How Do I Choose the Best Acetone Nail Polish Remover?

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  • Written By: Misty Amber Brighton
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 17 October 2019
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When removing nail polish, you need to make sure you have the right product for the job. Acetone nail polish remover can be a good choice as long as it does not contain methanol, because this substance can be harmful to the skin. You may also want to avoid products that have artificial colors and perfumes, as these do not affect the product. It is helpful to read the label to see if the product can be used with both artificial and natural nails.

Some manufacturers claim to produce non-acetone nail polish remover, which many people believe is safer than remover that contains acetone. These brands may contain methanol, a substance which can be more toxic than acetone if allowed to come into contact with the skin. You may want to read the product label in order to see if the nail polish remover you are considering contains this harmful ingredient, especially if it is purported to be a low-acetone variety.

While you are looking at the list of ingredients, it is smart to see if artificial colors or perfumes are also added. These do not affect the way nail polish is removed, and are not needed. The sole purpose of these additives is to improve the look and smell of acetone nail polish remover, especially since this product often has a harsh chemical odor to it.


Acetone nail polish remover can typically remove all types of nail polish, but may sometimes remove artificial nails as well. Before you use this product, you might want to find out which brands are used solely to remove nail polish and which ones could also remove artificial nails. It is wise to talk to your manicurist if the product label does not specify one way or another.

You can buy acetone nail polish remover in many different sizes. One that is only one or two ounces (28.35 to 56.7 g) is ideal for you to take with you when traveling. Bottles that are six to 10 ounces (170.1 to 283.5 g) would be best if you do home manicures or pedicures about once a week. Professional manicurists often purchase nail polish remover in one to five gallon (3.79 to 18.95 l) containers from a beauty supply store. If you have friends who would like to split the cost of this purchase with you, buying nail polish remover in large quantities could save you money over buying the product from a department store.


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Post 8

I have always bought nail polish remover that has perfumes or a scent to it because I felt it was easier to tolerate the smell of the polish remover.

I also have never given much thought to my nail polish remover being acetone or acetone free. There have been many times when I am removing my nail polish, that I wonder if it is worth what I am doing to my nails.

If I leave nail polish on for long stretches at a time, even when I use a base coat, my nails end up looking yellow and not very healthy.

I think this is more from the nail polish than the polish remover, but that can't be all that healthy for my nails or my nose either in the long run.

Post 7

Of all the years I have used a nail polish remover, I have never thought about looking at the list of ingredients on the bottle.

Fingernail polish remover always has a strong smell to it, so I never gave it much thought to finding some that would be better for me than others.

I am not usually very picky about the brand of nail polish remover I buy. I haven't found much difference in how they work either.

After reading this article, I will pay more attention to the kind of nail polish remover I buy. It sounds like as long as I stay away from the methanol ingredient, an acetone polish remover might be the best way to go.

Post 6

I have to say that if you have artificial nails, you should go with the acetone free nail varnish remover. I once used acetone nail polish remover to take the polish off my fake nails, and it didn't turn out so well.

I was being cheap, and trying to add an extra week in between salon visits. I figure I would just take the nail polish off my acrylic nails and paint over my real nail (which had grown out) and the acrylic nail. I ended up partly dissolving the acrylic nails and I had to go to the salon to get them fixed that very day! So much for saving money!

Post 5

@KaBoom - I was surprised to read that about non-acetone nail polish remover too. I've been buying acetone polish remover for years. I think it works way better than the non-acetone kind.

I always kind of felt like the risk evened out, because you have to expose yourself to the non-acetone remover for so much longer to get nail colors off. Using acetone polish remover is usually very quick.

As far as acetone nail polish remover goes, I've actually found that some brands work better than others. Usually I prefer to go with a "name brand" instead of the generic store brand.

Post 4

In my opinion, the best acetone nail polish remover is the cheapest kind. I know people make a really big deal about nail polish remover ingredients, but I've just never been able to bring myself to care.

I don't do my nails that often anyway. And when I do need to use nail polish remover, I go outside. I doubt I'm breathing much nail polish remover in when I'm using it outdoors!

I will say though that I'm a little surprised non-acetone polish remover contains an ingredient that may be more harmful than acetone. For a number of years it was conventional wisdom that non-acetone polish was the best one to buy.

Post 3

I don't use the bottled nail polish removers, I prefer the nail polish remover pads with acetone better. These are perfect for travel because there is no risk of leaking. That actually happened to me once. When I received my bags at the airport, it reeked of acetone. The bottle had opened up during travel and it ruined my clothes.

That's why I only use nail polish remover pads now. Plus, I don't have to carry cotton balls with me separately this way. Everything I need is right there.

Post 2

I think the best nail polish remover depends on what your nails and skin sensitivity is like and what kind of nail polish you use.

I worked for a nail salon one summer and we had three different kinds of nail polish remover there. Two had acetone in them but the first one was much stronger and only had acetone. We used this for really hard to remove nail polishes, especially the glittery ones. We had to wash the customer's hands right afterward though because it was really strong and could dry out skin very badly.

The other acetone nail polish was much more mild and we could use this for all natural nails, it was less drying

on the skin than the stronger one.

The third one was acetone free nail polish remover that we only used on fake nails so as to not melt them.

I think it's best to consider all these factors before picking a nail polish remover.

Post 1

I have no idea if it's harmful for me or not, but I like scented nail polish remover with acetone. I have one which has a strawberry scent to it. It still slightly smells like acetone, but it's much better than perfume-free ones.

My husband especially hates the smell of acetone and always complains when I do my manicure and pedicure at home. He doesn't mind the perfumed ones so much. I also think it smells a lot better. So I prefer to use these perfumed ones over others.

But are the perfumes in it dangerous for me health wise? It doesn't seem dangerous but I'm not sure.

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