beauty

Is Nail Polish Remover Bad for Your Nails?

Red Nails Close Up

If you’ve suffered from weak or brittle nails, you might have wondered if nail polish remover is to blame for breakage or chipping. Although nail polish remover has a somewhat mixed reputation in the beauty industry (the strong scent can often be overpowering and can be associated with chemicals) it’s not exactly the culprit for weak nails.

Ahead, you’ll find some answers to some common questions about acetone, plus some of our top picks for nail polish removers that get the job done without any harsh damage to your nails and cuticles.

Is there a Difference Between Acetone and Nail Polish Remover?

Acetone is a type of solvent that’s present in many types of cosmetics, household products, and more. Nail polish removers are available in both acetone and non-acetone varieties but both types usually contain the solvent that is responsible for removing nail polish off your nails.

“Both acetone and non-acetone nail polish removers perform the same function. They remove polish from your nails,” explains Stacey Steinmetz, Cosmetic Biochemist and Founder of StimuNail. “Both do this by using solvents. Acetone is simply a more powerful solvent. Although both will get the job, the acetone-based remover may remove nail polish faster.”

Although non-acetone nail polishes may be gentler on your nails and skin than those containing acetone, both are generally safe to use on traditional nail polishes and do not cause long-term damage.

Is Nail polish Remover Bad for My Nails?

No. Nail polish remover is not harmful to your nails or cuticles. “Nail polish removers, when used properly and for short periods of time, really pose no danger,” Stacey says. “But when nails and skin are soaked in polish remover, especially acetone-based removers, they can become dehydrated and irritated causing the skin to crack and be damaged and brittle. It’s more about the extended use of nail polish removers causing the damage rather than purely the product itself.”

Visit your dermatologist if you do suspect that nail polish remover is damaging your nails as they may have recommendations on products or treatments for your nails, cuticles, or skin.

Best Nail Polish Removers That Won’t Damage your Nails

Here are our top picks for nail polishes that are gentle and easy to use:

Gentle Nail Polish Remover

1. Nails.Inc Powered by Collagen Nail Polish Remover

The Nails.Inc Powered by Collagen Nail Polish Remover ($8) comes in a handy no-mess bottle that eliminates the need for cotton balls. Travel-friendly and gentle, this nail polish remover contains coconut and collagen to help promote nail strength and growth.

Gentle Nail Polish Remover

2. Alleyoop Acetone-Free Nail Polish Wipes
If you’ve ever spilled a bottle of nail polish remover all over your bathroom floor, you’ll never look back after these Swipe Left Polish Wipes ($12) from Alleyoop. These gentle but effective wipes are perfect for storing in your desk drawer, makeup bags, and suitcases, and helps get your nails ready for a new manicure in just a few swipes.

Gentle Nail Polish Remover

3. GLU Polish Remover + Reusable Cotton Rounds

If your nose tends to wrinkle at the harsh scent of traditional acetone nail polish removers, you might find the Soy GLU Polish Remover with reusable cotton rounds ($21.50) to be a more gentle option for your at-home manis. This acetone-free formula contains lavender as well as vitamins and minerals that will enrich your nails and cuticles. Plus, the washable and reusable cotton rounds are perfect for zero-waste beauty lovers who care about the environment.

Photo Courtesy: Pexels/ Oleg Magni

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