For better or for worse, there is a beauty product we will always need in our medicine cabinets: nail polish remover. Unfortunately, dealing with the strong smell and unwanted leaks of the beauty mainstay doesn't always make us want to pop it open. But don't fret—you're in luck. Nail polish removers now come in formulas that are easier to use and travel with (without spills), and in some cases, they are cleaner than ever.
So, how do you go about finding the best nail polish remover for your nails? Well, celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann says it starts with our nail's unique needs. "[For example] if you have really strong nails, you can use an acetone remover with treatment properties," she explains. That being said, she doesn't recommend using acetone solo without ingredients that soften the high-powered liquid.
As for using nail polish remover properly to remove polish, she has a few sound, expert-backed tips: "I start with a piece of very thin cotton and saturate [it] in remover and lay a piece on each fingernail, one hand at a time. Then with another piece of cotton also saturated in remover, hold it over the first nail you started with, and you will see the polish come right off. Don't tug or rub too hard on your cuticle area, that can ultimately cause weak nails and breakage." For any residual polish left on the sides of your nails, Lippmann recommends using a thin paintbrush.
Now that we've learned how to remove nail polish, let's get into 10 top removers.
For a no-mess (and travel-friendly) way to remove oil polish on both the hands and feet, this pot of acetone-free nail polish remover offers a gentle formula that doesn't require cotton pads. You can dip your fingers into the pot to remove polish, and for toes, you can use the soft foam sponge cap.
The smell of nail polish remover isn't always as fresh as a bouquet of roses. But this plant-based, acetone, and alcohol-free nail polish remover isn't only easy on the nails—it's also vitamin-enriched formula and lavender scented.
These dual-sided scrubbers—that come in a pack of 10—are always packed into my cosmetic case because the vitamin E and aloe-infused formula remove nail polish easily without tugging. Not to mention that they take up little space in a carry-on or in a medicine cabinet.
This pro formula is your best bet to remove gel and acrylic nails without disrupting your natural nail. First, however, we recommend taking your time and letting the acetone work its magic. Secondly, give your nails some love with cuticle oil post-removal.
For stubborn glitter polish or traditional nail lacquer, this acetone-free remover lifts away any trace of polish without stripping the nails of their natural oils. The formula's blend of botanical oils and extracts also infuses nutrients into the nails.
"I really love using the remover in my collection," Lippmann says. "It's a hydrating remover that won't strip nails of their essential moisture and doesn't leave a chalky residue on the nail. Plus, it's infused with lavender, essential oils, and aloe vera extract to prevent drying the nail."
With a rose-scented fragrance, this polish remover gently removes nail polish and hydrates nails. It also contains horsetail extract, which strengthens the nail, and vitamin E and aloe, which moisturizes.
Removing gel can be a challenge, and if not removed properly, it can cause damage to your natural nail. But, these individually-wrapped acetone cotton pads remove gel polish in 15 minutes when used to take off the Le Mini Macaron's gel polish.
Keeping the hands and nails hydrated keeps your skin and nail beds healthy. This cream is a sensory and moisturizing experience beause it's infused with pear, bergamot, and fresh aldehyde notes, plus hydrators like shea butter and glycerin.