Nail Polish Remover

Thursday, 13 March 2008

If you enjoy coloured nails, no doubt youíre familiar with nail polish remover. We find out more about this de-varnishing liquid.


The Basics

  • To dissolve the hardened plastic of nail polish, removers use a chemical solvent like acetone, which cleans quickly but can dry out your nails and cuticles.

  • Acetone-free removers are made from a milder solvent called ethyl acetate. They tend to take a little longer to work and also dry your cuticles, but possibly not quite as much.

  • Polish removers come in liquids, gels, pads and sponge tubs. They basically do the same job. The format is a matter of personal preference.

  • More expensive products have extras like colour, fragrance and moisturizing ingredients, but they’re not necessary to remove colour.

  • Products that claim to have added moisturizing ingredients to restore and hydrate your nails may not necessarily be worth it. And they can also make it difficult for new nail polish to adhere to the nail.

  • The best way to moisturize is to actually use a moisturizer or oil on your nails and cuticles after using the remover.


We tested a different nail polish remover on a specific nail for ten days looking for differences in how well they dissolved the polish and the condition of our nails and cuticles.

Removal Test

  • The unanimous verdict: there was no noticeable difference between the acetone and acetone-free products in terms of effectiveness or nail and cuticle dryness.

  • The Sally Hansen Kwik Off were convenient, pre-soaked pads, but some of us found them messy and got remover over the place.

  • The inexpensive Equate had a strangely addictive fruity smell.

  • Revlon’s gentler acetone-free remover worked well.

  • The more expensive salon-rated products, OPI and Diamond Strength just didn’t make economical sense – save your money for the polish instead.


We liked Revlon’s gentler acetone-free remover, even though we found no noticeable moisturizing benefit.



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