at a time. Also, don’t let the polish remover set for far too long to prevent unwanted damage.