The 10 Best Nail Polish Removers
This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in May of 2018. Beauty enthusiasts know that lacquer can be quite tricky to take off, but with one of these nail polish removers on hand, the process is guaranteed to run smoothly. Here, you'll find a range of formulas designed to cleanse your fingertips easily and efficiently, so you can get to the business of applying the latest trendy color. We've included acetone and non-acetone options for your convenience. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
June 15, 2020:
When it comes to nail polish removers, most users know that there are two basic categories, acetone and non-acetone. We've included both; although acetone has a reputation as a dangerous chemical, there's little evidence to suggest that it's toxic when used properly. It is, however, unsafe to ingest, so if you have little ones around the house, you'll want to keep your nail polish remover locked away safely. In the acetone category, we've included Pronto 100% and Onyx Professional, both of which are pure acetone choices strong enough to remove gel and acrylic nails. OPI Expert Touch is another one to consider. It doesn't have a pure acetone formula, so it might not dissolve glues, but it's tough enough for very dark, stubborn nail polishes.
As for non-acetone options, we removed Karma Organic Spa over concerns about its effectiveness, opting instead for Mineral Fusion and Marley Marie Naturals. Because these are formulated to be gentler on the nails and skin than some others, they generally take longer to work — and they tend not to be strong enough to remove gel polishes. Nevertheless, they smell better than most "standard" choices, like the popular Sally Hansen, and come in cuter bottles than most, to boot. For a non-acetone model that's perfect for travel, we selected the Cutex Care Swipe & Go pads. They're on the pricier side, but you can slip them in your purse without worrying about spills, making them an excellent portable choice.
The Sign Tribe Remove and Chill For something different, try The Sign Tribe Remove and Chill, which is actually a cream, not a liquid. All you have to do is rub it on and wait a minute per layer, which gives the non-acetone, moisturizing formula time to go to work. thesigntribe.com
Côte TakeOff Sensitive noses can appreciate Côte TakeOff, which is lightly scented of wild sea rose to make doing your nails an enjoyable experience. A gentle formula, it's quite pricey but manages to work very well without acetone. coteshop.co
The Stripper by Deborah Lippmann The Stripper by Deborah Lippmann boasts both aloe vera extract and lavender oil, which stops it from drying out the nail. Not only that, but it doesn't leave a chalky residue, and the bottle has a twist-lock pump that means no more annoying spills or leaks. deborahlippmann.com