I'll be honest: I'm really bad at keeping up a fresh manicure because I always dread removing my polish. One with strengtheners always takes too long, and straight acetone seems like it's probably damaging my nails. So what type of nail-polish remover is the best to use? To find out, I emailed with founder and CEO of KBShimmer, Christy Rose. And I have to say, I was super relieved by her answer.
Turns out, your best option for quickly and effectively removing any type of polish is a remover that is made of 100-percent acetone. Rose explains that removers that contain strengthening or nourishing additives usually also contain oil, which actually impedes the whole removal process. So not only does it take longer to successfully take off all of your polish with these types of removers, but it also prolongs the time your skin and cuticles are in contact with the more drying ingredients in the remover.
If your nails do need some strengthening though, Rose adds to not rely on a product like nail-polish remover that won't stay on your nails long enough to provide much benefit. Instead, she recommends following up your polish removal with a nail treatment, which is much better for your tips.
Think of it like using a moisturizing cleanser versus actual moisturizer— you'll get more of the benefits from the product you leave on rather than wash off.
Oh, and if, like me, you were concerned that straight-up acetone is really bad for your nails, turns out, you don't have that much to worry about. "Acetone used properly is actually very safe for your skin and nails," says Rose. She further explains, "It evaporates quickly, and while long-term, daily exposure can be drying on your skin and nails, most people will just need to use a bit of cuticle balm or lotion to get their hands feeling great after."
Even though you can "use acetone as frequently as you want to change your polish," Rose still provides a couple of tips for making sure you don't incur any sneaky damage to your nails. For regular polish, she recommends soaking a cotton round in an ample amount of acetone and holding it on your polish for 10 to 15 seconds before gently rubbing to remove the color. This method, she says, reduces the friction on your nails and actually reduces the amount of time your nails are in direct contact with the acetone.
If you need to remove more stubborn polish like glitter polish, Rose suggests using the foil method or a container with a remover-soaked sponge. Either of these will make the removal much easier and faster.
But regardless of what type of manicure you need to remove or how often you need to remove it, there's nothing you can't do with some acetone and a cuticle cream. After all, it's just better that way.