The 7 Best Nail Polish Removers That Make It Easy To Switch Up Your Mani

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A perfectly applied manicure is fun while it lasts, but when you’re ready to give your fingertips a clean slate, a nail polish remover will come in handy. The best nail polish removers whisk away nail polish without a trip to the nail salon. Choosing the right option for you will boil down to the type of polish you’re removing, whether you prefer a formula with or without acetone, and the format that suits you best (ranging from a classic bottle to pre-moistened wraps, wipes, or pens).

Acetone In Nail Polish

Nail polish-remover formulas generally fall into two categories: ones with or without acetone. Formulas with acetone are often harsher on nails (and your nose and eyes), but they can remove nail polish quickly. A 100% acetone formula is ideal for removing hard-to-remove polishes including gel manicures and dip manicures. It can even be used to remove acrylic nails at home — just make sure to be patient and careful to avoid damaging your nails. (If you have a set of acrylic nails that you want to preserve and reuse, you should avoid using acetone, as it can damage them.)

While non-acetone nail polish removers usually require more elbow grease to use, they can work well on traditional nail polish and shellac (aka semi-permanent) polish. Instead of acetone, they typically include other solvents (such as methyl acetate and methyl soyate, which you’ll find in some of the products below). Non-acetone formulas tend to cause less damage to nails, cuticles, and skin, making them ideal for frequent use or if you have brittle nails — but it’s important to remember that the solvents in acetone-free nail polish removers can still cause dryness. If you have dry nails, consider opting for a formula that’s soy-based or contains hydrating ingredients to help offset some of that dryness.

Choosing A Format

Nail polish removers can be packaged in a variety of ways. You’ll come across standard bottles of liquid solutions, which is a great go-to option when you need something that will last a while. If convenience is a top priority, though, consider remover-soaked wraps or travel-friendly, disposable wipes. A fine-tipped nail polish remover pen can also be great for post-manicure touch-ups.

With all this in mind, here are seven of the best nail polish removers that you can find on Amazon.

1. A 100% Acetone Formula For Hard-To-Remove Nail Polish

  • Best for removing: Traditional, shellac, gel, and dip powder nail polish; acrylic nails

If you want to make quick work of removing glitter and dark-colored traditional polishes, dissolve gel or dip powder polishes, or remove acrylic nails, this 100% acetone nail polish remover will do the job. You’ll also get a nail file to assist in sanding off the top layer of gel and dip powder polishes before soaking them in the nail polish remover. The tradeoff with using 100% acetone is that it can be drying to the nails and skin around them, so you might want to follow it up with a moisturizer or cuticle oil.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for an acetone product which incorporates hydrating ingredients, this nail polish remover has 98% acetone, along with eucalyptus oil and vitamins A and E to help prevent damage to your nails and skin. While it won’t be as potent as 100% pure acetone, it should still be effective on manicures with gel, dip, shellac, and traditional polish.

Positive Amazon review: “A+! This product Took my power dipped nails and polish off in a mater of minutes!”

2. The Acetone-Free Nail Polish Remover With 52,000+ Ratings

  • Best for removing: Traditional and shellac nail polish

For regular and shellac polishes, you don’t have to use an acetone-based formula. This fan-favorite nail polish remover is instead formulated with the solvent methyl acetate. It’s effective on difficult-to-remove traditional polishes, and one reviewer attested that it can “cut through dark polish and glitter polish with ease.” No wonder it has earned an impressive 4.8-star overall rating after more than 52,000 customer reviews. Apply it to your nails with a cotton ball or pad and wipe your nails clean to use the remover.

Positive Amazon review: “Better than any drugstore brand acetone-remover I’ve ever used. I was hesitant to buy this because non-acetone removers are endlessly frustrating, but this stuff is amazing! Removes easily and cleanly and the smell is light and pleasant — I didn’t feel like my eyeballs were melting. No regrets — will buy again and again!”

