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.
1. Olive and June Polish Remover Pot
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.
2. Terra Soy Plant Based Nail Polish Remover
3. Butter London Nail Scrubbers
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.
4. Zoya Remove Plus 3-in-1 Formula
5. Pronto 100% Pure Acetone Professional Remover
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.
6. Londontown Kur Strengthening Lacquer Remover
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.
7. Cutex Ultra-Powerful Nail Polish Remover
8. Deborah Lippmann The Stripper Nail Polish Remover
"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."
8. Tenoverten Rose Polish Remover
10. Le Mini Macaron Gel Polish Remover Pads
More Nailcare Products to Try
Taking care of your nails is also an inside job. Packed with 5000mcg of biotin, this repair kit will get your nails back into tip-top shape.