Today there are many acetone-free nail polish removers. But how do you choose which one is right for you? Let’s first briefly consider the ingredients in regular and acetone-free nail polish removers. Then we will take a closer look at some non-acetone nail polish removers.
Ingredients in Regular Nail Polish Remover
Regular nail polish remover usually contains acetone as a main ingredient. Acetone based nail polish remover only works on conventional solvent-based nail polish, not water-based nail polish. Acetone is a moderately hazardous chemical.1 The potential health concerns posed by acetone are eye irritation, respiratory tract irritation, nausea, headache, and dizziness. 2 Acetone based nail polish removers often leave the hands and nails dry. Due to the dangers and drying effect of acetone, many shoppers turn to non-acetone nail polish removers.
Ingredients in Typical Acetone Free Nail Polish Remover
Typical acetone free nail polish remover still faces the task of dissolving regular nail polish, so it contains harsh solvents similar to acetone. Ethyl acetate is often used as a substitute for acetone. Ethyl acetate is also a moderately hazardous chemical. 3 Acetone-free nail polish removers containing ethyl acetate are still likely to dry out your hands and nails.
There are however, some other types of acetone-free nail polish removers on the market today.
Other Acetone Free Nail Polish Remover Options
If you are looking for a remover that works on both conventional solvent-based nail polish and water-based nail polish, I suggest Scotch Naturals Soy-Based Remover. If you want a remover only to use with water-based nail polish, check out Acquarella Water-Based Remover.
Scotch Naturals makes a soy-based nail polish remover that is formulated to remove both water-based and solvent-based nail polishes safely and naturally.
Ingredients in Scotch Naturals Remover:
- Methyl soyate (score of 0 in Skin Deep database, data is limited),
- Dimethyl adipate (score of 0 in Skin Deep database, data is limited), and
- Dimethyl glutarate (score of 1 in Skin Deep database, data is limited).
Overall, the soy based remover is a low health concern.
Things I Like About Scotch Naturals Nail Polish Remover:
- It removes water-based nail polish quickly and effectively. I have not tried using it to remove solvent-based polish, but it is also supposed to work with solvent-based nail polish.
- The smell is not too strong.
- It leaves nails feeling moisturized.
Things I Dislike About Scotch Naturals Nail Polish Remover:
- If you use it right before painting your nails it can cause bubbles in the nail polish. Be sure to thoroughly wash your hands between using the remover and painting your nails.
Scotch Naturals remover is one of my favorite acetone-free nail polish removers, since it works so well.
Acquarella remover only works with water-based nail polish. It is one of my favorite removers, since it has been specially formulated to work with a water-based nail care system.
Ingredients in Acquarella Remover:
- Tall oil fatty acids & alcohols (plant based),
- Nonionic surfactant, and
- Organic buffer.
Acquarella water-based nail polish remover has a score of 0 in the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, indicating low health concern.
Things I Like About Acquarella Water-Based Nail Polish Remover:
- It is water-based.
- It only has a slight scent.
- It can be used to prepare nails before painting them, making nails squeaky clean.
Things I Dislike About Acquarella Water-Based Nail Polish Remover:
- It can take a long time to remove nail polish if you leave the polish on for a long time or use more than two coats of polish.
- When I tried using Acquarella remover on another brand of water-based nail polish that had a base and top coat applied, the remover did not work. This remover may be best to use exclusively with Acquarella nail polish, which does not require a base and top coat.
Keeki Pure & Simple offers a non-toxic nail polish remover that contains none of the harsh solvents, such as acetone, that could harm you or the atmosphere.
Ingredients in Keeki Pure & Simple Nail Polish Remover:
- Corn alcohol,
- Butyl diglycol,
- Aloe Vera extract,
- Vitamin E, and
- Embittering agent.
Keeki Pure & Simple nail polish remover has a score of 1 in the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, indicating low health concern.
Things I Like About Keeki Pure & Simple Nail Polish Remover:
- It has a coconut like scent. However, there is no coconut listed in the ingredients, so the scent must be coming from one of the other ingredients.
Things I Dislike About Keeki Pure & Simple Nail Polish Remover:
- It is extremely drying.
- It takes a while to remove water-based nail polish. (Approximately 30 minutes.)
Piggy Paint also offers a Nail Polish Remover that is similar to Keeki Pure & Simple Remover.
Suncoat offers a natural nail polish remover that is corn and soya based, which works on both water-based and conventional nail polishes. The remover is paraben-free, GMO free, non-toxic, biodegradable, free of petroleum products and non-flammable.
Ingredients in Suncoat Natural Nail Polish Remover:
- Methyl lactate (soya ester),
- Ethyl lactate (corn ester),
- Vegetable glycerin, and
Things I Like About Suncoat Natural Nail Polish Remover:
- It takes an average amount of time to remove water-based nail polish. I did not try it on conventional nail polish.
Things I Dislike About Suncoat Natural Nail Polish Remover:
- The smell! Suncoat remover has a different smell than regular nail polish remover, but it is still quite a pungent smell.
Suncoat also offers a Natural Nail Polish Remover Gel, which I will review soon.
Honeybee Gardens offers a nail polish remover that is similar to regular acetone-free nail polish remover. It works with both water-based and conventional nail polish. The remover meets environmental VOC standards set by the state of California.
Ingredients in Honeybee Gardens Nail Polish Remover:
- Methyl acetate,
- Aloe barbadensis leaf juice,
- Equisetum arvense (horsetail) extract,
- Tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), and
Honeybee Gardens nail polish remover has a score of 3, indicating moderate health concern on Skin Deep.
Things I Like About Honeybee Gardens Nail Polish Remover:
- It easily and quickly removes Honeybee Gardens water-based nail polish. I did not try it on regular solvent-based nail polish, but it should work with that, as well.
- It has a perfume smell, like coconut, that masks the chemical smell.
Things I Dislike About Honeybee Gardens Nail Polish Remover:
- It contains methyl acetate, which can irritate skin and eyes.
- It is extremely flammable.
- It is very drying.
Piggy Paint offers a similar California Nail Polish Remover, which has zero VOC and therefore does not contribute to ground-level ozone.
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You may also want to read How to Remove Water Based Nail Polish.
What is your favorite brand of acetone-free nail polish remover?
- Acetone, Skin Deep, http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/700081/ACETONE/ ↩
- Acetone Material Safety Data Sheet, http://fscimage.fishersci.com/msds/00140.htm ↩
- Ethyl Acetate, Skin Deep, http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/702293/ETHYL_ACETATE/ ↩