3. The Best Bottle For Sensitive Nails

  • Best for removing: Traditional nail polish

If your nails are naturally dry or brittle, or if you often switch up your nail color, consider using a nail polish remover without acetone like this one. It’s made by the popular vegan brand Ella + Mila, this nail polish remover is soy-based and alcohol-free, instead using methyl soyate as a solvent. With vitamins A, C, and E, plus lavender oil in the mix, it’s formulated to keep nails hydrated and nourished. Just bear in mind that some reviewers have reported that it requires some elbow grease to remove polish, while others have reported that it left behind an oily residue. Something many customers can agree on, though, is that it’s excellent for sensitive nails. As a bonus, there’s an unscented version if you have a sensitive nose, too.

Positive Amazon review: “My nails are prone to breakage so I've been looking for ways to reduce the amount of stress I put on them. I was skeptical of this [...] but it does the trick. Not only does it remove polish fairly easily but it is moisturizing and smells delightful! I'll never go back to acetone based products.”

4. The Best Nail Polish Remover Wipes With Acetone

  • Best for removing: Traditional and shellac nail polish

If you want a traditional nail polish remover in a mess-free format, look no further than these acetone nail polish remover wipes. Each wipe is soaked with acetone and aloe vera, which keep your nails from drying out. The pads aren’t made with 100% acetone, and the manufacturer specifies that they’re meant for use on traditional and shellac nail polish (and not gel or dip powder). Reviewers have reported that it whisks away traditional polishes effortlessly, but according to some others, it can work on gels (though you might need to use more wipes and some effort). They’re easy to tuck into a bag and take with you, and they’re even TSA-friendly.

Positive Amazon review: “The wipes are a great way to take nail polish off. I bought them to go on a trip so I would not have to take a bottle. They are so convenient and not messy at all. I will be using them at home as well. I used 2 to take off the polish from all of my nails.”

5. The Best Acetone-Free Nail Polish Remover Wipes

  • Best for removing: Traditional nail polish

If you’re looking for an acetone-free option to use on the fly, these nail polish remover wipes will do the trick. The pads are pre-soaked with a methyl soyate-based formula, eliminating the need for a cotton ball or pad. Using them can require a little more work than a more potent solvent, but the vitamin-rich formula shouldn’t leave your nails feeling bone-dry. According to reviewers, the wipes are moisturizing — and while some have mentioned they verge on oily, that’s a small price to pay for a gentle formula for many. This version comes with five wipes, but you can get a 12-pack for a few more dollars.

Positive Amazon review: “Marvelous product. I always hated the smell of acetone- or toluene-based nail polish remover. These wipes don’t smell, and still get the job done. I will keep buying these.”

6. The Best Remover Wraps For Gel Nail Polish

  • Best for removing: Traditional, shellac, gel, and dip powder nail polish; acrylic nails

Made with a cotton interior that has been saturated with 100% acetone, these nail polish remover wraps can be especially helpful for dissolving gel and dip powder polishes, according to reviewers. Place each finger into a wrap once you’ve sanded off the top layer of polish using a nail file. Wait for a couple of minutes, then remove the remaining polish with a cuticle pusher. Alternatively, you can use the wraps to remove acrylic nails.

Like any remover made with pure acetone, the wraps may be drying to the nails and cuticles. For this reason, you might want to follow up with a moisturizer or cuticle cream to counter any unwanted dryness.

Positive Amazon review: “These are the best for gel removal [...] The foils make gel removal so easy and clean. I will keep getting these from now on they have worked the best of anything I have tried.”

7. The Best Nail Polish Remover Pen For Quick Touch-Ups

  • Best for removing: Traditional nail polish

Whether you’re looking to remove polish off entirely or erase any mistakes during the application process, this nail polish remover pen can come in clutch. The pen has a fine-tip point that distributes just enough of its acetone-based solution onto the nail so that you can eliminate smudges and smears in a few deft motions. Despite the acetone found in the formula, reviewers have noted it isn’t rough on the nails. Plus, the pen is refillable, and the brand recommends using the OPI Expert Touch Lacquer solution for refills. As a plus, it comes with an extra pen tip.

Positive Amazon review: “This was very easy to use and cleaned up a few areas around my cuticle that had polish on them. It’s also not too drying which was great. Usually nail polish removers on skin can really dry the area out but I haven’t had the problem with this little touch up pen.”