Best Nail Polish Removers on the market

If you’re into nail art and like to change colors on a whim, then you definitely need a good nail polish remover to help you in the process. Because I understand the need to try out different looks and I have a bit of an obsession with glitter nail polish, I wanted to find the best removers to take off both sparkly and dark polishes.

I realized that I needed to find something other than traditional acetone based remover so my nails wouldn’t get affected by all that nail art so I started researching extensively about the best nail polish removers on the market and the best methods to remove tough nail polish. I came across mild acetone removers with botanical extracts as well as organic soy and oils remover that promised to protect the nail bed, and I’m going to tell you more about every single product that is worth your time and money.

We all know that most removers contain acetone, a powerful solvent that removes nail polish quickly and easily, but can be drying to the cuticles. On the other side, there are the non-acetone, organic and biodegradable removers, that are gentle to your nails, but less effective in removing tough nail polishes.

At the end of the day, you will have to make a decision whether you want acetone or non-acetone nail polish remover. I’m here to help you through that process and tell you more about some of the removers I tested.

The Tinfoil Method to Remove Nail Polish

The tinfoil method is a very simple, cheap and efficient way to remove stubborn nail polish without spending a lot of time rubbing your nails. By using this safe method to clean your nails, you can even use a non-acetone remover (that is not harsh to the nail bed) and get excellent results without all the fuss.

You also save money by using a lot less cotton pads and nail polish remover than you would by rubbing your nails at least 10 minutes with acetone.

I primarily recommend the tinfoil method to those who want to remove tough glitter nail polish or acrylic nail polish. Because the  chemicals in glitter nail polish are different than those of traditional nail polish, it’s more difficult to disintegrate it. It takes soaking and heat and that’s exactly what the tinfoil method helps you with.

Saturate five cotton pads or cotton balls with nail polish, place them on the fingernails of one hand and wrap them in tinfoil. Let them soak for about 5 to 10 minutes, depending how many coats you have on, and spend this quality time doing something useful for yourself, like taking off your make-up or reading your emails.

After the time period recommended, you’ll see that the nail polish comes right off without even the slightest persistency. It makes my life much happier and my nails have never looked better. I hope it does the same for you!

The Glue Method to Remove Glitter Nail Polish

Although I don’t approve of this method, I just thought I’d share it with you and perhaps find out how you feel about it. In the words of a classic, “I’m sure you’ve heard it all before but you never really had a doubt” that this method might actually be more damaging to your nail bed than actually rubbing it with 100% acetone.

The Glue Layer Method has been published on dozens of blogs, where it raised a lot of acclaim and not enough eyebrows, if you ask me..

The basic principle is applying a layer of diluted glue as a base coat for the glitter nail polish that you are going to use for your manicure. When you want to remove the polish, the glue will make it easy to loosen the edge of your nail polish and just…peel it off in a matter of seconds.

Although this isn’t the recipe for a week long manicure, as the glue method tends to promote chipping, I must admit this is a pretty great method for those Cinderella nights when you need a touch of glam in the evening, but need to have a natural nude manicure for work the next day. However, I can’t help but think the glue is damaging to the nail bed. Don’t you?

Priti NYC Soy Polish Remover

With brands like Priti pushing towards more natural ingredients, like soy, which works as a powerful solvent, it seems there is a brighter future in nail polish removers. This NYC Soy Polish Remover cleaned the polish right off my fingernails and left them moisturized and dewy.

Instead of using acetone, this polish remover is made from soy and lemongrass oil, which actually work well and don’t damage the nail bed. It’s also the best option for harder to remove lacquers, like glitter nail polish or dark polish.

This remover also comes in wipes form, a perfect option for those of you who like to save time, avoid dripping nail polish all over the place and end up using more product than necessary. Two packets will get you through all ten fingernails and leave them nicely moisturized. To justify the cost, I would save these purely for glitter polishes and use more inexpensive removers for regular lacquers.

OPI Polish Remover

Once the ultimate best nail polish remover on the market, this OPI Polish Remover still holds its place in the hearts of many ladies faithfull to their nail addictions. Its mild acetone formula removes all traces of nail lacquer without straking or staining, yet I recommend it more for traditional polishes, rather than gel, glitter or dark polishes.  Its gentle formula also moisturizes with Aloe Vera and its scent is nice.

OPI Expert Touch Lacquer Remover

The newer and efficient nail polish remover from OPI removes dark shades of nail lacquer and glitter nail polish fast, while leaving cuticles soft and supple. It has a non-drying, pleasant aroma and it worth every penny.

This is also available in removal wraps form, an easy and ingenious method that uses foil attached to absorbent pads to better remove all the polish. These wraps are conveniently rolles and dispensers and are ideal for removing all soakable gels, acrylics, wraps glitter nail lacquer and nail art.

It takes a couple of second to apply them. After you put a couple drops of acetone on the absorbent pads, you wrap the foil around your finger and let is soak for about 10 or 15 minutes. It you want to remove gel polish you might want to use a heating pad while you’re waiting. Using an orange stick, a quick push to separate the polish form the nail bed will do the trick, leavind the nail unharmed.

You will love this more than the DIY foil and cotton methos because eash sheet wraps tightly on the finger and doesn’t come off. They are pretty convenient, so once you try them, you will never use anything else for removing tough nail polishes like glitter, acrylics or gel.

Zoya Remove Plus Nail Polish Remover

Both effective and gentle, the Remove+ nail polish remover from Zoya is an award wining favorite, that acts as a nail prep, a nail conditioner and a strong polish remover. Its formula removes surface oils from clean nails and prepares them for the lacquer coats, making the manicure last longer.

Also, it cleans nail efficiently, without straking or straining, disolving dark nail polish as well as glitter nail polish. Simply press a cotton pad saturaded in Remove Plus to the nail bed for a few seconds wipe until the polish is completely removed.

Nails are left without a trace of nail lacquer, hydrated and ready for a base coat.  The light scent and the pump bottle are some major pluses for this product, making cleaning your nails a convenient and pleasant activity.

Sally Hansen Extra Strength Polish Remover

Definitely a nail polish remover worth buying, the Sally Hansen product does in fact have Extra Strenght in removing stubborn acrylic-based top coats and glitter nail polish without stripping the nails of its protective barrier.

At a great value and a considerable amount, you only need 2 cotton pads and a few drops of this wonder polish remover to clean all 10 fingernails. It doesn’t seem to affect the nails, as it doesn’t leave behind a yellowish tint or whiten the nailds.

Deborah Lippmann The Stripper To-Go

Since a lot of nail aficionados love Deborah Lippmann’s glitter nail polishes, I myself have included them in the Best Glitter Nail Polishes on the market, it’s only natural that the brand also has a pretty efficient polish remover.

My go-to product for traveling is The Stripper To-Go pack, that contains six nail polish removing mitts that you slip on each nail, go about your day for a few minutes then enjoy then enjoy your newly cleaned fingernails. These also leave a pleasant smell on your fingernails.

Karma Organics Organic Soy Nail Polish Remover

Free of any Petroleum, carcinogenic or toxic ingredients and 100% biodegradable, the Organic Soy Nail Polish Remover actually is a powerfull solvent that removes any polish and cleans the nail bed, cuticles and skin around the nail of any tint.

It comes in lavander, tea tree or the unscented version and the best thing is that it is natural, so there are no harsh chemical smells to mess with your mental clarity. Also, since it’s made with oile, this nail polish remover is moisturizing to the nails, cuticles and skin.

Cutex Quick and Gentle Instant Jar Nail Polish Remover

This sponge polish remover works like a charm in cleaning regular polish quick and easy, without the drippy mess of cotton pads. Because it saves time and has a pleasant smell, I included in the best nail polish removers list. However, if you’re hoping to clean glitter nail polish, you better bring the big guns.

Essie Naturally Clean Purifying Polish Remover

Naturally Clean Purifying Polish Remover launched by Essie claims to cleanse and remove even the darkest polish shades without stripping the nail bed of essential hydration. Though it does in fact remove traditional nail polish, there are stronger solvents to try if you want to get rid of glitter nail polish or gel nail polish. More to its disadvantage, it doesn’t have a pleasant scent.

Still, the extra-large size was a great value for anyone seeking an all-purpose remover, even if it might by somewhat drying to the nail bed.

Cutex Advanced Revival Nail Polish Remover

The only drugstore label that I recommend does a great job in removing glitter nail polish and well as traditional ones. If you’re still a fan of acetone-based removers and you still find it easy to clean your nails with a cotton pad instead of a sponge jar, then this product is by far the best value.

It left a nice, pleasant scent on my nails and didn’t dry them that much. I for one think it’s definitely better than the Quick and Gentle Instant Jar at removing chipped nail polish, yet it does have disadvantages that the other one doesn’t. I leave it to you to weigh the pros and cons and make a decision.


As a professional make-up artist and beauty enthusiast, Luiza's expertise has become highly prized over the years. As owner of this site, she set her mind to create a publication for those who are focused not just on beauty trends and popular brands, but also on the industry's most well-kept secrets.

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